Students oppose Ramdev speech on JNU campus

December 28, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 12:34 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

B.Line:Baba Ramdev at Haridwar in Uttarakhand,on 28.11.15,PIC:Kamal Narang  (story by Chitra )    

B.Line:Baba Ramdev at Haridwar in Uttarakhand,on 28.11.15,PIC:Kamal Narang (story by Chitra ) 

A group of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have opposed the varsity’s move to allow an invitation to yoga guru Baba Ramdev for a keynote address at the 22{+n}{+d}International Congress of Vedanta, being co-organised by the institution.

Calling the move, a “silent Right-wing onslaught” on JNU, the students have warned University officials to withdraw their invitation to Mr. Ramdev or face protests.

The convention has been organised by the University’s Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, United States, and the Centre for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. The convention, which began on Sunday, will end on December 30. Mr. Ramdev has been invited for the keynote address on December 30.

“It is very unfortunate that JNU has allowed ‘Baba’ Ramdev to be invited as a keynote speaker in the valedictory ceremony of the Congress of Vedanta. It does not befit the stature of an academic institution like JNU to have persons with such a questionable background to address an academic gathering,” said JNU Student’s Union (JNUSU) vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora.

“The person in question harbours extreme hatred, bias and prejudice against various minorities — religious, gender and sexual minorities, and also against girl-child. While on the one hand, JNU, after repeated intervention of students and teachers, has started taking some progressive steps such as allowing for self-identification of persons belonging to the third-gender, making GSCASH [ Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment] inclusive for persons who bear a different gender or sexual identity, inviting such a person to address a scientific gathering at JNU takes us several steps back,” she added.

According to the students, Mr. Ramdev professes a certain regressive ideology, which JNU cannot be party to. The student group has also said that his presence at the congregation does not make any sense because he is not an academician or professor, and hence the University should withdraw its proposal to invite him or else the students will stage a massive protest.

“His views on Indian science are not academically driven, but deeply ideologically grounded in a regressive and hegemonic understanding of what constitutes the ‘Vedic’ way of life. If anything, his views are anti-scientific,” said another student.

'His presence does not make any sense because he is not an academician or professor'

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