Student Molested At MSU Baroda During ABVP Clash With Protesters On Campus
Last Saturday, after ABVP stormed the MSU Baroda campus, a group of BJP-backed ABVP leaders along with the right-wing linked teachers’ body – Maharaja Sayajirao Vishvavidyalay Shaikshik Sangh (MSVSS) staged a rally in the presence of the police and university’s own security force to protest against the ‘anti-national’ elements in the university campus. The rally raised slogans like “Jis Ghar Se Afzal Niklega, Uss Ghar Mein Ghus Ke Marenge” (We will invade and beat up everyone in whichever house an Afzal Guru is produced)
Soon after a group of 30 students from the university faculty staged a silent protest dressed in white, forming a human chain to protest against the ‘infringement of their space’. The ABVP and MSVSS members upon being informed immediately demanded action against the protesting students from the Dean Professor, Sunjay Jain who promised to look into the matter.
An appeal which had appeared on Facebook on Friday had read, “Fine arts students please wear white to show whoever comes to disturb our peace that we will not be suppressed but we will not play into their hands by being provoked..White for the blank spaces that they have snatched our right to fill. White for our silence that will not remain quite. We will not engage with them nor with the media.”
The situation worsened when the news spread that posters in support of JNU were reportedly seen in the painting department of the faculty. Students attempted to barricade the entry of ABVP leaders into the department, citing that outsiders are not allowed entry into their private place before the cops arrived and removed the ABVP representatives from the premises. In the ensuing ruckus, one female student got molested and another male student severely assaulted by ABVP goons during the barricade.
Artist and National Film Award winner Pushpamala N. said in a message to the artist community, ”I’ve been out of the country and been following JNU. But I am shocked to find that the FFA Baroda has been attacked again by the ABVP as an aftermath of the Kanhaiya Kumar episode. The MSU Fine Arts Faculty Chandramohan in 2007 incident was a historic precursor in the ‘model state’ of Gujarat to what is happening today on a national scale in JNU and other universities. The Fine Arts Faculty has always been viewed with suspicion because it was seen to be a free progressive space and therefore threatening. Its intellectual atmosphere and broad influence has always been anathema to the Sangh Parivar. The Sangh wants to break it completely, paralyse it. And it is vulnerable because it is a small school of a few hundred people.”