Ram Mandir consecration: ‘Special food’, Bhajans in IIT Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Amidst the ongoing frenzied celebrations of the Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya on Monday, a section of students from the premier Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IITH) have asked for ‘special food’ on the occasion from the administration. Apart from the demand by right-wing leaning students to mark the occasion with ‘special food’, the campus is also all set to witness a formal event on the day, as a ‘Pran Prathishta is slated to be held at 6 p.m.

The development in IITH with regard to the Ram Mandir’s inauguration has made others, especially the small section of minority students, uncomfortable and fearful as the administration has not stepped in to prevent the overtly aggressive display of Hindutva in the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad campus. Many students who are afraid to speak up, feel that the institution has failed in many ways to keep the atmosphere secular and away from religion.

In fact, an email from one student on 21 January ago seeking the ‘special food’ on January 22 was met with an overwhelming support.

The emails from IIT Hyderabad, which Siasat.com has accessed, clearly show that the administration more or less has given into the demand. “Respected sir, I hope this message finds you well. We had been informed by the mess staff about their excitement to provide us with special food for tomorrow’s celebration. But as per mess secretary, we are not to celebrate. We wanted to celebrate the inauguration of construction of Ram-mandir. There has not been a special food in mess for a long time. There is an auspicious occasion tomorrow for one. Hope you consider our request and take me necessary actions,” stated the email, that set-off the issue.

”While we did not have any special food per se in the canteen, there were sweets – Gulab Jamun – for today. Even the mes staff kept chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while serving us food,” said a student from IITH. Apart from this, a message was also circulated in the IIT Hyderabad campus by right-wing students about in campus to mark construction of the Ram Mandir, which has been built on the land which once the Babri Masjid stood.

Also Read

Right-wing mob tries to ‘construct temple’ on Waqf land in Nalgonda

The mosque was demolished by Kar Sevaks and other right-wing Hindu groups on December 6, 1992, following which communal riots took place everywhere in the country.

“Jay Shree Ram everyone !We shall be having Shri Ram Arti followed by Bhajan Sandhya and Prasad distribution. Kindly grace the event by your sincere presence. Time: Evening 6 PM
Venue: Near Aanandi Block, New Hostel. Note: Pls dress yourself in traditional wears,” read the message that was circulated amongst students in the IITH campus. While Hyderabad has not witnessed any untoward incident so far, saffron flags have been put up everywhere by saffron-clad men across the city.

The aggressive Hindutva display in IIT Hyderabad however is not new and is seemingly part of a larger issue revolving around it in the Hyderabad campus. Prior to this in November, slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ had been raised at an event in IITH, following which a complaint was made to the administration. However, it was met with even a fiercer reaction by students who saw the complaint, while the administration failed to do anything.

”There are only a handful of minority students here, and have been dealing with mental health issues due to all this in the campus. Anyone who speaks up is targetted,” said another IIT Hyderabad student, who did not want to be quoted. A researcher from the institute also said that they were threatened with a warning after raising a complaint with the administration on such issues.