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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

DU college warns students against taking part in political rallies

In a notice issued on Wednesday, the college’s officiating principal Hina Nandrajog said, “The students are advised not to attend any political rally, otherwise disciplinary action will be taken by the college against them.”

delhi Updated: Aug 14, 2019 22:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Students and teachers from across the university have criticised the college.
Students and teachers from across the university have criticised the college.(HT file photo)
         

Delhi University’s (DU) Vivekananda College on Wednesday warned students of disciplinary action if they were found participating in political rallies.

In a notice issued on Wednesday, the college’s officiating principal Hina Nandrajog said, “The students are advised not to attend any political rally, otherwise disciplinary action will be taken by the college against them.”

The notice, however, did not clarify if it is applicable only at the college premises or beyond the campus. Despite calls and text messages, Nandrajog did not respond.

A senior faculty member, who wished not to be named, said the move follows a month-long protest by students led by the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in May after the college detained students over low attendance. The students went on a hunger strike and clashed with officials during the protest.

Students and teachers from across the university have criticised the college. ABVP member and president of the DU students’ union (DUSU) Shakti Singh said the notice has come just ahead of the students’ union election.

“If the college has issues with students’ participation in campus politics, it should exclude itself from DUSU. This is highly condemnable and DUSU will oppose it,” Singh said.

The Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) issued a statement opposing the move. Akshay Lakra, NSUI Delhi president, said, “We strongly condemn such an autocratic order. It is not only curbing freedom of students but threatening them. NSUI will take up this issue with the university proctor and dean student’s welfare.”

Students were confused. “The notice does not mention where we cannot participate in the political rallies. We have no idea if it is applicable for the college campus or the entire DU campus. We will protest the move,” said a third year BA (History) student, who wished not to be named.

Teachers from across colleges opposed the move. Rajesh Jha, an associate professor at Rajdhani College, said, “It is an undemocratic diktat to curb the freedom of speech and expression of the students.”

Rajib Ray, president of DU teachers’ association (DUTA), said the college should withdraw the order. “DUTA unanimously condemned this notice and we are demanding its immediate rollback,” he said.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 20:21 IST

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