Sunday, March 22, 2015

Delhi University students' union seeks to ban Khalsa College's street play

The SGTB Khalsa College's street play society, Ankur, received a letter from the Delhi University Students’ Union on March 17 saying it had sought a ban on one of the group's most popular plays because it was "anti-Hindu".

The union is dominated by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which is affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The letter from Ashutosh Mathur, the union's joint secretary and ABVP member, called the play a “fake drama on Hindus and Hinduism”. It appealed to the college principal to ban it and take action against the street play society, adding that it would “protest on high-level against it (sic)".

The letter set off a series of consultations among college students across the capital and among college officials about how best to deal with the threat. “Our play Welcome to the Machine is a study of religious intolerance and how forces assert their dominance by means of cultural, institutional and educational structures,” said Guneet Singh, director of the play and president of Ankur. “There are 21 people involved in the play and none of us is scared of these threats.” The society announced on its Facebook page that it would perform the play  "soon".'-union-seeks-to-ban-'fake-drama-on-Hindus-and-Hinduism'

NB - This intimidation by the RSS is a crucial element in their politics - or rather their anti-politics. Politics requires freedom of speech, thought and assembly - the proponents of tyranny (whichever community they claim to 'represent') want to put an end to thinking as such - their is a programme of compulsory unification of thought. This keep happening and must be resisted. Very often both police and the academic authorities take the easy way out, the police by citing the 'threat' of violence, the college or university authorities by citing administrative difficulties. In the same way some fanatics obtained the cancellation of a talk by Tarek Fateh in Jamia Millia (Delhi) recently. Why didn't the responsible people call the fanatics' bluff and insist on holding the meeting anyway? 

This is what we did years ago in DU in 1988; and what the organisers of an art exhibition did in Delhi some months ago, when Hindutva fanatics tried to sabotage it on account of M.F. Husain's paintings being included. Why not challenge the police to do their job, instead of backing out? If moderate people are always to surrender before extremists, our democracy will perish - DS

For an account of a similar event in Delhi University many years ago (where the police tried their best to use threats of intimidation to call off an event) see: