Published: 10th August 2019
CUTN to take disciplinary action against 30 students for discussing Article 370
30 students, who were part of a study circle had conducted a discussion on the article on August 7, 2 days after it was struck down
On August 5, the government of India struck down the 69-year-old Article 370, which permitted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. As expected, the people had a mixed reaction to this move. While some were happy about it, others condemned it. Almost everyone in the country discussed the now inexistent article. The case wasn't any different for the students of the Central University of Tamil Nadu.
On August 7, a group of 30 students conducted a discussion on this on the university premises. Two days later, much to their surprise, all of them received a memorandum, asking them for an explanation as to why it should not take disciplinary action against them. "It was brought to the notice of the administration that you had assembled along with other students at 7 pm on August 7, 2019, outside the MP Hall of CUTN as part of Wednesday's discussion of the Constitution of India, despite the issue of several oral and written instructions through circulars. This act has constituted a breach of Conduct rules and established procedures," reads a memo.
Prior to issuing the memo, the university had also issued a circular saying that the students have planned to raise slogans in the university, which is unlawful "Anybody who indulges in activities and which is a threat to the security and integrity of India will not is tolerated and stern actions will be taken against them," it reads.
"The circular opposes freedom of speech and expression. This is only a part of the registrar S Bhuvaneswari's attempt to saffronise the university," says a student who was issued a memo. "In fact, the faculty from the Hindi department had celebrated the bill by distributing sweets and raising right-wing slogans. No one issued them any memo," he says. He adds that the students were also asked to disperse and were threatened of strict disciplinary actions.
"This was just a debate. We did not do anything against the constitution or raise slogans," says another student. "We are part of a study circle for UPSC aspirants, where we discuss the history and current affairs. This was one such discussion. Students from all political background attended it. We are submitting this explanation to the administration," he adds.