Talk on Idea of University disrupted by ABVP

A talk on ‘The Idea of University’ organized by the left organization AISA in the Arts Faculty lawn on 27th october witnessed a disruption of the event by the right wing students group ABVP.

In an incident of attack on the left progressive groups, a talk on ‘The Idea of University’ organized by the left organization AISA in the Arts Faculty lawn witnessed a disruption of the event by the rightwing students group ABVP. DU News team which was present at the event from the beginning, presents a report on how the events unfolded as the day progressed.

It started at around 11:30 A.M, when the organizers were putting up posters and banners of the event. Couple of security personnel of the administration came and tried to stop them from putting up posters asking them to show a permit of organizing the event, which in itself sounds ironical because the students were organizing the talk and as far as it goes,university spaces belong to students. The authorities demanded a certain amount of bribe was for organizing the event in the faculty, alleges Aman Nawaz, a member of DU AISA.

The students continued to put up their respective banners and posters. After a short while, the security supervisor of Delhi University,Mr. Gajendra Singh arrived at the scene and started tearing up the posters. He also tried to manhandle the students who were trying to protect their hard-worked banners and posters. Nonetheless, after a brief heated argument, a written application was given to the Delhi Police who granted the permission to organize the event but without using any mic. Also, a large number of police personnel were deployed to see the smooth functioning of the event.

So, the event started and around 200 students gathered to listen to various speakers who talked about what a university is, how it is changing and what needs to be done to prevent the university spaces from fascist attacks. In between, a totally irrelevant outcry of ‘Bharat Mata kiJai’ could be heard from the ABVP associated people present on the sidelines of the lawn.

After around two hours of the event, a group of ABVPstudents (almost 30 of them), along with the DUSU president Amit Tanwar barged into the faculty and started sloganeering parallel to the ‘Idea of University’event. There were large cries of the now in fashion ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and‘Vande Mataram’ and it did not just stop there. They even labeled every student and speaker present in the talk as being a Naxalite and Maoist.

However, even after these repeated attempts of disrupting the talk, it went on, although the speakers had to literally shout to convey their ideas to the students because they were not using any mic and the parallel protest was a bit too loud. After an hour of continuous sloganeering, the ABVP protestors decided to change their tactics and resorted to violence, to disrupt the programme.

“It all started with a few stones and soap bars being pelted toward the gathering after which the DUSU president Amit Tanwar rushed into the lawn where the gathering was taking place and on being confronted, he pushed me to the ground” says AISA DU president Kawalpreet Kaur.

Interestingly, there were around 150 police personnel present at the event and still they couldn’t control a handful of violent miscreants. On the contrary, what they did was that seeing the situation getting out of control, they declared the meeting illegal, which they themselves had sanctioned and asked the students to disperse.

The questions that need to be raised from this incident is precisely the questions that were being addressed in the talk. The idea of university, what is it, what is it supposed to be and what it has become?

By Abhijeet Kumar