Press Trust of India|Oct 8, 2023
IP University new campus inauguration disrupted by shouting match between AAP, BJP workers
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and LG VK Saxena were interrupted while addressing the inauguration of GGSIPU's newly built campus in East Delhi.
NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and LG VK Saxena met with hostile crowd on Thursday as they took turns to speak at the inaugural event of the newly built campus of Indraprastha University in east Delhi. Kejriwal was greeted with chants of "Modi, Modi" as gave his inaugural speech. The city AAP government accused the BJP of trying to sabotage the event with the disruption, with the CM saying if sloganeering could improve the education system, it would have in the last 70 years.
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Kejriwal was speaking about the Delhi government's school education model when a section of the audience started chanting "Modi, Modi." "Please let me speak for five minutes. I urge people from this party and the other party to let me speak," he pleaded the audience members. The AAP and BJP workers traded hostile comments almost throughout Kejriwal's speech. The workers of the saffron party shouted "Jhooth Jhooth" when Kejriwal spoke about the Delhi government's 'Business Blasters' programme for school students, and were responded in return by the AAP workers, who shouted back "Sab Sach hai."
"I know you might not like my ideas and thoughts. You can make comments but this is not right. Everyone has the right to speak in this democracy," Kejriwal said on being interrupted again. "I sincerely request you to please listen to me quietly. After all, even I have the right for speech and expression. We live in a democracy," he said. Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena's address was interrupted twice by slogans of 'Kejriwal Zindabad' and 'Modi ji ka dhanyawad.'
Saxena said that the varsity campus was built at a cost of Rs 387 crore, with Rs 346 crore of it coming through self-financing, and the remaining sum staked by the Delhi government. "Other universities should learn from this. It also shows that the universities can work independently," he said. Saxena asked the teachers to impart value-based learning to their students, without which, he said, all is lost. "You should give your students values and the kind of education that has the power to fight darkness. Till the time you don't impart this education, infrastructure and huge buildings have no value," he said.
Low ranking of Indian universities
Saxena was talking about how universities could reverse the brain drain, when he was disrupted with shouts of 'Arvind Kejriwal Zinadabad,' 'Modi ji ka dhanyawad,' and 'Bhrashtachar ka ek hi kaal Kejriwal.' Continuing with his address even amid the commotion, Saxena said there was no dearth of good educational institutes in India, whose students are now heading some of the most reputable companies. "But what is distressing is that our universities ranking is still lower than the world universities. When a student from our country can head top institutes then why are the same universities behind in rankings? We need to make attempts to improve rankings so that people from outside could come here," he said. When he was interrupted again, the LG said "I feel that there is a lack of education here … We are in the temple of education and we should maintain its sanctity."
Before the two, Atishi, the education minister, was hardly treated any better when her speech was interrupted by similar shouting. "This is why education is important," she said. Varsity Vice-Chancellor Mahesh Verma warned the disrupters to calm down else he would be forced to end the event. The rebarbative exchange was not just limited to inside of the hall with the workers of the two parties carrying on with it even outside the campus. The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University's east Delhi campus has become the latest flashpoint between the AAP-led city government and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, with both sides claiming the right to inaugurate the newly built campus.
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