In a surprise notice to its student body, Sri Venkateswara College has announced that “all the functions/seminars etc, scheduled in the month of March, shall stand postponed until further notice”, raising questions whether the violence at Ramjas College and the ensuing unrest has prompted this highly unusual move.
How Is Venkateswara Linked to the Ramjas Row?
The move comes close on the heels of a video emerging on social media that shows the current student union president of Sri Venkateswara College Vinayak Sharma, assaulting AISA member and JNU student Aman Sinha on 28 February. Also seen assaulting Sinha is ABVP’s Prashant Mishra. Both Sharma and Mishra have since been suspended by the ABVP.
Speaking to The Quint, Saket Bahuguna, National Media Convenor of the ABVP, clarified the organisation’s stand on the matter.
“The decision to suspend the two members was taken on seeing the prima facie evidence against them. The ABVP does not condone violence, even by its own members, and our prompt action exemplifies that.”
Students Demand Sacking of Assault-accused Union President
A group of students of Venkateswara College have begun a protest, demanding the ouster of Vinayak Sharma as their union president. And those protesting, have not welcomed the college’s move to postpone all scheduled seminars and events in March.
Mohammed Kamran, a third-year undergraduate student at Venkateswara tells The Quint,
“The college administration is clamping down on dissent in campus. There were many professors who wanted to join us in the protest against Sharma, but dared not do so fearing it would irk the college authorities.”
Why No Seminars, Venkateswara?
Since the Ramjas violence, the Delhi School of Economics has banned all student gatherings on campus. At Khalsa College, a street play event was called off in fear of disruption. Is Venkateswara’s decision to not host any seminar or function this month an attempt to steer clear of any potential controversy whatsoever?
Even as the ABVP and those opposing it match each other, march for march, is the university becoming an unfriendly place for talks, discussions and debates?