Babri anniversary: JNU cancels all talks, seminars on topic to ‘maintain harmony’Updated: Dec 06, 2017 23:36 IST
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) cancelled all the events related to ‘Ramjanam Bhumi’ and ‘Babri Masjid’ that were scheduled on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the structure in Ayodhya.
The University said that the decision was taken to “maintain communal harmony, peace and stability in the campus.”
At least four events, organised by different students’ groups, were scheduled to be held at different venues and timings in the campus, including talks by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat.
Swamy’s talk on “Why Ram Mandir in Ayodhya” was scheduled at Koyna Hostel mess on Wednesday but was cancelled after the administration sent a notice sent to one of the organisers on Tuesday.
Later in the day, the administration issued a statement saying that all public lecture and talks were called off.
“The competent authority has cancelled public lectures/talks on the issue of Ramjanam Bhumi and Babri Masjid in the campus on December 6, 2017 in order to maintain communal harmony, and peace, and stability in the campus,” the statement issued by Umesh Ashok Kadam, dean of students’ said.
The statement also said academic discussions on various themes are permitted that contribute to knowledge enhancement and social order.
As per the posters of the events received by the administration, other programmes included: a rally from Ganga to Chandrabhaga hostel organised by Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), a poetry recitation by Azaad Cultural Front and a public meeting by JNU students’ union (JNUSU) at Sabarmati.
The JNUSU public meeting was to be addressed by Karat but the union decided to cancel it after the administration’s order.
BAPSA, however, decided to go ahead with its rally — ‘Remembering 62nd Babasahbe Ambedkar’s Mahaparinirvan Siwas and Demolition of Babri Masjid’. “No permission is required to take out a rally and even the university notice does not say anything about rallies,” a BAPSA member said.
JNU teachers’ association said, “...strongly condemns this authoritarian cancellation. It demands that permission be granted for all talks that were scheduled today (Wednesday) to be allowed to proceed without hindrance.”
Vishwas Anand, one of the organisers of the Swamy’s talk, said they had received permission to hold the event four days ago but on Tuesday evening they were informed that the event was cancelled. “We are a group of independent students,” he said.
University officials did not respond to calls and texts for comments on the issue.