Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Indraprastha Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Vidya Bharati, Arya Samaj, Sanatan Dharam Patinidhi Sabha and some other social and religious organisations of Delhi staged a massive demonstration at the Delhi University campus against the derogatory remarks made in the history book prescribed for B.A. (Hons.) IInd year students of the University, on January 29. The demonstrators gathered near the statue of Swami Vivekanand in the campus and marched towards the Vice Chancellor'soffice. Shouting slogans against the VC and the university authorities they burnt the effigy of the VC.
Later, senior ABVP leader Shri Atul Kothari, convenor of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti Shri Dina Nath Batra, joint general secretary of the VHP Delhi, Shri Satyendra Mohan, ABVP Delhi'sVikash Dahiya and other leaders handed over a memorandum to the DU authorities. The memorandum said the author A.K. Ramanujam has exploited intellectual freedom to denigrate the great epic Ramayana and to cause serious doubts about the existence of Shri Ram. ?One can understand reading of the text as a part of any research programme, but to prescribe these readings as compulsory text is totally unpardonable and unacceptable. The Central Government has advised Taslima Nasrin to apologise for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. But this central University is openly sprouting venom against Hindus in its textbooks. This must be corrected lest there is deep trouble in the University,? the memorandum warned.
The DU authorities assured the demonstrators that the text of the book would be reviewed. Proctor of the University Shri Gurcharan Singh said a committee would be constituted within one week and would be notified so that people can register their objections.
Meanwhile, Shri Dina Nath Batra through his counsel Shri Rajesh Gogna, also served a legal notice to the VC of the Delhi University Shri Deepak Pental on January 28 and demanded him to tender an unconditional written apology to the millions of Hindus all over the world for having outraged their religious feelings by insulting their religion. He also demanded to immediately withdraw the book?Readings for Concurrent Curse, Culture in Ancient India?containing the chapter titled ?Three hundred Ramayanas? written by A.K. Ramanujan from the course curriculum of B.A. (Hons.) II year. According to the notice, if the VC fails to comply with the demand within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, legal action would be taken against both the Vice Chancellor and Dr Upinder Singh, Head of Department of History, under the provisions of Section 153A and Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code without any further notice to them in this regard.
It is to be noted that Shri Batra and many other social and religious activists have already sent their representations to the VC with the request to immediately withdraw the book and the chapter ?Three hundred Ramayanas? and also to tender an unconditional apology to the people of India and to the millions of Hindus all over the world, but despite the receipt of representations, the VC has not taken any step to withdraw the book and the offending article from the course curriculum. ?This act of the VC and Head of the Department clearly establish that both of them do not regret their act of outraging the religious feelings of Hindus and support this act of blasphemy,? Shri Batra added.
Instead of accepting the mistake or removing the objectionable passages from the book, the Vice Chancellor, Shri Pental while responding to a representation from Dr K.C. Gupta, convenor of the Gyan Parishad, said ?it is aimed at inculcating analytical skill in readers so as to enable them to deal with divergent vies on an issue and obviously this cannot be construed as mischievous or slanderous.? He further added: ?The reading is part of a course that has been designed to create an awareness and understanding of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of ancient India. The aim is to teach students to be able to analyse the readings academically, analytically and without embarrassment or denigration. There is no question whatsoever of intending or attempting to denigrate or hurt the sentiments of any religion, tradition or community.?
Meanwhile a symposium was held in Delhi University on February 6 in which Dr Subramanin Swamy, Shri Dina Nath Batra, Prof. Inder Kapahy, Prof. K.C. Gupta, Shri Sonkar Shastri, Shri Dharmpal Arya and some other senior scholars participated. The seminar decided to launch a signature campaign from February 7 against this denigration of Hindu Gods.