The Jawaharlal Nehru University has received much flak for its decision of canceling the Onam celebration on campus. All India Students’ Association (AISA) has opposed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) decision and has said that it is an attack on diverse cultures and communities. However, the administration denied the claim and responded that they have not received any such requests.
AISA claimed that the RSS targeted religious communities and violated the Constitution. “We have witnessed how the RSS organized a march with communally charged songs at the administration building, which clearly attacked the Indian constitution, its secular ethos and the broader imagination of people who believe in a religiously diverse society against a state with a monolithic religion.” Moreover, the gathering at Ad Bloc by the RSS, which is restricted after the Delhi High Court order, was questioned. “The JNU administration's utter silence on such communally charged gatherings can only be interpreted as its support for the communal politics of the Sangh. Does Dhulipudi administration support a gathering which attempts to divide society?” AISA said.
“Onam was in August. No permission for a food festival was ever sent to Administration or permission taken. The 1st poster released was a political manipulation of a festival. JNU Admin is secular and all so called cultural festivals can't be celebrated long after it is over,” the university posted on X. It further said that the later version of the poster was for a food festival. “All posters changed. No letter was sent to the Vice Chancellor for permission. Half truths need to be verified and condemned, not glorified,” it added.
Student Group Stand
The students group, on the other hand, said many religious gatherings have been held in the same building in the presence of JNU vice-chancellor. It said, “Citing "religiosity" to cancel the booking for the Onam venue should be seen as an “attack on the harvest festival and on farmers and working people across state boundaries.” “This is a clear attempt by the Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit administration, backed by the RSS, to control how people celebrate it,” it added.