A group of students of Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh wrote to the local police on Wednesday, seeking “strict action” against the organisers of an event on campus that featured an item which, they claimed, “justified the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi”.
The item on Tuesday was part of a three-day cultural festival organised by BHU’s Faculty of Arts called Sanskriti 2018. It started on February 19.
The complaint alleged that participants at the event had mocked the principles of truth and non-violence and held Gandhi responsible for the country’s problems, including Partition in 1947. Glorifying Nathuram Godse, who was sentenced to death for assassinating Gandhi, amounts to sedition, the letter said.
It added that the event hurt the high ideals of the freedom struggle as well as the values of the Constitution and of BHU.
In their letter, the three students sought action against everyone involved in what they called a “coordinated conspiracy by some teachers and students of the university”. The students addressed one copy to the vice chancellor of BHU and another to the Lanka Police Station in Varanasi.
Chief Proctor Royana Singh confirmed to Scroll.in that she had received the letter and had forwarded it to the police. She said the Dean of the Faculty of Arts is responsible for such cultural programmes, and that she would meet him to find out the facts.
However, Srinivas Pandey, the dean of the Faculty of Arts, denied any knowledge of the event. “Sanskriti is organised by a team with several teachers as coordinators,” he said. “They pick the items for the programme. I do not know about this and am not in a position to comment.”
In a purported video of the event, which Scroll.in has not been able to verify, a speaker can be heard saying that Gandhi “did violence through non-violence”.