Dalits observe 'Mahishasura day' in JNU



New Delhi: A group of Dalit students came together at JNU on Monday to honour Mahishasura, the demon killed by Goddess Durga, even as the varsity sent a showcause notice to a student on his role in circulating an "offensive" poster that caused a row on the issue earlier this month.

Members of the All India Backward Students Forum (AIBSF) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had clashed two weeks back over posters that were found "hurtful" by a section of students.

The posters were circulated by students of the AIBSF, based on an article on 'Dalit viewpoint of Durga-Mahishasura'.

The students under the banner of AIBSF said today they were honouring the "martyrdom" of Mahishasura, who belonged to the backward caste and was a "just and a powerful king".

The University, which was conducting an internal inquiry into the incident of the clash, has meanwhile issued a showcause notice to Jitendra Yadav, a PhD student of Center of Indian Languages and president of AIBSF.

The notice said Yadav had been found guilty of releasing an "offensive" poster depicting a deity "in a derogatory manner which created considerable unhappiness and resentment among a section of students" that led to violent incidents.

The notice asks him to explain his act of "serious misconduct and indiscipline" and asks him to submit his reply by October 27.

Yadav said the University was playing into the hands of right wing groups and said the article their poster referred to had not insulted any deity but had asked Dalit and OBC youth to know who their heroes were.

The students also organised a seminar on 'Mahishasur & Macaulay: The Limits of Post-Modernity' on the eve of the birth anniversary of Lord Macaulay, the 19th century British historian and politician who was instrumental in introducing the English language as a medium of education in India.

A new painting of 'Mahishasura' by artist Lal Ratnakar was also displayed on the occasion.

PTI