Maha's Central Gandhi varsity bars students tribute event on Gandhiji's martyrdom

Wardha, Jan 31 (IANS): In a strange development, the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV) here allegedly barred a programme organised by students to pay homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi, on his 76th death anniversary.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 and the day is observed as 'Martyrs Day' all over India. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top leaders across the political spectrum had paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on Tuesday.

Simultaneously, the students of the MGAHV here also planned a small memorial event in front of Bapu's statue at the Gandhi Hill on the sprawling campus, but they were reportedly halted midway by the varsity management.

"It was a solemn event held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 30), but the university administration abruptly trooped in there and ordered us to stop the homage ceremony. They had brought the campus security personnel in large numbers and prevented us from honouring Bapu's martyrdom, ironically, at a Central University named in Gandhiji's memory," a senior student pursuing Gandhian studies, told IANS, requesting anonymity.

When the students' gathering sought the reasons for stopping the memorial event, an administrator claimed that "you have not taken permission for this".

"However, we had submitted a letter to the administration a day in advance (January 29) about the Gandhiji tribute event which is also organised all over the world. Besides, we held it in the Student Corner of the campus where such restrictions should not have been placed," said a student activist Akshay Krantiveer.

Another activist Chandan Saroj alleged that the MGAHV reportedly has "a long record of an anti-student mindset", which has led to frictions on the serene campus of the 27-year-old Central University, dedicated to the cause of fulfilling Gandhiji’s dreams for the Hindi language.

Wishing to avoid another fracas on the Shaheed Divas, the students quietly moved out of the varsity premises and held a small tribute ceremony to Bapu outside the campus gate later.

"All the students are feeling so remorseful about this that we have decided to take out a march from Gandhi Hill to the Sevagram Ashram, today afternoon. We will go and seek forgiveness and repent at Gandhiji's monument there," Krantiveer said.

However, Saroj said that so far the police and local authorities have not granted them the permission to take out the peaceful march to Sevagram Ashram, some 7 kms away, for obvious reasons.

"If the clearances are not granted, then we shall go individually to Sevagram Ashram and participate in the daily prayer meetings there, for atonement, and seek ‘enlightenment’ for the university officials who seem to forget that the institution is dedicated to Gandhiji," Saroj declared.

Despite repeated attempts, top varsity officials like the Registrar and In-Charge Vice-Chancellor were not available for their comments in the matter.

The activists acknowledge that the varsity had organised a formal tribute ceremony to Bapu at Gandhi Hills yesterday, but are still flummoxed as to why the students were not allowed to conduct their humble ‘shraddhanjali’ event.



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Title: Maha's Central Gandhi varsity bars students tribute event on Gandhiji's martyrdom

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