Campuses under siege – Saffronising education, suppressing dissent

A number of top universities in country are witnessing an increase in communalisation of campuses, loss of autonomy among teachers, students, panels, and recently, a distortion of and demand to change history. | Image - Prathap Ravishankar

On the evening of October 9, about 150 students of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV) in Maharashtra's Wardha held a sit-in discussion on the abrogation of Article 370's provision of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They gathered at the open-air amphitheatre located within the campus after being denied permission to hold a protest march two days before.

After the discussion, the students decided to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about mob lynching and sedition charges against 49 eminent personalities, among other issues.

Soon after, the vice-chancellor of the university, Rajneesh Kumar Shukla, expelled five students and, oddly, one alumnus on the grounds of violation of model code of conduct (as Maharashtra elections were scheduled on October 21) and interfering in administrative process by not seeking prior permission to hold the discussion. He uploaded the suspension notice on the college website.

The whole discussion, students say, was recorded by the college’s official videographer at the behest of right-wing groups until it ended around 8.30 pm.

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