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
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.