In yet another instance of smothering the agents of discourse and discussion, the Delhi School Of Economics (DSE) postponed an event on the campus on grounds of ‘lack of space’.
The event, titled ‘DU Conversations Celebrate 70 Years of Indian Democracy’, was scheduled to be held on Thursday. It was being organised by ‘DU Conversations’, a group comprising students and teachers from different departments of Delhi University.
However, Pami Dua, the DSE director issued a notice stating that the event had to be ‘postponed due to lack of space’.
The organisers on the other hand, allege that the event was postponed even after obtaining prior permission.
The program was to have included songs of the freedom movement by a member of the Ambedkar Univerity, Delhi faculty, a performance of Dastan-e Amir Hamza by DU history students and music by a workers band. In between, say the organisers, there were to have been two 15 minutes slots for open conversation about DU concerns, “including discrimination”.
Further, efforts of the students to approach the proctor of the university, hoping for an alternative venue, were squashed by the DU Chief Security Officer (CSO).
Denying rumours that students were invited to speak on the Ramjas issue at the event, organiser Rajat Sonkar said, “We did not invite anybody to speak on the Ramjas issue and, unlike some reports doing the rounds, we do not have any political affiliations” as told to The Hindu.
The students further said that they were persistently questioned by the police and charged with “baseless allegations”
On February 22, violent clashes had broken out between the ABVP – the student wing of the RSS – and students who were protesting the cancellation of a seminar where JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were expected to speak. Since then, several events on campus aimed at discussing the political clashes in Ramjas college have been cancelled.
This has created an atmosphere of a bleak University space where voices and reason can’t sustain itself under the authority of the administration. The question remains, how long will this culture of muffling opinions under the garb of administrative judiciary, persist?
Feature Image Credits- The Wire
Ankita Dhar Karmakar