The News Minute | March 25, 2015 | 10:45 am IST
Oxford University has cancelled a planned lecture by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on India's economy, reportedly citing "logistical and internal issues."
The Oxford University in London teamed up with the Oxford India Foundation and had invited Swamy and Rajiv Malhotra for a lecture on Indian economy - past, present and future.
The talks were to be held on April 3.
According to reports, Swamy confirmed the cancellation and added that he would be visiting England on a four-day tour later this month.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav questioned the decision saying "Oxford cancelling Dr Swami's lectures on economy is shocking. Where is the so-called liberal value of free speech?"
An online petition against Subramanian Swamy and Rajiv Malhotra had also been started earlier, urging the Oxford India Society (OIS) to cancel the invitation extended to the duo.
The petition had stated that Swamy and Malhotra “ought to be questioned and presented as they are - as bigots with extremist views- rather than exclusively qua professor, historian, or activist, speaking on “reforms”
Swamy dismissed the petition calling it trivia by people who preach freedom of expression for themselves and deny it to others. “I have a right to my views and I will exercise my freedom to share them with my audience,” he had told The News Minute (TNM).
Though it could not be confirmed if Malhotra's lecture was also cancelled, he has said that he is not going for the UK tour.
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Decided not to go to UK tour. Priority is to finish two books this year. Pressure of deadlines, health, time, resources.— Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) March 23, 2015