A group of right-wing students in the Banaras Hindu University has launched a violent protests against the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sudhir K Jain, for his decision to attend an iftar party, hosted by female students. Violent students burnt the ffigy of Professor Jain and recited Hanuman Chalisa outside his residence.
The iftar party was organised at the university’s Mahila Vidyalaya campus on Wednesday.
In response, the university has defended the VC’s decision to attend the iftar party citing the inclusive tradition of the institution and has said that attempts to disturb peace and harmony would not be acceptable.
A statement by the BHU PRO said that the iftar party was not organised by the VC, who had merely attended the event in his capacity as the head of the institution.
“Established by Bharat Ratna Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya ji, Banaras Hindu University is an inclusive space which is globally renowned for its teaching, research and innovation. Students from all around the world come to BHU and study in an all-inclusive atmosphere in the varsity, where one finds no scope of any form of discrimination on any basis,” the PRO said.
According to the BHU, the university follows ‘Mahamana’s idea of inclusivity and embracing all and his values and principles are in the core of BHU’s functioning as an institution.’ It said, “A number of festivals are organized and celebrated in the university with members of BHU fraternity participating with mutual lover respect and harmony. Vice-Chancellor Prof Sudhir K Jain had attended the iftar organized in Mahila Mahavidyalaya on 27. 04.2022 on the invitation of students and faculty members of MMV.”
भारत रत्न महामना पंडित मदन मोहन मालवीय जी द्वारा स्थापित सर्वविद्या की राजधानी काशी हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय समावेशी संस्थान है। #BHU शिक्षा की गुणवत्ता व शोध तथा अपनी समग्रता के लिए वैश्विक ख्याति प्राप्त है।यहां दुनिया भर के विद्यार्थी आते हैं और निर्भय होकर शिक्षा अर्जित करते हैं। pic.twitter.com/h94vsPEudf
— BHU Official (@bhupro) April 28, 2022
The statement concluded, “Several other senior officials of the university were also present. Iftar could not be organized for the past two years due to Covid19 pandemic. The tradition of organizing iftar in the BHU dates back to more than two decades. These iftars were attended by subsequent Vice-Chancellors over the years in the capacity of head of the BHU fraternity and as per their availability on the campus. Attempts to disturb the peace and academic atmosphere of Banaras Hindu University are unacceptable and condemnable.”
Iftar parties are organised in different hostels, students from all communities take part. No official celebrations are done… This is not the first time any college official has joined the iftar party, PM & CM have also joined this before: Bhuvan Chanda Kapri, Chief Proctor BHU pic.twitter.com/VOsVnFOYTm
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) April 28, 2022
BHU’s Chief Proctor Bhuvan Chanda Kapri also defended the hosting of iftar saying that this has been a tradition in different hostels at the university. He was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “No official celebrations are done… This is not the first time any college official has joined the Iftar party. The Prime Minister and chief minister have also joined the gathering before.”