Voice Of The People

University of Delhi refuses to invite JNU’s Umar Khalid

Yogit Rathi, the President of Ramjas College’s Student Union throws light on the controversy the college has been entangled in for the past few days, for the viewers of Jan Ki Baat. Mr Rathi says that the seminar that was to be conducted at Ramjas College on 21st of February, this Tuesday, did not have official permission. The Literary Society of Ramjas College, according to Mr Rathi, did not submit a written, formal application either to the college authorities or to the police officials. This absence of official permission means that the Society was holding the seminar without any authorial backing.

Umar Khalid, one of the accused charged with sedition regarding the JNU event last year, was invited by the college’s Literary Society to speak at their event, Cultures of Protest, a seminar that was to explore representations of dissent in Indian territories. Mr Khalid, accused of being ant-national, hasn’t be proven guilty yet. The event was cancelled soon after ABVP members barged into the College demanding Mr Khalid be uninvited. Soon, the student members were stuck in the riots that broke out between ABVP workers and students from several Leftist groups. The day after 21st, a peaceful protest was held at North Campus to question the ABVP’s methods of coaxing the students and professors into cancelling the talk. A professor and several students were injured by violence perpetrated by the ABVP workers on 22nd evening.

The rising violence in public universities across the nation is evidentiary enough of the gradual saffronization of public spaces and accompanied attempts to silence those resisting this process. Violence, physical especially, must be condemned. Mr Khalid, after all, was to speak on the representation of Bastar, an issue that his PhD thesis is about.


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