New Delhi: A Ram temple was reportedly created within a stone structure in the University of Hyderabad campus on Ram Navami (April 10), and led to concerns amongst students.
According to The News Minute, the structure was allegedly set up by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS. At a formation of rocks within the campus, portraits of Ram and Hanuman were installed along with saffron flags, and rituals were reportedly performed.
Other students groups saw this as a further attempt to saffronise the campus and focus on Hindu religious practices and beliefs.
Gopi Swamy, the students’ union general secretary and Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) convenor, told The News Minute that right-wing groups, particularly the ABVP, had made multiple such attempts in the recent past. “In this specific incident, following Rama Navami celebrations, they have turned a stone structure into a Ram Mandir. They are influencing the newly admitted students with their communal bigotry,” he was quoted as saying.
The News Minute asked the administration if permission had been granted for a religious structure to be created on campus. Professor Kanchan Malik, the university spokesperson, said, “It is learnt that the installation of photographs and other arrangements were done for a temporary purpose on the occasion of Rama Navami. University authorities have asked the concerned students to remove them.”
The ABVP had also organised a pooja on Ram Navami at the Gurubaksh Singh Maidan on campus. According to The News Minute, some students said that university vice-chancellor B.J. Rao also attending this pooja.
The University of Hyderabad is not the only varsity where the ABVP’s actions on Ram Navami have created controversy. In Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, members of the right-wing group allegedly tried to stop non-vegetarian food from being served in a mess on the day. Violence ensued after this, and several students were injured. Left-wing groups on campus have accused the ABVP of disrupting peace on purpose, in its attempts to saffronise the university.
Featured image: ABVP members on the University of Hyderabad campus. Photo: Facebook/ABVP HCU
This article was first published on The Wire.