Delhi: A seminar organized by IIMC Delhi was to be moderated by Hitesh Shankar, editor of Panchajanya, a mouthpiece of RSS who couldn’t do do due to his prior commitments.
Former Bastar inspector general of police SRP Kalluri has also been invited. A yagya (a ritual conducted in front of a sacred fire, often with mantras) will kickstart a day-long seminar on Nationalistic Journalism in Current Scenario: Media and Myth, at Delhi’s Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) on May 20.
After Yagya a session on “Nationalistic Journalism in Current Perspective” will be carried out wherein the IIMC director general KG Suresh will be one of the speakers.
The session was earlier scheduled to be moderated by Hitesh Shankar, editor of Panchajanya, a mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but he won’t be able to attend due to prior engagements.
The event is able to draw attraction of a section of former and current students who have criticized the institute for allowing a religious activity to be held at the campus.
“IIMC is a public funded institute and organizing any religious activities on its campus is not right. The state cannot promote any one religion,” said Avinash Chanchal, a former student and a former member of IIMC Alumni Association.
Another student Rohin Verma said, “Our opposition to the yajna is because educational institutions should not have religious activities of any kind. IIMC is neither a Saraswati mandir nor a madrassa.”
Verma, interestingly, had been earlier suspended by the institute for violating IIMC’s code of conduct after he wrote an article on sacking of a faculty member. His suspension was later revoked.
Some students have also raised objection to the presence of former Bastar inspector general of police SRP Kalluri in one of the sessions. “It is ironic that a person who has been sent notice by NHRC is coming to IIMC to give a talk,” said Vikas K Sahu, a former student from Chhattisgarh.
“We are not organising the event or the yagya; none of our students or faculty members will be asked to attend. The event is being organised by a media organisation and as a media institution we are only extending support by letting out the premises,” said the IIMC director general.