Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Delhi School of Economics refuses permission to students to hold panel discussion

NB: It is clear as daylight that the RSS and its student wing are holding India's universities and students to ransom by virtue of blatant intimidation and their proximity to government power. What else does it mean that 'security can't be provided' for anyone with dissenting opinions? Have the Delhi Police and DU administration surrendered their statutory duties to the Sangh Parivar? If so, they should say so openly: 'No one who differs from the RSS world view will be permitted to speak on campus'. May we speak in the lawns and streets gentlemen? Why not throw off the mask and substitute policemen and RSS pracharaks for teachers? 

As for the DSE authorities, all I can say is that your campus has been the fulcrum of free and passionate debate ever since my student days 50 years ago. For you to bend your knees to this shameless hooliganism is both tragic and treacherous. Recent events in Haryana have shown that there are still judges, lawyers and police officers who have performed their professional duties in defiance of this ideological tyranny. Are you afraid for your jobs? Do you want something more precious than the respect of your students? Sooner or later you will discover whatever you obtained from this cabal turning to ashes in your mouths. Shame on you. DS
The Delhi School of Economics has for the second time refused permission to students to hold a panel discussion. On Tuesday, Delhi University’s premier postgraduate centre refused a group of students permission to hold a panel discussion on the topic ‘Indian Constitution - Right to Privacy’.
The reason cited was that the panel was “not on an economics programme”.

DSE had earlier refused the same student group - DU Conversation - from holding a discussion on violence in Ramjas College earlier this year. DU Conversation, a group of independent students and teachers from the university, wanted to hold both programmes at the lecture theatre at DSE as part of celebrations on 70 years of Indian democracy. They wanted to invite some lawyers and petitioners who were part of the Supreme Court’s recent privacy judgement.

The note, signed by the Head of Economics department, Aditya Bhattacharjee, states it is “not an economics programme”, to which the Director, DSE, Pammi Dua adds: “As noted by the head Eco (sic).” Dua did not respond to queries from The Indian Express. Bhattacharjee said, “This has been a consistent policy of the department that the lecture theatre is only given for events related to academics. This was in no way related to it.” But some teachers criticised the move. “Students from across departments should be learning about the recent judgment on privacy. All these topics are related to each other and students should be aware of what is happening, even if it is not directly related to their curriculum,” said a teacher at the centre who did not wish to be named.

A third-year economics student said, “The reasons given are just to difficult for digest. Are universities not supposed to be open spaces to hold dialogue and debate?” On August 23, a programme organised by the group to celebrate 70 years of Indian democracy was cancelled. Students were told that the event must be postponed as they did not have a written communication from the police. Students wanted to shift the venue to the Arts Faculty, but alleged that a security officer of the university told them they could not “promise them security” as another group was holding a “shakti pradarshan” rally in South Campus the same day.
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