Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) on Thursday cancelled a scheduled panel discussion on ‘Why the Northeast (is) Protesting’ against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The college under Delhi University had to cancel the discussion after it reportedly came under pressure from the ABVP, the student wing of RSS.
North East Cell, the organiser of the discussion, in a statement said, “In an emergency meeting held (with some student representatives from the Cell) mere hours before the event, the administration and the principal informed us that the event is cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances.”
“We were told that they received information about the possibility of violence on campus if the event was to take place. We were also told that there was no balance in our panel and all our speakers had the ‘same bent of mind’.”
“We insisted that this was not a politically motivated event and that it was conducted because there exists a complete lack of awareness about the North East protests in (the) college.
“This discussion was the need of the hour which garnered immense support and we were expecting a large crowd of students (from) all over the (Delhi University) campus.”
Before the Cell members were called by principal Simrit Kaur, the student’s union wrote a letter to her seeking cancellation of the event, The Wire reported.
“This seminar is based on one-sided ideologies on the CAA Act which may indulge (in) violence and misleading information among the students.
“Furthermore, the government has already circulated to educational institutions regarding spreading awareness about the facts and right information about CAA.
“Being a responsible institution, SRCC must not accept this seminar which is against the norms of social welfare. So the students’ union considering the interests of the majority, request you to cancel the permission to host the seminar,” The Wire quoted the letter.
The letter, which was forwarded to students by union members on WhatsApp, also gave a veiled warning to the principal: “If this request of ours is subject to cancellation (not taken into cognisance), we request you to grant permission to our seminar which will include the same kind of one sided ideologies.”
The NE Cell statement said, “We are appalled by the message circulated by the students’ union that claims that our event would ‘indulge (in) violence and spread misleading information among the students.’”
The speakers called to the discussion included Pradyot Manikya Barman, the erstwhile maharaja of Tripura; Amrapali Basumatary from the department of English at Kirori Mal College, writer and independent researcher Leki Thungon, research scholar, trade unionist and activist from Assam Nayan Jyoti and senior journalist Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty.