The Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Students’ Union in a statement strongly condemned the Union government’s order mandating a half-day closure of public institutions on the Ram temple event on 22 January.
“We believe this decision imposed by the RSS-led BJP government, is a blatant attempt to infiltrate and saffronize the public institutions, especially the university spaces. This move is not only a setback to the secular ethos that India cherishes but also poses a significant threat to the democratic and secular principles upheld within the Indian constitution. It shows how a majoritarian state backed by the RSS, aiming to make India a Hindu Rashtra, is deepening its roots and taking control over the educational institutions, imposing religious observances upon them, and eroding the very idea of India,” read a statement by MANUU Students Union president Mateen Ashraf.
The SU also expressed deep concern over the encroachment of Hindutva ideology into the decision-making processes of the universities.
“The sanctity of academic institutions lies in fostering autonomy, freedom of thought, tolerance, and a pluralistic approach to education. Any attempt to politicize or align these spaces with Hindutva ideology is a threat to the idea of the university,” it said.
The SU also urged the university administration to uphold the principles of diversity, inclusivity, and academic freedom that have been the cornerstone of Maulana Azad National Urdu University. Furthermore, it called upon the larger student community, faculty, and concerned citizens to join hands in resisting any undue influence that seeks to compromise the secular fabric of India’s educational institutions.
The Students Union also urged MANUU students to boycott classes on 22 January even after 2.30 pm in remembrance of Babri Masjid which was demolished by Hindu nationalists on 6 December 1992. The Ram temple stands where Babri Masjid earlier stood.