Casteist Slogans At Ashoka University Sparks Row

Casteist slogans have been raised by the students of Haryana’s Ashoka University at the campus, sparking a flood of questions and criticism on social media. As multiple videos of the slogan-shouting in the university corridors surfaced on X, formerly Twitter — most of them directed at Brahmins and Baniyas – the actions of the students were widely condemned.

In a statement, the university said it “attaches great value to freedom of expression and vigorous debate, but it also attaches great importance to mutual respect”.

“The University will take all measures necessary to ensure that peace and harmony in the campus is not disturbed.”

Ashoka University, set up in 2014, had made headlines earlier over the political views of its faculty — including the exits of Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian in March 2021.

But unlike at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia MiIlia Islamia, or Delhi University, the students had kept a low profile.

After videos of students shouting slogans like “We need caste census”, and “Brahmin-Baniyawaad Murdabad”, former Infosys Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mohandas Pai posted a message on X, questioning why there was so much caste hatred at the Ashoka University.

His post read:

This is very very shocking if true why is there so much caste hatred in @AshokaUniv ? Will @sbikh Pl take action to stop such hatred, if true? @dpradhanbjp Govt should look into why such hatred prevails? How can universities keep quiet?

— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) March 27, 2024

In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, the university said it “deplores expressions of hatred directed against any individual or group”.

“Ashoka University’s Guidelines on Protecting Freedom of Expression have clearly laid down that such freedom of expression is not unlimited and enjoins respect for the rights and sensibilities of others. This is essential to preserving the spirit of community at Ashoka. Actions that make the atmosphere intimidating, threatening or hostile to individuals or groups are therefore regarded as serious offences and are subject to University disciplinary procedure,” the statement read.

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