A section of students of the Presidency University Friday stopped a programme to mark Saturday's birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in the university campus objecting to certain comments made by the speakers and forced them to leave the campus. Organised by some teachers and students of the university, the unofficial programme held in the open air and some speakers were invited from other colleges of the city.
Some of the assembled students raised objections to certain comments made by a speaker on the Jadavpur University, the Jawaharlal Nehru Unversity, Marxism, Maoism and the relevance of Swami Vivekananda among today's youth, one of the invited guests Prof Debashis Chowdhury told PTI.
"While we urged them to listen to the entire speech, these students virtually gheraoed the guests who were also from other colleges," Chowdhury said. He said some teachers and students of Bengali department, who were involved in organising the programme, tried to bring the situation under control and helped the guests leave the spot. Countering Chowdhury's claims, Sayan Chakraborty of Independent Consolidation (IC) union of Presidency said, "Some casteist and communal comments, objectionable views were made by some outsiders in the campus. Presidency students cannot be a mere witness to such comments." He denied that they gheraoed or heckled anyone. "These are false charges. We merely asked them to stop the programme," he said.
Chakraborty said Presidency students were opposed to any effort to play politics in the name of Swami Vivekananda "as Presidency always stands for free thinking and liberal views." Members of the IC and the Students' Federation of India (SFI) later took out a rally to protest the "effort of Hindutva forces and the ruling Trinamool Congress to meddle into affairs of liberal Presidency and stifle the voice of dissent," Chakraborty said. A university spokesman said there was no official intimation from either side about any such programme or incident.
(With inputs from agencies.)