West Bengal says PM Modi’s speech will not be shown in universities
Kolkata: The state government of West Bengal has decided not to allow universities to participate in the ‘Young India, New India’ programme to be held on 11 September. The state will not allow “saffron” influence on the education system, said education minister Partha Chattopadhyay.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to universities to arrange for giant screens and projectors for telecast of a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s participation at the Chicago Parliament of World Religions. It will also mark the centenary celebrations of Deendayal Upadhyay, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ideologue.
“Vice chancellors of several universities have been asking me what to do,” said Chattopadhyay at a press conference on Friday. Since the state has not received any formal communication from the centre, the universities have not been given permission, he added.
This decision violates the principle of federal democracy, according to Chattopadhyay, because “the state was not consulted and a diktat issued.” He also said that it is unfair to put Upadhyay and Swami Vivekananda on the same platform.