Lucknow— Tension gripped Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar University in Lucknow when a group of students belonging to right-wing performed a puja at a Shiv Temple located within the premises on the occasion of Navratri.
Students Union have taken exception to the Hawan being performed in the campus, which they say is against the tenets of a central university. The AUDSU and the BAPSA have registered their protest with the administration.
The Mooknayak spoke to Gaurav Verma, a student of the LLB, associated with BAPSA, he said “A Student organization named ABVP perfomed hawan at a shiv temple furtively built by a teacher in 2014. They were doing it with a massive assembly of people, which is wrong. The administration should not promote one religion and neglect others. So, there should be a mosque for the Muslim students, church for the Christian students and so on. No action is taken against the students who do such things and therefore the violating students are brazen in their act. The University administration, the proctor, the Vice-Chancellor are influenced by the RSS ideology and are promoting its ideology". He said that in future if the administration does not take steps to stop the students, then we, ourselves will takes steps to prevent the students from indulging in worship constitutionally.
Ashwini Kumar, a student enrolled in MA Sociology says for the first time there was Havan performed in the campus by ABVP, which is worrying and when we conveyed this to the administration, we got no response, our demand is that the campus should be used for research, educational discourse and fulfilling the vision of the university and we have demanded that the temple should be taken out of the campus in a dignified manner.
Dheraj Kanaujia, a student associated with Ambedkar University Dalit Students Union told The Mooknayak, “The University has been constituted by a special act, which prohibits religious rituals inside university, besides the proctorial board rule also do not allow such gatherings. People of every religion and different castes study here, if everyone would indulge in organizing their religious programmes then the academic environment of the university can be effected."
He also alleged that the administration backs such events organized by the RSS-affiliated students outfit as 95% of the teachers have leaning towards the RSS. We respect every religion but if the administration does not fails to control such activities, there will be lot of resentment amongst the students, which will not be good for the University and its students. The Mooknayak tried to reach out to representatives of ABVP and the administration but could not succeed in getting their response.
It is to be remembered that this is not the first time that a religious gathering has happened in the campus, On March 30, On the occasion of Ram Navmi a massive celebration took place in the campus as ABVP carried out a procession throughout the campus. This was opposed by the Dalit students in the campus, who said that the university was not a place for religious events. Many students were injured in the clashes which followed.
The Dalit students alleged that the ABVP students beat up the students by the outsiders, from their community by the outsiders who came inside the campus at the behest of ABVP; while ABVP also claimed that their members were beaten by the Dalit students. No action was taken against ABVP for the event.