Author of the book said that it was not he who had insisted on the book launch being held on the university campus.

Mysuru Uni Registrar denies permission for launch of book on ABVP Dalit students protest Image: Cover of the book
news ABVP Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 20:38

Dalit students and research scholars of Mysuru University protested outside the campus after the Registrar denied permission for the launch of a book critically analysing the ABVP, scheduled to take place on Thursday.

The book written by Harohalli Ravindra is titled “ABVP Bhayotpaadane”, which can be loosely translated as “ABVP Terrorism”.

The university’s new Registrar, R Rajanna, who took office less than a week ago, told students that permission for the book launch could not be given because it could give rise to tensions in the campus.  

Dileep Narsaiah, a research scholar in the university and one of the people involved in organising the book launch, alleged that the university administration must have succumbed to political pressure. “Why would he then not give permission for an event a day before it was scheduled to take place?”

He added, “The previous registrar Basavaraju, who was suspended recently, told us earlier this month that the event can take place.” However, this could not be independently verified. 

Dileep said that based on oral permission from the previous Registrar, all the arrangements had been made, and the Chief Minister’s media advisor Dinesh Amin Mattu and writer Banjagere Jayaprakash were to release the book.” 

However, Rajanna told The News Minute that, according to the syndicate rules formed by the university, no programme that has the potential to give rise to any kind of tension can be allowed on the university campus.

“The moment you see a title like ‘ABVP Bhayotpaadane’, you know there will be repercussions. Members of right-wing groups who have opposed Ravindra’s previous books, will obviously question me,” he said.

In 2014, however, Ravindra’s previous book, “Hindutva Olagade Bhayotpadane” was released in the university. On why permission was denied for this book, when the last was allowed to be launched, Rajanna said, “I have taken office as Registrar less than a week ago. I was told the Vice Chancellor gave the permission for the book release in 2014. I don’t know how. But one must remember situations are very different, then and now. The issue is sensitive and we don’t want to invite trouble.”

Author of the book, Ravindra, said that it was not he who had insisted on the book launch being held on the university campus.

“I was okay with any place. It was the students who said they would arrange for the programme in the campus,” he said.

On his focus on Hindutva and Hinduism, Ravindra said, “I started writing books on Hindutva and Hinduism after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. In this particular book, ‘ABVP Bhayotpadane’, I have traced various events across the country, in which there have been clashes between student groups because of the ABVP. When you think of what happened in JNU, Hyderabad University, IIT Madras in the last one year, we realise that there is a whole new level of threat that has engulfed academic institutions.”

Ravindra has had cases booked against him by right-wing activists, over his previous books – “Hindugalallada Hindugalu” (“They call themselves Hindus even when they are not”) and “Hindutva Olagade Bhayotpadane” (loosely, “Terrorism within Hindutva”).

Ravindra says that these cases were filed because people were judging his book based on the title.

“Bhayotpaadane, has many other meanings in Kannada. It does not have to mean that I am accusing the ABVP of bombing people.”

Shivakumar S, Mysuru district Secretary of the ABVP said,” We have had issues with Ravindra before. But, with regard to this book, we want to read it once and then decide on what to do.”

 

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