Post the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, University of Hyderabad administration and the students are at loggerheads over holding talks and discussions in the varsity. The students allege that the administration is infringing upon their rights by disrupting talks and discussions, while the administration claims that all public talks can be held after acquiring prior permission from them.
On Thursday, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) had held a public talk by inviting Professor G Haragopal in the open space of Shopping Complex. However, shortly after, the talk was disrupted by the security claiming that the SFI did not have approval from the administration to hold the talk.
“At least 200 students had gathered for the talk, but the Registrar and the Chief Security Officer had foiled the event. They had humiliated an eminent professor, who had taught at the very same university,” Abhishek Nandan, SFI general secretary told TNM.
Abhishek says that since Article 370 was revoked, there has been a “curfew” in the campus, and to challenge it they had planned this public talk.
Recently, on August 13, students from the Social Science forum had planned for a panel discussion ‘Kashmir: 370 and Beyond’ in the university’s humanities auditorium. Citing that the panel discussion did not have authorisation from the vice-chancellor, the discussion was disrupted.
Speaking to TNM, the university spokesperson Vinod Pavarala said, “Since many years, there is a norm that all meetings called in by unofficial students’ groups should be held after acquiring permission from the authorities. We believe in discussions and talks as part of the political discourse. The talks hosted by the departments need not have any permission from the higher authorities, but meetings hosted by students’ organisations ought to have the approval of authorities.”
“The students have now sought approval and we have given them the permission for the talk,” he said. The cancelled talk has been planned on Saturday.
However, Abhishek contends that the high-handedness of the administration, and the mandatory permission for any gathering is against the spirit of “campus democracy”. “Why is that for every event, we have to take permission from the authorities? Students irrespective of which organisation they belong to, should be free to speak wherever and whenever they want. The administration’s intervention is against the spirit of campus democracy,” he said.