After coming under fire for cancelling a talk by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on the Ram Mandir issue while allowing one on the Babri Masjid by CPM leader Prakash Karat, the Jawaharlal Nehru University has cancelled both the events. The reason given for cancelling the talks was to maintain communal harmony.
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It was reported earlier that a talk by Swamy at the Koyna Hostel on "Why Ram Mandir in Ayodhya?" had been cancelled. The university had not furnished any reason for cancelling Swamy's event.
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The cancellation stood in stark contrast with the fact that a talk by Karat was scheduled at the same time at Sabarmati Hostel. Karat was going to speak on "Reclaiming the Republic" where he would discuss the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Both events had been organised on the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya.
The Karat talk was organised by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) and also featured Jayati Ghosh and Kavita Krishnan. On the other hand, the Swamy talk was being organised by "interested students" who are not functioning under a particular organisation.
Swamy had said that his lecture on the Ram Mandir issue was cancelled by the authorities because they feared his "powerful" arguments in favour of the temple. In an interview to a TV channel, Swamy had said the university feared him because he could articulate his arguments well and advised the vice-chancellor of the varsity (M Jagadesh Kumar) to "grow some spine".
"I advise the vice-chancellor to grow some spine... He can let us know (if concerned about security), we will make the arrangements," Swamy said. "(The) problem essentially was that the Left was threatened by my arguments.... the Leftist charge against us of intolerance is most ridiculous, to say Hindus are intolerant is even worse. The entire history is against this, look at the Parsis, look at the Jews, how they were looked after."
JNU Students Union vice-president Simone Zoya Khan told IANS that the union — constituted of members from Left parties — had nothing to do with the cancellation of the programme, which was organised by a few students "associated with the right wing".
Amir Malik, a student at JNU told Firstpost that there is a proper procedure to organise talks in JNU which involves getting approvals from the hostel president, the senior warden of the hostel and the provost. He said that no sensible person would allow a public talk by "someone like Swami" on such a sensitive issue.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2017 13:54:36 IST