Puducherry: Even as the students’ protest over Union HRD ministry’s order to probe Islamisation of the campus is yet to die down, Pondicherry University’s chief warden has triggered another row by barring students from pasting posters carrying titles Islamism and Brahminism in the premises of hostel or mess.
A circular issued by S. Sudalai Muthu, Chief Warden of the university, asked students not to paste posters carrying titles like ‘Brahminism’ , ‘Islamism’. Students crticised the administration for issuing the circular stating that the university was interfering in the freedom of expression and was trying to please the ruling Sangh Parivar..
The chief warden’s circular dated February 2 advised students not to paste posters or pamphlets as it will promote casteism and communalism on the campus.
The circular asked students to follow the instruction to promote a secular atmosphere on the campus. However, students alleged that the university was trying to suppress their opinion.
“Certainly, the posters and circulars are not meant to hurt any particular religion or caste, but some propagation is happening inside the university that the students are protesting against Hindu religion. Those people have clear political agenda and it is sad to know that even the university administration is going behind the same false propagation,” said Athira G, a Ph.D scholar of the university.
“Picking up just two words from a pamphlet or poster and making it a big issue is not the right way to do things, the words are used in a wider context with a different meaning not related to any caste or religion,” said Jishnu P, Secretary of Students Federation of India (SFI), Pondicherry University unit.
“The posters will appear as provoking to only the Sangh Parivar forces and the university is certainly trying to please them by issuing a circular,” he added. SFI has issued a pamphlet condemning the allegations of Islamisation and conducted protest inside the university.
Sudalai Muthu denied all allegations and said the circular was issued only to protect the university's peaceful atmosphere. “Some students complained about the posters and found some words used are provoking. I personally felt like it is not right to hurt any religion or caste in any way, so asked students not to repeat it.’’ DC had reported that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had asked the university to look into a complaint of ‘Islamisation inside the university’ during the vice chancellorship of J.A.K. Tareen.
The complaint was forwarded from a Delhi-based organisation Patriots forum and also from the office of the Minister of State for Food Processing Industry Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
The enquiry committee formed by the university denied all allegations calling it as baseless. Students and teachers of the university responded harshly to the allegations and posters came up inside the university criticiaing MHRD for ordering enquiry on baseless allegations and saying that MHRD is following "Brahminical Hindutva agendas." Various student groups organised programs like film screening and demonstration condemning the issue.