Home Campus Ashoka University Tackles Anti Brahmin Sloganeering On Campus

Ashoka University Tackles Anti Brahmin Sloganeering On Campus

Ashoka University says that it condemns hatred against any individual or group. This move is an after effect of some videos which surfaced on social media, wherein some students were allegedly indulged in shouting slogans such as “Brahmin-Baniyawaad Murdabad”.

What’s The Whole Story?

Ashoka University, a private research university located in Haryana’s Sonipat, India, on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, stated that it attaches great value to freedom of expression, but deplores expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group and plans to take necessary measures to ensure peace and harmony in the campus.

This is a repercussion of certain videos which surfaced in social media and were part of a student demonstration, wherein some students were seen sloganeering stuff like Brahmin-Baniyawaad Murdabad” and “We need a caste census”. 

Ashoka University attaches great value to freedom of expression and vigorous debate, but it also attaches great importance to mutual respect. The university deplores expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group.

Ashoka University’s guidelines on protecting freedom of expression have clearly laid down that such freedom of expression is not unlimited and enjoins respect for the rights and sensibilities of others. This is essential to preserving the spirit of community at Ashoka,” said Ashoka University on Twitter. 

Mohandas Pai, chief financial officer (CFO) of Infosys, has also reacted to the videos and took to social media. “This is very shocking, if true. Why is there so much caste hatred in @AshokaUniv? Will @sbikh Pl take action to stop such hatred, if true?” he said. 

He also tagged the Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, asking the government to look into why such hatred prevails. “How can universities keep quiet?” he asked.

What Is The Take Of The SJF?

According to The Indian Express, a push by Social Justice Forum, an independent student body that advocates the rights of those from ethnic and religious minority backgrounds, for a caste census and reservation in the university, the latter has agreed to set up an ‘equal opportunity’ cell. However, protests still continue.

The NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework) data provided on Ashoka University’s official website depicts a severe underrepresentation across SC-ST-OBC students as opposed to their proportion in the national population. However, the university has been advertising itself as diverse and inclusive from its inception, ” said the SJF in a statement, concerning the sloganeering on campus.

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Adding on, it also said, “Recently, there have been attempts by right-wing social media handles to distort and divert the motivation of the protest by picking up certain slogans and painting them as vindictive towards an individual community…

The most misread slog: “brahminvaad Muradabaad”- “End to Brahmimism”, in reality, is a cry to dismantle the systemic impulses that enable the discriminatory caste system prevalent in India.

There is no hatred in this call, it criticises the ideology that sustains casteist foundations and practices. This bias extends beyond Brahmins and can be located across the practices of the castes and classes.” 

Moreover, the SJF urged the university to dispense with the bias it bears towards certain communities and take measures to follow through on the holistic, fair and just admissions process they promise. “We demand that Ashoka with urgency apply reservation targets within its admission process, alongside our aforementioned demands for an annual caste census, an annual Ambedkar memorial lecture and reforms to the late fee payment system,” it said.

Is This The First Time Such An Incident Has Taken Place?

Hate speeches are not something Indian universities have overcome to date. There have been various instances where derogatory comments have been passed against individuals and groups.

For example, in November 2022, a teacher at the Manipal Institute of Technology, in Karnataka, asked a student his name and on hearing a Muslim name, blurted, Oh, you are like Kasab!” Ajmal Kasab was the lone Pakistani terrorist who was captured alive after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and was executed in 2012. 

26/11 was not funny. Being a Muslim in this country and facing all this every day is not funny, sir. You can’t joke about my religion, that too in such a derogatory manner. It’s not funny sir, it’s not,” the student said, immediately confronting the professor.

Various such instances have surfaced in social media and drawn flak. Freedom of speech and expression is a right entitled to each and every citizen of India, under Article 19(1). However, there are also limitations to these rights, in the very next section, that is, Article 19(2). One must be aware of both.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Mint

Find the blogger: Unusha Ahmad

This post is tagged under: Ashoka University, SJF, students union, CFO, Brahmin 

Disclaimer: We do not have any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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