The update appears near the end of this post, before the footnote.
Mail Today reports that Tellis himself has refused to comment on his sacking. And it reports this:
Ashley Tellis ... was asked to leave after his colleagues in the department allegedly complained about his "unlawful behaviour" and "deviant mischief".
There was also this online petition to "Ask the President of India to Protect LGBT Rights." That petition has now been taken down, because Tellis has informed the signatories that he "is taking other action and does not feel this is the appropriate time for this petition."
Yesterday's ToI report indicated that Tellis was to file an RTI application to IIT-H seeking all the relevant information on his sacking. [The contents of IIT-H's letter to him are not in the public domain].
Clearly, a legal battle is brewing. .
* * *
In their comments yesterday, Chitta and Rahul pointed to this article in which Tellis offers the argument that "if [paedophilia] is based on mutual consent, it is no big deal." [In a later article he defends his views].
I remember cringing while reading those articles a few months ago ; but I also took them as an example of a professor of humanities pushing the envelope on topics that are too edgy for polite conversation.
All that was until yesterday [see also the update below], when Rahul also pointed to something more damaging: "Elsewhere [Tellis] glories [that link does not work; here's something that might] in his own paedophile activities with a Nepali boy." Unfortunately, that link does not exist any more [Does anyone know if it's archived / cached somewhere?]
* * *
Update: The offending article cited by Rahul is here. The key sentence in his description of that 'Nepali boy' episode (which appears right at the end) is this: "We were young." What Tellis was talking about was (probably) a teen affair, and not "paedophilic activities."
Here's my current take: there's no evidence in the public domain to implicate Prof. Tellis in 'paedophile activities". His articles on the topic of paedophilia may offend us -- as I said, the two TNIE articles make me cringe even now -- but that's no reason to say his removal from IIT-H is justified. [For a point-by-point rebuttal of his "man-boy love could be beautiful" thesis, do read this post by Ketan -- thanks to Chitta for the pointer].
Which is not to say IIT-H had other reasons to fire Tellis. Since I expect a lawsuit, I will wait for some more clarity on the Tellis vs. IIT-H battle ...
* * *
Footnote : I came across Tellis's articles in The New Indian Express a few months ago when he came under attack for these views at another blog which went on to suggest that IIT-H should get rid of him. I wrote to him at that time to alert him about that blog post, and he e-mailed back saying he was already aware of it.
As it happens -- and this is too much of a coincidence! -- that damned post has also been taken down!