'Won't Tolerate Universities Engaging In Political Activities': Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal
In the backdrop of a number of universities across the country coming out to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) & National Register of Citizens (NRC), Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on December 29 stated that the Narendra Modi government “won’t tolerate” universities turning into political hubs.
“The Narendra Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost,” said Pokhriyal.
He added that universities and colleges need to refrain from engaging in political activities, although anyone else is free to do the same.
Blaming the Congress for the protests, Pokhriyal said: “It is the Congress, which is responsible for the country’s division on religious grounds, that is spreading misinformation about CAA.”
Over the last few weeks, the country has seen massive protests by students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University. IITs and IIMs too staged anti-CAA protests. There were a few protests against police brutality in universities like Jamia and AMU as well.
In another instance of BJP trying to stop the protests, Assam’s BJP government in an order to the employees of the education department had stated that those posting “political comments” on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were violating “the provision of Assam Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1964”, and warned that actions would be taken against anyone who violates the rule.
Gag orders were also issued to TV channels by the Centre. The I&B ministry on December 11 told TV channels that any content that “promotes anti-national attitudes” or that affects “integrity of the nation” should not be broadcasted.
In another such notice last week, the ministry said, “It is observed that notwithstanding the above Advisory, some TV channels are telecasting content which do not appear to be in the spirit of the Programme Codes specified therein. It is accordingly, reiterated that all TV channels may abstain from showing content which is likely to instigate violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitudes, contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation, criticizes, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social public and moral life of the country.”