The South Zone Arts Fest of Kerala University of Health Sciences which is being conducted at Kollam district, slipped into a controversy after the students chose the Indian Constitution to name venues of the event. Christening of venues as an expression of dissent over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, by various Articles of the Constitution, was however pulled down by students on Sunday after the University demanded them to do so after it became controversial.
According to the organisers of the event, ten venues of the arts fest being held at Government Medical College at Parippally in Kollam, were named as Constitution, Article 14, 19, 21, 25, 26, 29, 32(2), 370, 371(b).
"We named the venues as a token of upholding the Constitution of India. Moreover, all the names were very important in the present context of anti-CAA protests that are going on across the country. But we have now taken it down after receiving strict directions from the University officials," Adarsh M Saji, convenor of the organising committee and district secretary of SFI, told TNM.
According to the organisers, one of the main controversies with the names being given was the presence of abrogated Article 370, which mentions about the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. ABVP, students wing of BJP, had conducted a protest march against this near the venue of the arts fest on Sunday morning.
"The article is abrogated, but it's still there in the Constitution, it hasn't been removed. So we don't understand what their problem is," says Adarsh.
Meanwhile, the official communication sent by the University officials to the organisers of the event cites that there are 'serious allegations that names given to the venue are challenging the Indian Constitution.' The University officials also threatened the students that it will dishonour the event if names are not changed. "Hence you are directed to change or remove names immediately, otherwise university will initiate actions to dishonour the whole event," reads the official email sent by the Dean (Students Affairs) of the University.
The Arts Fest which began on Friday will end on Monday.
Though the students complied with the orders of the University for the smooth functioning of the event, as a protest against it, they covered the names of the venues with black clothes and havenâ€™t given new names.