Alumni call on MSU Baroda to reinstate hardy student, not give in to right-wing pressure

New Delhi: Alumni of the prestigious Faculty of Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) in Baroda have written to the Vice Chancellor demanding “immediate action” against the mob that attacked students and teaching staff on May 5 at the inside the campus during the exam process. was on. They also called for an investigation by an independent body including elected representatives from the student body, faculty, and inside alumni.

Shortly after the May 5 attack by a mob believed to have been led by a certain Hashmukh Vaghela, a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and former AVBP member of its student wing, and accompanied by a Hindu leader Jagran Manch, the university had formed a nine-member group. team responsible for investigating the matter.

Asking how the local BJP leader could manage to lead a violent procession on campus “with impunity” at a time when an exam was in progress, the former students’ letter to the VC also demanded security on campus.

Calling the incident “very disconcerting” and a “grave cause for concern” for the “violent disruption of the review process”; “vandalism of public property and a work of art by a student”; “physical and verbal threats against faculty gazette officers, students and other teaching staff” besides assaulting a faculty student, they also sought to know in what context and “with what real agenda” were the images of the student’s works circulated. Since the student was not part of the outgoing batch, the images in question were part of a confidential review process conducted on May 1, five days before they were to be publicly displayed on May 6. Even though teachers and students repeatedly stated that they were not intended for public display as they were not accepted as part of the submission and therefore immediately removed from display, how did a crowd could she reach the campus despite this.

According to reports, Vaghela had attained the ability to submit a memorandum against “objectionable” artwork that “he had knowledge of”. Objecting to the artwork, he had said, “Students have become accustomed to exhibiting their anti-Hindu mindset.”

The former students’ letter to the VC, part of a statement released to the press, said: “This type of attack should be alarming to all of us who are concerned about the cultural fabric and democratic ethos of our country; for art students, residents and citizens of this country as a whole. »

The alumni statement emphasized, “This educational institution where we all studied has been a space to learn valuable lessons about our social responsibility as artists and citizens. It is a place where students are not only allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, but also a place where students learn to think deeply, critically and from multiple perspectives about the role of images in our society. It is here that we learn how we, creators of images, can exercise our role with sensitivity and responsibility. Citing these grounds, the former students declared their solidarity with the student who was rusticated by the union of which Vaghela is a member because of the artwork and demanded that the decision be revoked. The union is the university’s highest decision-making body.

The statement read: “The right to education is enshrined in our constitution as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We believe that student Kundan Yadav’s right to education has been violated by the decision taken by a union of which people like Hasmukh Vaghela and their supporters are still members, despite violating the union’s code of conduct. university and the law in broad daylight.

According to the mediaVaghela in 2007 protested a postgraduate student’s art installations depicting Jesus Christ and Goddess Durga during an annual assessment exam.

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