If saffronisation means serving country, Delhi University is ready for it: VC Yogesh Singh

Singh was responding to a question on the alleged saffronisation of the Delhi University as claimed by a section of teachers and students who opposed holding of events by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in DU colleges.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 14:56 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 14:56 IST

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New Delhi: Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh on Monday said the varsity will not tolerate 'anti-India campaigns' on its college campuses asserting that if 'saffronisation' means serving the country, DU is ready for it.

In an interview with PTI, Singh said dissent and debates are welcomed in the university, while adding that any act of indiscipline will call for strict measures.

Singh was responding to a question on the alleged saffronisation of the Delhi University as claimed by a section of teachers and students who opposed holding of events by the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in DU colleges.

'After 75 years of Independence, if a college is organising Hindu New Year or Varsh Pratipata, I don't see anything wrong with it even as colleges have their own rules and regulations for organising functions,' Singh told PTI.

Earlier last week, the Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) staged a protest against an event organised by the RSS at Delhi University's Kirori Mal College.

Scores of students gathered at the main gate of the college and raised objection to an event conducted by the RSS to celebrate 'Varsh Pratipada' (Hindu new year) on the college grounds.

The vice-chancellor said, 'If doing anything for the country is saffronisation, then we are up for it. But we will not tolerate any anti-India campaign in whichever form.' 'This is a country of one particular people; this is our nation, we have to build this nation. You can differ or you may have a different thought process, to which there are no issues; we can discuss and debate on such subjects. But the point here is we will not tolerate any indiscipline,' he added.

On allegations of favouritism and recruitment of ineligible teachers on the basis of their ideological leaning, Singh said it was natural for those teachers who were not selected to have grievances. He said, 'If they can name any ineligible teacher who has been appointed in the university, we will remove them.'

In May 2023, teachers from different Delhi University colleges demanded a probe into displacements of ad-hoc teachers alleging favouritism and corruption. In the same month, a teachers' body wrote to Singh demanding an investigation into the allegations.

"It is a very critical situation, interviews could not be conducted in the last many years and more than 7,000 ad-hoc teachers were there in the university teaching in different colleges and departments. I don't endorse this type of a system, rather I am against it."

The Delhi University last year in October notified that no ad-hoc teachers will be appointed in its colleges in a move towards appointment of permanent faculties only.

The varsity administration asked its colleges to discontinue the recruitment of faculty on ad-hoc basis with immediate effect.

Addressing the issue, the vice-chancellor said 'They are bright teachers working as ad-hoc for 10-15 years. And you can imagine the pain and agony what they were suffering.'

We decided to allow only permanent faculty recruitment, he said, adding, 'It's a difficult path, but let us do it.' 'There was a protest in the university demanding to absorb them, but it is just not possible as per law,' he said, adding that candidates who were 'suitable' were appointed by the Selection Committee.

The Kirori Mal college incident is not an isolated event where the Delhi University was believed to have been 'saffronised'.

In January last year, a group of students affiliated to the Students' Federation of India (SFI) staged a protest at DU's Hansraj College against the 'discontinuation' of non-vegetarian food at the institution and alleged attempts at 'saffronising the campus'.

The varsity's move in May last year to replace a paper on Mahatma Gandhi in semester V of BA (hons) political science syllabus with one on Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, drew flak from teachers who termed it as a step towards 'saffronisation'.

Published 15 April 2024, 14:56 IST

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