The School of Journalism and Mass Communication of Devi Ahilya University Madhya Pradesh had suspended as many as 263 students for a week for not attending a Surya Namaskar event.
Writing for The Quint and Congress mouthpiece National Herald, journalist Kashif Kakvi said that the head of the Journalism Department, Sonali Nargunde, had confirmed the news. Nargunde was quoted as saying, “The students had been asked to participate in the Surya Namaskar programme organised by the department, but they skipped the event, forcing us to take action against them. All 263 students of the department have been suspended for indiscipline for a week.”
According to the report, Surya Namaskar programmes were held across Madhya Pradesh on 12 January to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Department of Higher Education had reportedly made it mandatory for educational institutes to organise Surya Namaskar events. Students were directed to turn up for the event at 8 am.
Nargunde said that not a single student turned up at the event and a few that turned up did so after the scheduled time.
Madhya Pradesh now has a Congress government after the BJP was defeated in the assembly elections last year. Incidentally, the Congress had opposed Surya Namaskar being made mandatory for students in the past. In 2016, the party had sought revocation of the resolution passed by the BMC making Surya Namaskar compulsory for students of all schools run by the Municipal Corporation.