Thakur College faces row over alleged forced attendance at BJP leader’s son’s talk | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Thakur College faces row over alleged forced attendance at BJP leader’s son’s talk

Mar 24, 2024 06:48 AM IST

Students at Thakur College in Mumbai express concerns over coercion to attend a seminar with Union Minister's son as speaker. Politicians and college officials respond.

Mumbai: At Thakur College of Science and Commerce in Kandivali, students have raised concerns over alleged coercion to attend a seminar organised by the college, speech by Dhruv Goyal, son of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, as a guest speaker on Friday. Aaditya Thackrey and Priyanka Chaturvedi raised concern over the college’s approach.

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The video depicts a student lamenting the confiscation of their identity cards and their purported compulsion to attend the session, despite expressing well wishes for the upcoming elections. Questioning the democratic integrity of the situation, the student voiced concerns about the imposition of attendance. In light of a directive from the University Grants Commission urging colleges to conduct awareness campaigns to boost electoral participation under the banner ‘Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye,’ students have expressed apprehensions, citing ongoing exams.

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The incident has sparked widespread criticism on social media, with opposition leaders and various individuals condemning the alleged coercion faced by the students. Concerns have also been raised regarding the potential repercussions for the students who spoke out during the event.

Thackrey posted on X, “The regime is sending out a message to the world daily, that they don’t wish the country to be a democracy anymore. Here, the IDs of the students were confiscated to force them to attend a talk by the son of a BJP candidate in North Mumbai… a day before their exams. Because even on passing, under this govt, where are the jobs? Rather waste their time on lectures taken by sons of candidates. Will the principal be suspended for such a horrible act?”

Yuva Sena also wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mumbai seeking action against the college. After the political controversy, the Bhartiya Janata Party also posted a response to Goyal on the students point. In a video Goyal said, “Firstly I want to thank you and congratulate you for your courage to speak up. Secondly, I was not aware of this. I will speak to the administration that this should never happen. Even if ten people are coming to listen I will talk with the same energy. I am disheartened by the administration’s action. I apologise to you for this. I will ensure that it does not happen again and if it does, please come and tell me.”

In response to the controversy, the college principal Chaitaly Chakraborty stated in a written statement that the video that went viral was disseminated a manipulated seemingly with political motivations. “Regrettably, Ms. Chaturvedi’s actions have introduced unnecessary discord into our college environment, unfairly involving our students in a dispute that was uncalled for,” reads the statement. Chakraborty further stated that this matter is under review by our institution.

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