On February 10, a student of OP Jindal Global University was suspended for a semester by the administration for allegedly inciting hatred against Hindus. The student was one of the leading individuals in an event that sparked controversy on February 7. Organiser reported how an event organised by the Revolutionary Students League called for the demolition of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya; they called the temple a symbol of Bramhanical fascism.
Notably, the event, titled “Ram Mandir: A Farcical Project of Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism,” purported to be a public discussion. Organisers of the event asserted that the January 22nd ceremony, which marked the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla at the grand mandir in Ayodhya, exposed what they described as the inherent violence and anti-people nature of the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist state. They argued that the concept of the Ram Mandir has become synonymous with hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims and Dalits across India, alongside a broader trend of saffronisation within educational institutions.
Students union called Revolutionary Student League at O.P. Jindal University organised an event, “Ram Mandir: A Farcical Project of Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism”. When protested, they posted a video saying, only solution to this Brahmanical Fascism is militant resistance! pic.twitter.com/rW1Pl1DoTz
— Subhi Vishwakarma (@subhi_karma) February 9, 2024
The Revolutionary Students League, previously known as Sangharsh, was the group behind the event. Attendees were encouraged to familiarise themselves with “Fight Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism” by Varavara Rao, a recommended reading provided in the event brochure which is highly controversial if we go by its content.
As per the latest updates, one of the organisers Mukundan Nair, has been suspended by the administration. In the suspension letter accessed by Organiser, it has been mentioned that Nair was found to have engaged in activities violating the Student Code of Conduct, leading to his suspension for the remainder of the Spring 2024 semester.
The letter, issued by the Chief Proctor’s Office (CPO), highlighted that Nair, along with three other students, had put up posters containing derogatory and provocative statements across the Academic Block without seeking permission. Additionally, Nair was involved in making derogatory and provocative remarks during an event advertised in the posters, further aggravating the situation.
Despite receiving a Show-Cause Notice (SCN) and being provided with an opportunity to defend himself, Nair did not appear before the University Student Disciplinary Committee (USDC), thereby waiving his right to a hearing. Consequently, the USDC treated his written response as his defence.
The USDC concluded that Nair’s actions constituted a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and were acts of indiscipline. Considering the severity of the violation, Nair has been suspended for the remainder of the semester and is required to submit undertakings acknowledging the consequences of any further breaches.
The University emphasised its commitment to providing a safe and non-political academic environment while upholding the principles of free speech within reasonable restrictions. Nair’s actions, deemed likely to violate the law of the campus, were addressed by the USDC, which hopes for his reflection and improved conduct in the future. Failure to cooperate with the University may result in further sanctions.
The Committee found that the student’s actions likely violated the law of the land. It noted, “For instance, the derogatory and provocative statements made in the poster, and the event advertised in the poster, may attract legal action against you under Sections 153A, 295A, 298, and 505, read with Section 120B, of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.”
The purported letter added, “Lastly, your deliberate comments to outrage the institution of ‘Ram Mandir and ridicule the ceremony of “Pran Prathishtha may also be charged as the contempt of the Supreme Court of India… By calling for the destruction of all temples, including the Ram Mandir, directly goes against the decision of the Supreme Court of India, and may constitute the offence of contempt of court.”
Notably, the event in question was controversial as its messaging ignited a fierce debate within academic and social circles, with many condemning the inflammatory rhetoric and calls for temple destruction.
If we look at the text it starts as, “The killings of Mohammad Akhlaq, Prof. M M Kalburgi, and Yakub Memon have come to symbolise in many ways the prevailing situation in the country under Modi-led BJP-rule Akhlaq was bludgeoned to death at his Dadri home in September by a lynch mob that was instigated, mobilised and led by a bunch of Sanghi goons after maliciously spreading the rumour of beef-eating.”
It continued, “Prof. Kulbargi was shot dead by unidentified Hindutva-fascist assassins because of his consistent and irrepressible opposition to their designs in Karnataka. Memon was hanged this July in Nagpur jail after his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts in a travesty of justice. For the self-appointed gendarmes of the ‘Hindu Rashtra’, to eat something of one’s choice is anti-national, to voice dissent is anti-national, to be even the brother of a Muslim who is accused of so-called anti-national activities is anti-national- ‘crimes’ that are punishable by death according to the Manuvadi Hindutva-fascists.“
It added, “Particularly since the BJP government came to power, such attacks are taking place almost on a daily basis. Though termed by some as ‘intolerance’, this is part of an all-round attack by the Brahmanical Hindu fascist forces against the people, affecting all spheres of their lives. “
“These attacks are simultaneously ideological, political, social, religious, ethnic, economic, cultural, juridical, and environmental—carried out with violent and non-violent, legal and illegal, constitutional and extra-constitutional means,” reads the article.
This is not the first time that OP Jindal Global University in Haryana has found itself embroiled in controversy; there have been many anti-national and anti-Hindu events organised in past. Most recently, the Haryana Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Professor Sameena Dalwai, alleging harassment of students and privacy violations. The incident revolves around accusations of Dalwai displaying students’ profiles on a dating app within a classroom setting.
Organiser reported in September how Dalwai allegedly accessed a student’s Bumble dating app account during a class session, subsequently projecting it onto a smart TV for all students to see. Video footage and screenshots shared on social media platforms depicted the professor discussing the dating account in detail, purportedly belonging to one of the students. It’s reported that when students declined to reveal their profiles, Dalwai encouraged them to create fake identities, even suggesting the use of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s image.
Additionally, on November 1, the university hosted a lecture titled ‘The History and Politics of the Palestinian Present’ by Professor Achin Vanaik, a retired professor of International Relations and former Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi. However, controversy arose as video clips from the lecture surfaced, revealing alleged antisemitic and anti-Hindu remarks made by Vanaik. Criticisms were also directed at Vanaik for criticising the Modi government’s stance on the conflict in Palestine.