NEW DELHI: Delhi University (DU) seems to be taking a greater interest in the views of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of late. In the last three months alone, the administration has invited top RSS functionaries Indresh Kumar and Krishna Gopal to at least three events to interact with students and teachers, appearances that have set tongues wagging in the university.
ET spoke to several professors and students who attended the events or were invited to them but didn’t want to be identified. On October 25, Kumar, a controversial RSS figure who’s listed in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case charge sheet, addressed DU’s foreign students on the issue of “brotherhood and bonhomie” at a pre-Diwali meet at DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh’s residence.
“Indreshji runs an RSS programme called Vishwa Gram, which follows the ideology of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbaam’ (Sanskrit for ‘The whole world is a family’). His talk at the pre-Diwali meet was on the same lines,” said a person who attended the meet. A few weeks later, Kumar delivered a talk on the theme ‘Jammu and Kashmir: Historical Perspective and the Way Ahead’ at the Institute of Life Long Learning (ILLL) at the university’s North Campus on November 11 in the presence of Singh.
Anurag Mishra, a professor at Deen Dayal Upadhyay college of DU who attended the event, confirmed to ET that the talk was organised by ILLL, DU’s special centre focusing on the role of ICT (information and communications technology) in learning. ILLL director RK Gautam was not reachable for comment.
Some members of the teaching community seem to have been discomfited by the orientation session organised by DU on December 7 when RSS joint secretary general Krishna Gopal addressed about 1,000 students on the culture and lifestyle of the Northeast ahead of the departure of the Gyanodaya Express, an annual educational trip. His talk was delivered in the presence of Singh, dean of colleges Malashri Lal and director of DU South Campus Umesh Rai.
This year the Gyanodaya Express is travelling to the NE states and Gopal was invited as an expert on the culture and lifestyle of the region. Recently appointed RSS point person for BJP, Gopal has served as regional organiser of Assam and Mizoram for nine years and was previously based in Guwahati. Singh didn’t respond to calls or SMSes sent by ET. DU spokesperson Malay Neerav declined to comment when asked for the varsity reaction.