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Protest in Delhi University against threats to democratic voices

by University Community, 8 November 2008

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Press Statement

9th November 2008.

A protest march against the ABVP’s fascist assault and vandalism was held by the University Community on the on 7th November, starting from Vivekananda statue, Arts Faculty of Delhi University. A large number of students and teachers from Delhi University were joined by JNU and Jamia students, and a march of more than 600 people traversed all colleges in the North Campus raising slogans.

The march also stopped in front of DUSU office for around five minutes,
raising slogans against ABVP as well as Nupur Sharma, the President and her associates who attacked the seminar on 6th November. The march proceeded to the Vice Chancellor’s office, where a protest meeting was held. Students and teachers in one voice spoke against ABVP’s communal-fascist politics, the inaction of the Delhi Police as well as the administration’s attempt to curb the rights of speech and expression.

A delegation of students and teachers, which also included the representatives of University Community, the organizers of the public
meeting of the 6th November, met the DU administration and demanded
immediate and strict action against the ABVP lumpens who were responsible for full-scale vandalism, physical assault and inciting communal frenzy. The university administration was asked to file an FIR against the culprits, and to constitute a time-bound enquiry into the incident.

The ABVP and its masters, BJP, have however continued to justify their
action. They, including Nupur Sharma have been giving communally charged statements in the media targeting Prof. SAR Geelani in particular and the university community in general. The ABVP has been spreading completely baseless allegations and are hounding the organizers of the public meeting and the members of the group, University Community. Yesterday the ABVP tried filed a false case alleging that four members of the group tried to attack the DUSU office. The white lie however was for all to see, the march was conducted peacefully and no such incident as alleged by the ABVP has ever occurred. The members of media were present, and a large contingent Delhi Police personnel was deployed which accompanied the whole course of the protest march, and they would have reported about it had such incident occurred. A number senior teachers of the university also were present, who marched along with the students. It is to be noted that even before the march reached in front of the DUSU office, the gates of the office were closed. After their fascist politics getting successfully repelled and thoroughly exposed, the ABVP and its masters in RSS and BJP are now resorting to spreading rumours and baseless allegations in order to save their face. We condemn such fascist tactics of the ABVP and the sangh-parivar to intimidate and repress the democratic voices of the campus.

The University Community takes strong objection to the false and dangerous propaganda from a person holding a responsible office like the President of the student union the largest Central University of the country. Moreover, by calling a teacher of the university a terrorist, ABVP and Ms Nupur Sharma has insulted the entire student of the university. We demand an unconditional apology from Ms Nupur Sharma for her objectionable remark. By planning and organising the attack under her leadership personally (she personally led the vulgar attack on the spot) she made an aborted attempt to disrupt a meeting which was duly publicised and held at a venue with the permission of the University Authorities. ABVP is also challenging all the democratic structures of the university. In fact, this very act goes a long way to prove the concerns expressed by the organizers about the "increasing onslaught of the right-wing Hindu communal-fascist forces" in our country.

This act and the brazen manner in which the DUSU President has carried this act shows us that the threat looms much larger than we can envisage. It is not only states like Gujarat or Orissa that are witness to this onslaught,
even institutions of higher learning in the national capital are not free
from the clutches of Hindu communal fascist goons.

Ms Nupur Sharma has also gone on record saying that she herself would have spat on SAR Geelani. This also shows that the DUSU President has no respect for the law or the judicial system of the country, let alone codes of
civilized conduct in public places. We should all think whether such a person has any right to hold a responsible office. It is the typical duplicity of politics of the Hindutva brigade to take recourse to the law when it is convenient for their divisive politics and to break it to run their writ as they are against all forms of democratic functioning or accountability.

It is also interesting to see the ABVP student who resorted to a heinous act
of spitting on respected Geelani is trying play another drama in sections of
media that like Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, another ABVP goon, arrested in connection with the Malegaon blasts, that he doesn’t belong to ABVP. Another false claim made by ABVP, which appeared in sections of newspapers is that the seminar was organized by outsiders. The University Community comprises a group of students and teachers of Delhi University who thought it is high time that we started discussing some of the burning issues that are threatening to incinerate the secular and democratic fabric of our society. It is only natural that some people who are interested in the topic would have decided to attend the seminar as is the tradition in all universities whether it is DU, JNU or Jamia Millia Islamia. Since DU has no policy to hold all the events inside closed doors, it is surprising that the DUSU President takes objection to the presence of some "outsiders". Perhaps for the likes of Nupur Sharma and ABVP and to the politics of communal fascism which she owes her affiliation, anyone who talks for the oppressed or incarcerated or anyone who dares to raise the voice against a highly patriarchal, oppressive, casteist, and communal Hindutva brigade is an "outsider".

University Community

Contact Persons: Arjumand Ara, Natasha, Tripta Wahi, Shikha, Umar Khalid
Harsh Bora, 9811855618, universitycommunity AT