‘Disgrace, betrayal’: Shashi Tharoor on DU barring 2 students over BBC documentary screening

Delhi University barred anthropology PhD scholar and law student for participating in screening of BBC documentary on PM Modi.


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Shashi Tharoor comments on DU barring 2 students over BBC documentary screening (Source: Official Twitter Account)Shashi Tharoor comments on DU barring 2 students over BBC documentary screening (Source: Official Twitter Account)

Vagisha Kaushik | March 22, 2023 | 11:00 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor termed Delhi University’s decision to bar two students for a year for participating in screening of the banned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “disgrace”, “shame”, and a “betrayal”.

Taking his agitation to Twitter, Tharoor said in a tweet, “As a Delhi University alumni committed to academic freedom & independence of thought, I am appalled by this shocking decision. To suspend a student for two years for watching a documentary in a democracy is a disgrace & a betrayal of everything a university should stand for. Shame!”

On March 10, DU sent a “confidential” memorandum to two students – Lokesh Chugh who is a PhD scholar in the Anthropology department and Ravinder from the law faculty – informing them about being barred for a year. Accordingly, the students will not be allowed to any university, college, or departmental exams for one year.

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The university had formed a seven-member committee to investigate the ruckus outside the Arts faculty building over screening of the BBC documentary, "India: The Modi Question", on January 27. "On the basis of the recommendations of the committee, the disciplinary authority taking cognisance of the above indiscipline exhibited by Shri Lokesh Chugh, decided to impose the penalty of debarring him from taking any university or college or departmental examination or examinations for one year," the memorandum read.

Meanwhile, the two barred students said that they will challenge the “confidential memorandum” issued to them in court if DU does not withdraw it as their careers are at risk.

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