Students of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) have taken exception to a half holiday notice issued by the university, for the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and demanded for its immediate withdrawal.
The North Eastern Hill University Students Union (NEHUSU) pointed out that the Constitution conspicuously declares the country to be a “Secular Republic”. It said the event is neither undertaken by the government, nor should it be undertaken by the government, for the government of India must not involve itself in the promotion of any particular religion.
“This declaration of holiday for the occasion is nothing but a direct assault on the secular ethos of public educational institutions like NEHU and the Constitution itself. One must also not forget the decades of hate campaigns, communal violence and politics of bloodshed that has occurred in the name of construction of this temple,” NEHUSU general secretary Banpynbiang Riang said.
The students union said it is committed to resist communalisation of the university campus and will not accept any unconstitutional and communal acts committed by NEHU.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the notification, the NEHUSU also appealed to the office of the Vice-Chancellor to restrain itself from “acting like a comprador to the communal agendas of the central government.”
“If the notice is not withdrawn and university offices are found to be closed on Monday (22.01.24), the student community will have to enforce a university lock-down and not let any offices to function until stringent actions are taken against those responsible for violating the secular ethos of the university,” the union said.
It also said that the students union is not in favour or against any religion or religious beliefs of any kind, but will not tolerate the imposition of any particular religion on the university by the administration.
It may be noted that as per the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, all Central Government offices, Central Institutions and Central Industrial Establishments across the country shall remain closed for half a day till 2:30 pm on that day.