The students’ union called the administration’s decision “ideological censorship”.
New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration on Wednesday (December 6) cancelled all events that were to be held on campus to mark the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, including those discussing the ‘Ram janmabhoomi‘ movement.
According to a notification signed by the dean of students, the events were cancelled “in order to maintain communal harmony, and peace and stability in the Campus”. The notification continued, “Academic discussion on various themes are always permitted that contribute to knowledge enhancement and social order.”
On Tuesday, the warden of the university’s Koyna hostel announced that a talk that was to be delivered by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on the topic ‘Why Ram Mandir in Ayodhya?’ had been cancelled by the “competent authority”. Swamy told News-18 yesterday, “I am not surprised. JNU is fearful that my ideas will influence the youth. The Left is threatened by my arguments. My arguments on Ram Mandir are so powerful that they won’t be able to stand it.”
Swamy had been invited by the School of Languages and Sanskrit Centre.
CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat had also been invited to address a gathering on campus on the mosque’s demolition. While that talk was not cancelled yesterday, it will no longer take place after the dean of students’ notification today.
While Swamy said yesterday that he thought his talk was cancelled because “Left-wing students” didn’t want it to take place, the students’ union has spoken out against the administration’s decision and said they did not ask for any talk to be cancelled.
“This is clear ideological censorship,” JNU students’ union president Geeta Kumari told The Wire. “For 25 years now, JNU has been holding talks on Ayodhya and the Babri Masjid. It has never caused any communal disharmony on campus. The matter is in court and everywhere events are being held to discuss the events. We (JNUSU) never asked the administration to cancel Swamy’s talk or anyone else’s. We don’t know why this administration is so intent in ideological censorship.”