Baba Ram Dev whose ads of aata noodles started appearing in newspapers today got a rude rebuff from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University when an invitation to make him one of the speakers at a program created a storm in the campus.
This was the second attempt by a member of the saffron brigade to make an entry into the campus which backfired.Earlier there was a news that Subramanian Swamy was one of the candidates for the post of Vice- Chancellor in JNU.There was almost hysterical opposition at the mere mention of Swamy’s candidature forcing Smriti Irani, the minister for HRD to clarify that Swany did not fit the criteria for the post.
On his part Swamy, as is his style, took the stand that he had put some conditions for taking up the post which included arresting and clearing up the campus of anti-national elements if he were to join.
Ram Dev also backed out of the program when TV channels made a loud noise about a Yoga expert being invited to a conference on Vedanta.
However in the coming months more such attempts to storm the citadel of the Left by the saffron party could be expected because the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party made a strong comeback in the elections to the JNU Students Union this year after a gap of 14 years.
This year Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP bagged the post of General assembly in the
Students Union elections.The party also bagged a large number of seats in the student councils, traditionally dominated by the Left.
For the last two years the All India Students Association was bagging all the union seats. This time however the president’s post was bagged by the Student Federation of India while the AISA was content to hold on to only 2 posts, that of Vice- President and General Secretary.
In the debate with Arnab Goswami the representative of the ABVP said they were surprised that students of JNU were unwilling to listen to the Baba instead of tearing him apart by inviting him to the campus as had been the healthy tradition.
They have a point there.
But Baba Ramdev and Subramanian Swamy should be delighted that they are not the only victims of ‘intolerance’ a phenomenon that they refuse to acknowledge. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced such massive opposition when he was invited to the Aligarh Muslim University.
Finally the VC took a bold stand and withdrew the invite saying that he could not ignore the opinion of the campus whatever his personal opinion.
By Amitabh Srivastava
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