CM Siddaramaiah takes exception to UGC circular on PM’s speech

Sep 13, 2017

 MYSURU: Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday objected to the UGC circular mandating universities in the state to screen PM Narendra Modi’s speechcommemorating the 125th anniversary of Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda’s address to the Parliament of World’s religions at Chicago.
 Siddaramaiah said that he was not aware of the directive till early in the morning. “The PM is using the opportunity to promote Hindutva brand of politics,” he said, pointing out that it is coinciding with the birth centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, the fountainhead of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of BJP.

Meanwhile, thousands of students watched the PM’s address telecast at the Senate Hall in Manasagangotri, the PG campus of University of Mysore.

However, the screening led to protests as Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and All India Democratic Students’ Organization (AIDSO) staged protests in front of the Senate Hall against the UGC circular. Some of the city-based activists, including writer Cha Sarvamangala and Pa Mallesh, joined the student community in registering their protest.

SFI leader Prashanth Hatti, who led the protest, alleged that it is undemocratic to force the PM’s speech on students. “Most of the students listened to the speech out of fear, assuming that the university may initiate action. This is dictatorship,” he alleged.