A seminar at Deshbandhu College on ‘Ambedkar on Caste and Social Justice’ was disrupted Friday when Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members insisted the organisers chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ if they wanted the event to go on.
The students, all part of the Deshbandhu Discussion Forum, said they usually organise discussions once a fortnight and invite speakers from different universities to speak. “This was the fifth discussion in the series. But even before the discussion began, ABVP members including Rajat Chaudhary started tearing pamphlets and posters of the seminar, and hurled abuses at the organisers. They told the organisers, say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai ‘or we will not let the event continue,” said Chirayu Goyal, one of the organisers.
Ananya Pandey, another organiser of the event, said, “One student even said Bharat Mata Ki Jai, but then questioned who they were to dictate anything. They sat throughout the lecture sessions and called all of us ‘atankwadis’ and ‘deshdrohis.’”
Asked about his actions at the event, Chaudhary, a student of the college, said the group was talking about how the country was “being divided on communal lines” and how Jammu and Kashmir was “not a part of India”.
”I simply asked them to stop brainwashing people, to stop supporting elements like Kanhaiya Kumar (JNU Students’ Union president) and to say Bharat Mata Ki Jai. What is so wrong in that? Bharat mein rehte hain, Bharat ki respect karni chahiye, Mata ko bhi respect karna chahiye. Bharat Mata Ki Jai kyon nahi bol sakte,” said Chaudhary.
The organisers of the event said they are planning to report the incident to the police and principal Saturday.
Deshbandhu College principal Ajay Kumar Arora said, “The matter has not been reported to me yet. But no one can force anyone to say anything. Disciplinary action is usually taken when an incident like this occurs and appropriate action will be taken if the matter comes to light.”
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