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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Pro-azadi slogans against RSS return to Kolkata’s Jadavpur University

Students in the rally demanded azadi from “religious fundamentalism” and the “evil” designs of the RSS.

kolkata Updated: Apr 03, 2017 20:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Kolkata, Hindustan Times
Protest by students of Jadavpur University.
Protest by students of Jadavpur University.(PTI file for representation)

Slogans demanding azadi (freedom) for Kashmir and Manipur were back on the campus of Jadavpur University on Monday when students, led by the Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU), took out a rally against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) alleged attempts to “pollute” the atmosphere on the campus.

While AFSU is dominated by Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of CPI(M), it was mainly students affiliated to other Leftwing outfits who raised the slogans.

“Students who participated in the rally demanded azadi from religious fundamentalism and the evil designs of RSS, as well as from poverty and social injustice. Some students also raised slogans demanding azadi for the people of Kashmir and Manipur,” said Nilim Bose, a film studies student and member of the Leftwing outfit, Radical.

Read: It’s red vs saffron as Jadavpur University goes the JNU way

About 200 students participated in the rally on Monday that travelled across the campus. Similar slogans were raised by some JU students on Sunday during a programme in front of Academy of Fine Arts, about 10 km away from the campus.

The slogans included, ‘moulavaad se azadi’, ‘Manuvaad se azadi’, ‘sangh se mangey azadi’, ‘Kashmir mangey azadi’, ‘Manipur mangey azadi’ and ‘bhookh se mangey azadi’.

The slogans have remained at the centre of escalating tension between the Leftwing students who dominate the campus and sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who are trying to gain foothold on the campus that has, since inception, been a bastion of the Left.

In February, 2016, similar slogans and posters demanding azadi for Kashmir and Manipur had struck a controversial note, even as the students justified the act.

The rally on Monday was called to protest “RSS hooliganism” on the campus during a seminar on atrocities on minority Hindus in Bangladesh, attended by BJP leader turned Tripura governor Tathagata Roy and Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, held on Saturday and Sunday.

Read: Cultural event at Jadavpur University defends Kashmir’s right to Azadi

Trouble broke out during the seminar as a group of Leftwing students took out a poster campaign outside the seminar hall seeking answers on the status of minority Muslims in India. A scuffle between RSS activists and Leftwing students led to three police complaints against Sangh activists, including that of molestation.

Reacting on the slogans on Monday, state education minister and senior Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee said the government will not allow anti-national activities on the campus.

The BJP and ABVP, too, have vowed to take on the Leftwing students’ “propagation of anti-national activities” on JU campus.

First Published: Apr 03, 2017 20:37 IST