Fight for Mahishasura on JNU campus!
Notice to AIBSF president for
A JNU student in the 'Mahishasura row' responded to a showcause today by sending a legal notice to the university, asking it to "clearly explain" which part of the article circulated by his group was found objectionable and to which "social category" of students. Jitendra Yadav, a Phd student of Centre of Indian Languages and president of All India Backward Students Forum (AIBSF), was given extended time till today to respond to the showcause notice which said that he had been found guilty of releasing an "offensive" poster depicting a deity "in a derogatory manner" that led to violent incidents. The notice, sent as a reply to the university through Supreme Court lawyer Nitin Meshram, said the individual notice sent to Yadav for the poster circulated by his organisation was "non est and unwarranted and therefore vitiated". It said the notice was "absolutely vague" as it failed to specify the contents found offensive. It also asks the university to explain "which section of students is unhappy over the alleged offensive poster". Members of the AIBSF and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had clashed earlier this month over posters that were found "hurtful" by a section of students. The posters were circulated by students of the AIBSF, reproduced from an article in the Forward Press magazine about the 'Dalit viewpoint on Durga-Mahishasura'. The AIBF and United Dalit Students Forum (UDSF) have condemned the showcause notice issued to Yadav and have also threatened to launch a protest if the university punishes him. The notice says that Yadav was being "harassed" by the administration, while asserting that AIBSF as a student body representing students from backward classes has the constitutional rights to propagate its ideology. The notice also evokes the right to free speech and the right "to conduct the scrutiny of the matters of historical importance including the religion and religious affairs subject to the reasonable restrictions under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India". The Forward Press magazine too has defended its article 'Kiski Puja Kar Rahe Hai Bahujan?', that was published in its October edition, saying allegations that it has elements that show disregard to goddess Durga were undesirable.
JNU: AIBSF and ABVP members clash over Mahisasura pamphlet
The All India Backward Students' Forum (AIBSF) is planning to hold a protest demonstration against the university administration which sent a show-cause notice to its president Jitendra Kumar Yadav for releasing the pamphlet
Monday, October 24, 2011
New Delhi: A group of Dalit students came together at JNU on Monday to honour Mahishasura, the demon killed by Goddess Durga, even as the varsity sent a showcause notice to a student on his role in circulating an "offensive" poster that caused a row on the issue earlier this month.
Members of the All India Backward Students Forum (AIBSF) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had clashed two weeks back over posters that were found "hurtful" by a section of students.
The students under the banner of AIBSF said today they were honouring the "martyrdom" of Mahishasura, who belonged to the backward caste and was a "just and a powerful king".
The University, which was conducting an internal inquiry into the incident of the clash, has meanwhile issued a showcause notice to Jitendra Yadav, a PhD student of Center of Indian Languages and president of AIBSF.
The notice said Yadav had been found guilty of releasing an "offensive" poster depicting a deity "in a derogatory manner which created considerable unhappiness and resentment among a section of students" that led to violent incidents.
The notice asks him to explain his act of "serious misconduct and indiscipline" and asks him to submit his reply by October 27.
Yadav said the University was playing into the hands of right wing groups and said the article their poster referred to had not insulted any deity but had asked Dalit and OBC youth to know who their heroes were.
The students also organised a seminar on 'Mahishasur & Macaulay: The Limits of Post-Modernity' on the eve of the birth anniversary of Lord Macaulay, the 19th century British historian and politician who was instrumental in introducing the English language as a medium of education in India.
A new painting of 'Mahishasura' by artist Lal Ratnakar was also displayed on the occasion.
1 hour ago – New Delhi, Oct. 31: A row over a Mahishasura poster that extolled the mythological demon over Goddess Durga deepened today at Jawaharlal ...
The Telegraph reports:
New Delhi, Oct. 31: A row over a Mahishasura poster that extolled the mythological demon over Goddess Durga deepened today at Jawaharlal Nehru University, with the student accused of publishing it sending a legal notice to the authorities.
The All India Backward Students Forum had published the poster on Navami, October 5, reproducing with it an article from the Hindi-English journal Forward.
Titled "Kiski puja kar rahe hain Bahujan (Whom are the backward castes worshipping)", the article by Prem Kumar Mani theorises that Mahishasura was the asura (non-Aryan) ruler of the ancient Banga kingdom and was assassinated by Durga, an Aryan agent.
It says the garland of skulls Durga wears symbolises the massacre of the indigenous people, who today make up the backward castes, by the invading Aryans. It calls on the backward castes not to worship Durga, whom it calls a symbol of their subjugation.
Chief proctor H.B. Bohidar said the article's circulation during Durga Puja had offended many students, who sent written complaints. Members of RSS student wing ABVP attacked a Forum meeting on the campus at 1am on October 9 and beat up its members, including women.
The university sent show-cause notices to Forum president Jitendra Yadav and two ABVP supporters, giving them till today to reply. The ABVP men sent in regular replies but Yadav sent a legal notice.
The show-cause notice had asked Yadav why he had caused disharmony, leading to violence, among students by publishing the poster during a festival. It also asked him to explain his act of "serious misconduct and indiscipline".
Yadav's legal notice argues that "everyone has the fundamental right of scrutiny of religious ethos", his lawyer Nitin Meshram said.
"The poster is well supported by evidence from the Puranas and B.R. Ambedkar's works. The university has not pointed out who is offended by it. The poster was published by the organisation, not an individual, and is well within the reasonable restrictions of the Constitution."
Yadav alleged an attempt to push him and other backward caste students out of the campus. "We will launch a movement on the campus and in court if we are punished."
Bohidar said the administration would consult its legal cell. "If we find their involvement in any offence only superficial, we can let them off with a warning. If it is deeper, we can even rusticate them."
The campus being traditionally a Left and Far Left stronghold, many student organisations have come out in Yadav's support. Around 200 students celebrated Mahishasura Day on October 24. A painting of Mahishasura by Lal Ratnakar was displayed.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mahishasura's father Rambha was king of the asuras,and he once fell in love with a water buffalo (Princess Shyamala, cursed to be a buffalo); Mahishasura was born out of this union. He is therefore able to change between human and buffalo form at will (mahisha is Sanskrit word for buffalo).
The gods then went into conclave to decide what could be done with this invincible asura. Since he was invincible to all men, they created his nemesis in the form of a young woman, Durga (a form of Shakti or Parvati). She combined the powers of all the devas in a beautiful form. According to one legend, the goddess Durga created an army to fight against the forces of the demon-king Mahishasura, who was terrorizing Heaven and Earth. After nine days of fighting, during which Mahishasura's army was decimated, she finally killed him on the tenth day of the waxing moon. Durga is therefore called Mahishasuramardini (literally the slayer of the buffalo demon), the destroyer of Mahishasura. During several battles, she appears in her incarnation of Kali; particularly while fighting Raktabija, who has the magic boon that every drop of blood falling from him to the ground will become another Raktabija (literally the blood borne). Here Kali spreads her giant tongue and drinks up all the blood before it falls to the earth.
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