The Ministry of Human Resource Development had recently issued a direction to nearly 40,000 higher education institutions to tune into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech, to be delivered on 11 September, in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which is the student wing of the Indian National Congress, has specifically condemned these actions taken by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to promote and telecast the speech in every Delhi University college just a day before the DUSU elections are scheduled.
In a press release today, the NSUI Media In-Charge, Neeraj Mishra, said, “Forcing this in Delhi University will be a flagrant violation of the moral code on conduct since the elections for the DUSU are scheduled on September 12, day after PM’s address. ABVP, one of the organisations contesting the DUSU elections is closely linked to the ruling party, the BJP.” (sic). Midrash Mathew, Media Department, NSUI, said, “It is well known that the UGC and the government are linked since the UGC works under the government directives. By telecasting the speech of our Prime Minister in all colleges of DU, it will only help further ABVP’s agenda since the speech is on Swami Vivekananda and it will actively reflect and propagate the ideologies followed by ABVP. This will be a clear violation of the moral code of conduct set by the Lyngdoh Committee, and ABVP will greatly benefit from it. Hence, the speech should not be streamed in Delhi University as it is unfair.”
NSUI issued another press release today in which they requested the Chief Election Officer (CEO) of DUSU to extend the campaigning time and election day by four days, while restricting other candidates to campaign during this time. The presidential candidate of NSUI, Rocky Tuseed, received his ballot number yesterday evening after the High Court directed the CEO. The Officer had prohibited Tuseed from campaigning for two days while the other candidates were actively campaigning. Neeraj Mishra pointed out that since the University is closed over the weekend, and the campaigning officially has to stop at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Tuseed will get no time to campaign.
The CEO rejected the request put forth by the NSUI by stating that the office was constrained by the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines which directed the University to conduct the elections within 56 days. On this matter, Midrash Mathew said, “A bigger mandate of the Lyngdoh Committee is to conduct free and fair elections. If the elections are not postponed, our presidential candidate will get no time to go to students and make them aware about his views and campaign. Because of the accusations put on us, we were left in the dark when the ballot number was taken away. However, the High Court’s decision came in our favour. Hence the CEO should take our request into account.”
DU Beat reached out to multiple official representatives of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), but none were available for comment.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express