In order to “maintain communal harmony”, the Jawaharlal Nehru University has cancelled two events on Babri Masjid and Ram Janmabhoomi, scheduled to be held on campus Wednesday.
While one event included a speech on Ram Janmabhoomi by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, another, by the JNU students’ union, had a talk by CPM leader Prakash Karat scheduled. “The competent authority has cancelled public lectures/ talks on the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi and Babri Masjid on the campus on December 6 in order to maintain communal harmony, peace and stability on campus. Academic discussion on various themes are always permitted that contribute to knowledge enhancement and social order,” Dean of Students Umesh Kadam said in a notice.
Swamy was supposed to deliver a talk on ‘Why Ram Mandir in Ayodhya’ at Koyna Hostel. He was invited by Vivekanand Vichar Manch, a group of 10 students, who had organised the event to “salute the legendary fighter and martyrs” of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
However, the senior warden of the hostel on Tuesday evening issued a notice to the organisers saying that the event “has been cancelled”. Similarly, JNUSU’s event on ‘Reclaiming the Republic: In Defence of Our Syncretic Culture, Constitutional Morality and Secularism’ was also cancelled by the administration on Wednesday. Besides Karat, Kavita Krishnan from CPI-ML, JNU professor Jayati Ghosh and former JNU president Albeena Shakil were to speak at the event.
Prachi Singh, one of the organisers of Swamy’s event, said the JNUSU programme was cancelled because of “pressure from students”. The ABVP condemned the decision, calling it a ‘Tughlaqi farman’. JNUSU president Geeta Kumari called the decision to cancel their event “censorship”.
Dean of Students Umesh Kadam did not respond to calls from The Indian Express.