Tarek Fatah invited to JNU for lecture
Days after Canadian writer and broadcaster Tarek Fatah's lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia was cancelled without explanation, the anti-Islamist activist has been approached by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to present a lecture on their campus. Mallica Joshi reports.delhi Updated: Apr 13, 2013 23:25 IST
Days after Canadian writer and broadcaster Tarek Fatah's lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia was cancelled without explanation, the anti-Islamist activist has been approached by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to present a lecture on their campus.
According to Tarek, he was not provided any concrete reasons for the cancellation of his lecture at Jamia.
"I was given no official reason but what I hear is that some university students had hinted that they did not want to hear my lecture and had threatened to create problems. The vice chancellor did not, it seems, want problems on the campus because of me and decided to call off the lecture. I had staunchly opposed the inclusion of Sharia law in Canadian family law and have been a critic. I suppose people might have taken an exception to this stand," Fatah said.
The writer has now been invited to talk at the School of South Asian Studies of JNU.
"The students have approached me and I would like to go there towards the end of this month, after my trip to Dhaka. Discussion and discourse are very important. Otherwise a nation becomes dictatorial. It is unfortunate that I was stopped from speaking in a democratic country like India," he added.
Fatah's lecture was cancelled on Thursday morning. A notice was posted informing of the cancellation was put up on the university website and notice boards. The vice chancellor at Jamia Millia Islamia could not be contacted for a comment.
The Jamia administration has been accused of becoming more and more wary of criticism or controversies.It has imposed fines on students protesting against fee hikes in hostels. Student union elections, too, have been on hold for the past seven years.
In February, teachers and organizers of a theatre fest had stopped a play by DU students over the use of abusive language.