The inauguration of a park named after late Jesuit priest and tribal activist Stan Swamy inside the St Aloysius (autonomous) College campus in Mangaluru has been called off. The event, scheduled for Thursday, was called off after the rightwing groups opposed naming of the park after an "anti-national".
The St Aloysius Institute of Management and IT, Kotekar, Mangaluru, which had planned to inaugurate the "Fr Stan Swamy Peace Park" and a 150KV rooftop solar project at 10am on October 7, announced that the event had been "cancelled".
On Wednesday, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad submitted a memorandum to Mangaluru deputy commissioner K.V. Rajendra, police commissioner and the college management, expressing concern over the event.
The memorandum signed by Manikanta, state joint secretary, ABVP, stated, "The move to name a park inside a college campus after a person who is an urban Naxal, terrorist and the prime accused in the Bhima Koregaon case is condemnable. It is condemnable that the college management has decided to name a park after Stan Swamy, the main accused in the conspiracy hatched to kill the Indian prime minister… [he] is a fake human rights activist who died in the jail after being denied the bail."
Further, the ABVP expressed regret that St Aloysius, an old institution, which has made a unique contribution to the education sector in the district, had planned to name the park after Stan Swamy. "It is an indirect attack on the national unity. And to think an institution that has availed all the benefits from the government has chosen to name the park after a man who died in a jail is questionable. The institution that follows the principles of Jesus Christ, who preached peace to the world, choosing to glorify Stan Swamy, who represented violence, has shocked the peace-loving people of the district. The ABVP strongly condemns the move of the college to glorify an anti-national where they should have been instilling patriotism," the memorandum added.
Later, while speaking to reporters, the delegation of rightwing forums had stated they would stage a protest if the college went ahead with its plan and that the management would be responsible if any untoward incident took place.
VHP Mangaluru divisional secretary Sharan Pumpwell told THE WEEK on Thursday that they were opposed to the park being named after an urban Naxal facing serious charges. "The college has informed us that the event, scheduled for October 7, stands cancelled. Earlier, when we met the college management, we had suggested that park could be named after former Union minister late Oscar Fernandes or George Fernandes, who had contributed to the society, but not Stan Swamy," said Pumpwell.