Day after 'blind leaders' remark, St Stephen's principal says no politics, agenda on campus

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New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) Delhi University's St Stephen's college principal John Varghese Friday said the institution neither encourages politics nor supports any political party or agenda on its campus.

His comments came a day after he posted a condolence message for first year student Satyam Jha, who had died of COVID-19, in which he talked about 'blind leaders' being 'immune' to the suffering and deaths of simple people.

'The claims of belligerent and blind leaders who are immune to the suffering and deaths of simple people also show that we are veering off dangerously to becoming a cruel and insensitive race,' he had said in his message.

He had also said Covid has 'taught us humility and that life matters'.

'The quality of our life matters. Eighteen years or eighty, how we live matters. We must live with dignity. We must live with love. We must live in a manner that enriches not only our life but also adds value to the lives of those we come in touch with. After all, we are a worldwide community, not an isolated specimen within a species,' he had said.

A statement, attributed to the principal, was posted on the college's website on Friday which alleged that a section of the media chose to 'selectively interpret and report the communication of the principal'.

'I am deeply saddened by the divisive, mischievous and irresponsible nature of such media reports. Common sense and propriety demand that every communication be treated in its entirety, paying full attention to the context in which it is made,' the principal said in the statement.

The statement said that the institution does not encourage politics on its campus neither does it recognise any political body - local, national or international among the College community.

'In keeping with the established tradition of college, the pursuit of intellectual knowledge, academic interest and enquiry are permitted and encouraged but the college does not endorse, recognise, support or encourage any political party or agenda on its campus,' Varghese said in the statement.

Jha, the first year student of BA (Honours) History, died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Kota, the Students' Federation of India (SFI) said on Thursday.

He had left Howrah's Bally for Kota in the last week of April for some family work and was attending online classes owing to the pandemic situation Satyam succumbed to the disease on Tuesday after being on a ventilator for eight days. He had also been elected as a member of the new organising committee of SFI St Stephen's formed in April, the SFI had said. PTI SLB TIR TIR

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