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Outrage erupts over 'destroy Ram Mandir' calls and anti-Hindu rhetoric at OP Jindal Global University event

On February 7, at an event titled 'Ram Mandir: A Farcical Project of Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism', attendees were reportedly subjected to anti-Hindu rhetoric, contentious readings, and disturbing calls for the destruction of temples.

Outrage erupts over 'destroy Ram Mandir' calls and anti-Hindu rhetoric at OP Jindal Global University event snt
First Published Feb 8, 2024, 5:49 PM IST

OP Jindal Global University (JGU) in Haryana has once again found itself at the center of controversy, this time due to an event organized by the Revolutionary Students League that sparked outrage for its inflammatory rhetoric and calls for the destruction of temples. On February 7, at an event titled 'Ram Mandir: A Farcical Project of Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism', attendees were reportedly subjected to anti-Hindu rhetoric, contentious readings, and disturbing calls for the destruction of temples.

Also read: 'Jai Shri Ram bolne main kya dikkat hai... 1000 baar bolo': Shami's pitch takes social media by storm (WATCH)

At the event, purported to be a public discourse, organizers contended that the January 22 ceremony, commemorating the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Lalla at the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, exposed what they labeled as the inherent violence and anti-people ethos of the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist state. They reportedly argued that the Ram Mandir concept had become synonymous with hate crimes against Muslims and Dalits nationwide, coupled with a broader trend of saffronization within educational institutions.

Organized by the Revolutionary Students League, formerly known as Sangharsh, the event reportedly featured "Fight Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism" by Varavara Rao as a recommended reading. The content of the book is highly controversial and has sparked intense debate within academic and social circles.

Attendees were said to be urged to familiarize themselves with the text, setting the stage for a contentious discussion. The event's purported messaging, including calls for temple destruction, has ignited widespread condemnation and raised concerns about inflammatory rhetoric. As reactions pour in, the university administration finds itself under increasing pressure to address the fallout from this controversial gathering and its implications for campus discourse and harmony.

Content of 'Fight Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism' revealed

The text of the content, as quoted in an article by Organiser reads, "The killings of Mohammad Akhlaq, Prof. M M Kalburgi, and Yakub Memon have come to symbolise in many ways the prevailing situation in the country under Modi-led BJP-rule Akhlaq was bludgeoned to death at his Dadri home in September by a lynch mob that was instigated, mobilised and led by a bunch of Sanghi goons after maliciously spreading the rumour of beef-eating."

“Prof. Kulbargi was shot dead by unidentified Hindutva-fascist assassins because of his consistent and irrepressible opposition to their designs in Karnataka. Memon was hanged this July in Nagpur jail after his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts in a travesty of justice. For the self-appointed gendarmes of the ‘Hindu Rashtra’, to eat something of one’s choice is anti-national, to voice dissent is anti-national, to be even the brother of a Muslim who is accused of so-called anti-national activities is anti-national- ‘crimes’ that are punishable by death according to the Manuvadi Hindutva-fascists," it continued.

“Whether the execution is carried out judicially by the state or by any of the numerous murderous gangs raised by the hydra-headed RSS, it makes little difference to the person at the receiving end.  These killings (and those of Govind Phansade and Narendra Dabholkar earlier) are but a few of the more talked-about incidents in what has become a continuous barrage of attacks carried out in many forms by the Hindutva-fascists across the country," the article further stated.

It added, "“Particularly since the BJP government came to power, such attacks are taking place almost on a daily basis. Though termed by some as ‘intolerance’, this is part of an all-round attack by the Brahmanical Hindu fascist forces against the people, affecting all spheres of their lives."

“These attacks are simultaneously ideological, political, social, religious, ethnic, economic, cultural, juridical, and environmental—carried out with violent and non-violent, legal and illegal, constitutional and extra-constitutional means,” reads the article.

According to the author, Hindutva forces target all forms of dissent and non-submissiveness, especially revolutionary, democratic, secular, and patriotic organizations and individuals. Additionally, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Adivasis, women, people of other oppressed genders, oppressed nationalities, and even segments of the parliamentary opposition are among those targeted by Hindutva forces.

Also read: No wings, no legs! KFC welcome to operate near Ayodhya Ram temple if it takes chicken off menu

Past instances

This incident is not an isolated one in the history of OP Jindal Global University. Past events and controversies, ranging from allegations of harassment by professors to accusations of antisemitism and anti-Hindu sentiments, paint a picture of an institution embroiled in ideological strife.

One such event involved Professor Sameena Dalwai, who faced allegations of privacy violations. It was reported that she displayed students' profiles from a dating app on a classroom Smart TV, prompting an FIR from the Haryana Police.

In another instance, Professor Achin Vanaik's lecture on ‘The History and Politics of the Palestinian Present’ sparked criticism for alleged antisemitic and anti-Hindu remarks. This added to the university's reputation for hosting contentious events.

On February 8, 2023, JGU screened the banned BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question,” drawing ire for its perceived bias against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2021, Associate Professor Shruti Pandey's comments during an online lecture stirred controversy. She asserted that every Hindu practices untouchability and praised Islam for its acceptance of widow remarriage, igniting debates on religious sensitivities.

Furthermore, Assistant Professor Arijeet Ghosh expressed separatist views regarding Jammu and Kashmir, adding fuel to ideological divisions within the university community.

In February 2020, Left-liberal ideologues at JGU organized a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), displaying derogatory posters.

Amidst national mourning after the Pulwama attacks in February 2019, JGU students held a candlelight vigil, emphasizing the university's engagement with broader socio-political issues.

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