Accusing the Lucknow University (LU) of bias, Left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA) and Samajwadi Party’s student wing on Thursday alleged that while the varsity has allowed the RSS to hold a programme within its campus on Saturday, it had twice rejected their applications seeking permission to hold events. To mark the Hindu new year, the RSS on Saturday will hold a programme — ‘Vikram Samvat 2075, Nav’varsh Prernotsav Karyakram’ — at LU’s Department of Public Administration’s (DPA) hall. LU faculty members are likely to attend the event.
Claiming that last month only, the AISA was not allowed to hold to meet to discuss the Union Budget, its district secretary Nitin Raj said: “…They did not provide us a hall… Earlier, we wanted to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti, but we were not given permission.” “We are not against the (RSS) event, but our complaint is that when people want to organise programmes that do not feed the ideology they are following, they (LU) do not allow it… Such programmes are increasingly being organised at the university,” he added.
Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha state vice-president, Anil Yadav, too, claimed that while LU easily gives permission for RSS and BJP programmes, when students ask for university halls and auditoriums, they are not given permission.
Accusing the LU of “propagating the agenda of RSS”, Yadav said: What is happening now is unprecedented. They are propagating the agenda of RSS. There always are posters of an organisation (right-wing) in the campus. They want to divide students in the name of hate… We have been protesting against such programmes. Even in the past, we had submitted a memorandum to the Governor… we will do the same again. If we do not get a response, we will protest.”
University Proctor Vinod Singh, however, denied the allegations. He claimed that halls and auditoriums are provided whenever they are available “for events that are are not against the university”.
“I do not have information of any programme that was not allowed. I have been here since 1993 and do not remember a single case when halls were not provided to those who paid the fees and wanted to organise a programme that was not against the university. Recently, media houses had held several programmes here… many authors have launched books. A book exhibition was organised by Janchetna publication and those associated with left-wing ideology. We had provided space in front of the library without taking any fees, as this was a book exhibition, which was helpful for students.”
Singh said that to book a hall or an auditorium at LU, one has to fill an online form. “The form goes to the superintendent of work, followed by the director of information publication and public relation, then to the proctor and finally to the vice-chancellor,” he added.
RSS worker Akhilesh Pandey, who is organising Saturday’s event, said they are want to celebrate the “Indian new year of the sanatan tradition as people are forgetting their culture in the modern era”. “We are holding a seminar, in which university professors will present their views. This way, students can come to know about their culture and will be attracted to it. It is good for students to know English… but they also should be connected to their original roots,” Pandey said, adding that RSS ‘Baudhhik Pramukh’ for eastern UP, Mithilesh Narayan, will be the main speaker at the event.
RSS will also invite the V-C, Pandey claimed.
In January, several right-wing outfits under ‘Akhil Bhartiya Samagra Vichar Manch’ had organised an event on ‘Ram Mandir Samasya aur Samadhan’ at LU’s DPA building. There, a DG-rank officer was captured on video taking a pledge to work for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.