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Visva Bharati Evicts Hostel Student For Sharing V-C’s Speech Video

The Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association has spoken out against the varsity’s action.

Updated
India
3 min read
Visva Bharati Evicts Hostel Student For Sharing V-C’s Speech Video
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The Visva Bharati university authorities asked a student to leave his hostel room within 24 hours, after a video purportedly showing its Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty making pro-CAA comments while hoisting the tricolour on campus on Republic Day, went viral.

A university official cited by PTI said on Tuesday, 28 January, that the student in question – pursuing BA History – was asked to leave his hostel room after preliminary findings proved that the student was behind the filming and circulation of a video. The video showed the V-C purportedly commenting on the Indian Constitution, the supremacy of the Parliament and the CAA at a hostel function on 26 January.

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WHAT DID THE V-C SAY?

A report by The Telegraph quoted V-C Chakbraborty as saying in a video, “Today, those who are opposing the CAA are reading the Preamble. But this Constitution was drafted by ‘minority’ votes. (Only) 293 people met at the Constituent Assembly and drafted the Constitution. If you read papers of that time, (you fill find) many people opposed it. Now that has become the Vedas for us. Preamble has become the Vedas. But if we do not like (the Preamble), we, who are voters and form Parliament, will change it…”

The V-C, while unfurling the national flag in the compound of Purbapally Senior Boys Hostel (PSBH), made these purported comments in the presence of some students.

WHAT DID THE ADMINISTRATION DO?

With the V-C’s speech attracting opposition, the administration checked the CCTV footage to ascertain which student had recorded and circulated the video.

The proctor and other officials of the university then reportedly got a confession from the student in question, who was subsequently served a handwritten letter asking him to vacate the hostel.

The letter signed by the proctor of the central university, which did not reportedly carry the university’s letterhead, said:

“This is regarding recording and forward transmission of video of the VC’s speech at PSBH compound shot on your mobile. As you are aware of the method and manner of external posting of your video on social media, you are hereby asked to further remove all your personal belongings within the next 24 hours.”

The letter further described the video as disruptive and defamatory.

Meanwhile, the university’s public relations officer, Anirban Sircar, pointed out that the disciplinary action had been taken against the student as per the “hostel’s code of conduct”, The Telegraph further reported.

The student had vacated the hostel early on Tuesday and has now gone back home.

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THE BACKLASH

The Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association has spoken out against the varsity’s action saying, “The way the student was evicted was highly condemnable.”

“The proctor issued his one-page handwritten order… where the video was considered as ‘disruptive and defamatory’. In the same video, nothing was added over and above the VC’s speech. If there is some ‘disruptive and defamatory’ content, the VC himself is responsible…” the faculty association was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

Students are now looking to raise the issue in a governing body meeting (GBM) and decide on the course of action.

THE BACKGROUND

The university has been in the limelight lately. On 8 January, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta, the V-C and others were confined for six hours in a building of the university as hundreds of students staged a sit-in outside accusing the politician of promoting hatred among communities.

Around a week later, a group of men allegedly attacked the students of a boys’ hostel inside the campus, leaving several of them injured.

(With inputs from PTI and The Telegraph.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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