AISA Seminar on Ambedkar in Allahabad University

AISA organised a seminar on 5 December to commemorate the 60th death anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar in Allahabad University. However, before the seminar could be held, there were several attempts by the ABVP led union to obstruct the seminar. Despite having the permission to hold it in the Student Union office, the student union President took the keys of the venue from the staff and refused to allow the seminar to be held. Hundreds of students however gathered in protest and after taking out a protest march in the campus, the seminar was finally held in the Nirala auditorium. It is noteworthy that the DSW of the university and other administrative officials incharge of ensuring discipline were seen as bowing down in front of the ABVP.

Mohit Pandey (President, JNUSU) addressed the seminar and asked that even as the BJP leaders were planning to take out a ‘Parivartan Yatra’ and talking of ‘parivartan’ (change), where in this change according to them are Najeebs and Rohiths. What will be the treatment meted out to Rohiths in the change that BJP talks about. Today, the BJP talks about fighting against vandalism, criminalisation and corruption but what happens when their own student wing attacks Najeeb and their appointed VC refuses to take any action. Today, people who decide to bring about a change by carrying forward the ideas of Ambedkar are either brutalised, murdered or declared as anti-nationals by the BJP-RSS brigade. Today, there is need to fight fascists by adopting the slogan of Dr. Ambedkar- “educate, agitate and organise”.

Rama Naga (Former JNUSU General Secretary and AISA leader) said that today we have a government that brands people as anti-nationals for merely asking questions. The criticism of government is being equated with criticism of the state. How would Babasaheb Ambdedkar have responded if he were alive today. Former AISA leader, Ramayan Ram said that by putting a ban on the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle, soon after coming to power, the government had made it clear that there will be an attack on the freedom of expression in campuses which can be seen now in BHU, HCU, FTII, JNU and in today’s programme, which witnessed ABVP attempts to disrupt.

The chief editor of Janmat magazine, Ramji Rai shared that Dr. Ambedkar had said that we are entering an era of contradictions where in political terms we will have one person-one vote but in social life, the rejection of ‘one person-one value’ will continue. He added that the students will have to keep alive the truth today by retaining the courage of calling wrong a wrong, and right a right. Today we need intellectuals who if they see a spot on the sun, can have the courage to point it out and say so. The seminar was moderated by AISA state secretary Sunil Maurya.