Amid a raging debate on freedom of speech and expression, a Delhi University college has scrapped a journal allegedly for carrying an article on the recent violence at Ramjas College.
Amid a raging debate on freedom of speech and expression, a Delhi University college has scrapped a journal allegedly for carrying an article on the recent violence at Ramjas College. The journal titled “Critique” is produced by the students of journalism at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC). It was to be released today by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy at an event which was cancelled.
While the students claimed that the journal was shelved by the college authorities as it carried an article on the violence on February 21 and 22, the DCAC principal said the content required “vetting” and students were not willing to wait. Agitated over the move, the students today launched another journal, Yatharth, that carried the same content.
“The principal told us that the article critical of ABVP’s involvement in the clashes at Ramjas College cannot be published as the issue was sensational. When we refused to remove the article or modify it, we were told that the edition has been scrapped,” Sadhika, the editor of the journal, said.
“Subramanian Swamy was supposed to come today and launch it during the session. His event was cancelled and the journal scrapped. So, we decided to launch our own journal with the same content. We funded the printing with the help of a few alumni,” she added.
College principal Rajeev Chopra defended the decision saying, “The students did not approach us in time and the content required vetting. We cannot allow anything and everything to be published. Since the students were not ready to wait till I go through the entire content, we had to scrap the plan.”
DCAC had yesterday cancelled a programme of Subramanian Swamy, days after it had postponed an event featuring Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav.
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Swamy was slated to participate in an interactive session on ‘Journalism on Trial?’, being organised by the college’s journalism department as part of its annual fest “Scoop”.
Members of the organising committee claimed that the programme was cancelled as the “authorities did not find the atmosphere to be appropriate for conducting such an event”. The college principal, however, maintained that he was “not kept in the loop about the invitation to Swamy” and no permission was sought for the event.
The cancellation had come against the backdrop of the recent violence at Ramjas College where the RSS-backed ABVP and the CPI(ML)-affiliated AISA clashed over the withdrawal of a seminar invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid.