Published: 30th March 2022
CFI protests RSS member's invite to Mangalore University event on alleged instances of hate speech
Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, a leader of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak, was invited by the varsity's student body to inaugurate the student council
Mangalore University was rocked by protests on Wednesday, March 30, after student activists from the Campus Front of India (CFI) agitated against RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat who was invited to inaugurate the student council of the varsity.
"We had already submitted a memorandum to the university and told them that he should not be invited. His speeches in the past have always been targetted at one community and aim to polarise society. Someone like that should not be giving speeches to students," says Fathima Usman, a member of the CFI, who led the protests at the varsity.
However, the Director of Students Welfare, Dr Kishori Nayak K tells Edexlive that it was the decision of the students of the university to invite the RSS leader for the programme. "I don't think there has been any kind of intolerance. The decision was taken by the student body. The programme has taken place peacefully and there has been no controversial statement. I did not recognise the students at the protest and it is likely that a few of them were from some of our affiliated colleges. Dr Nayak also adds that the students have a right to democratic protest. "The students registered their protest, as they have the right to do so," she adds.
According to a report by The New Indian Express, the RSS member, Bhat allegedly appealed to Hindus to continue their ongoing "campaign" against allowing Muslim vendors near temples.
The CFI says that the university could have intervened with the decision to invite Bhat, given his history of alleged hate speech. "They could have selected other scholars better suited to address students. We have to protest because it is our future that is at stake here," says Usman.
While the students were not allowed inside the campus, they gathered at the gate to register what was a largely peaceful protest. Both Dr Nayak and Usman verify that there were no reports of any complaints.