New Delhi: The students of Ashoka University protested against the “selective action” of the varsity officials and their “surrender” to the right-wing forces. The issue erupted after the Democracy Collective, a students’ group, organised screening of Anand Patwardhan's documentary 'Ram ke Naam' on January 22, the day consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple was held.
Before the screening, a member of the collective was called by a university official who along with others allegedly forced him to remove the posters of the screening.
The collective alleged while the university officials cited violation of norms in an attempt to stop the screening of the film, a full-fledged aarti (a ritual wherein lights are lit and offered up to God) and bhajan (devotional songs) were held to mark the consecration ceremony. Students described it a violation of the Residence Life Policy that says that “festival events must not entail any religious content or rituals, but solely their spirit, essence and cultural aspect”.
Addressing the protesters, a member of the Social Justice Forum, said “The Ashoka University is nothing but a university created on the land given by some Baniya founders where Bengali Brahmin professors teach and rest of the Brahmin professors constitute a ‘minority’ along with some white faculty.” The forum demanded caste survey of the university to assess the social background of the students and the faculties. The Mooknayak tried to contact the authorities from the Ashoka University but could not reach out to them.