Joint Press Statement against holding of seminar on Ram Janambhoomi in Delhi University
January 5, 2016 : We are shocked by press reports about a two day seminar ‘to mobilize public opinion for the Ram Janambhoomi temple’ which is being organized by Arundhati Vashishtha Anusandhan Peeth in Arts Faculty, Delhi University starting on 9 January. It is very clear that the seminar is not an academic activity, as it is not organised by any department of the university but by an organisation that has a clear design and preconceived ideas about the outcome of such an exercise. This seminar must also be seen in connection with other recent reports from Ayodhya suggesting that truckloads of bricks have arrived there for the building of the temple. By holding this seminar in a premier central university, the RSS-VHP clearly intends to polarise the youth and create a divisive atmosphere.
Universities are supposed to be institutions that bring young people from all backgrounds, including all faiths, together in the common endeavour of the pursuit of knowledge. Universities should be spaces for secular education.
The holding of a seminar on such a nationally divisive issue is a blatant misuse of the University. We may recall the recent controversies around moves to hold programmes in JNU and Allahabad University with Ramdev and Yogi Adityanath as participants. Both moves were successfully resisted by students and the University as a space open to all was defended.
It is shameful that the DU administration has given permission to hold such a programme. The same administration continuously denied university spaces to the democratically elected bodies to organize meetings and programmes. In allowing this divisive and communal programme, the University administration has shown disrespect to the academic environment of the University. The DU administration is bending backwards to please the BJP-led Government.
It is deplorable that the Government is imposing academic dilution on the public funded universities through hurriedly imposed programmes like CBCS and starving them through fund cuts on one hand and on the other
damaging the academic environment in universities by pushing their divisive agenda.
We demand that permission for the conduct of this programme be withdrawn forthwith. We also call upon the university community and citizens to resist the attempts by the RSS-VHP to spread communal disharmony through such programmes.
All India Democratic Students Organisation
All India Students Association
All India Students Federation
Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch
Common Teachers Forum
Democratic Students’ Union
Democratic Teachers’ Front
Janwadi Shikshak Manch
Krantikari Yuva Sangathan
North-East Forum for International Solidarity
Parivartankami Chhatra Sanghtan (PACHHAS)
Students’ Federation of India
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