On Afzal Guru anniversary, JNU says no to ABVP’s- Nationalism lecture

Saranya | Thursday, February 9, 2017 3:50 PM IST

On the first anniversary of the ‘sedition’ row which triggered a nation-wide debate, the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has turned down a request by ABVP for a “nationalism lecture” on Thursday saying it may lead to tension on campus.

After a year of controversies following the arrest of student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for sedition on JNU campus, while rejecting the request, the varsity administration said it want to maintain “peace and harmony” on “crucial” days.

The event against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru last year triggered a nationalism debate across the country, with right with groups unleashing attacks on JNU.

“In the interest of peace and harmony on a crucial day, the program may be postponed,” the administration has said in response to the application by ABVP’s Saurabh Sharma, who had raised objections to the Afzal Guru event last year.

The ABVP, however, has vowed to still go ahead with the programme.

While the Left-affiliated groups and Democratic Students Union (DSU) which used to organise events on 9 February in support of Afzal Guru every year, have not come up with any plans for this year. The administration has said no “anti-national” or “nationalism” programme will be allowed to disrupt the functioning and peace of campus.

The Afzal Guru commemoration programme organised last year, sparked an outrage from right-wing groups following shouting of “anti-national” slogans which led to arrest of three students on charges of “sedition”.

“There are certain days which are very crucial and any programme or event which may affect the peace and harmony on campus be it anti-national or nationalism, we don't get into it as smooth academic functioning of the university is a priority for us,” a senior varsity official said.