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BHU order banning Holi celebrations 'dictatorial', students defy by celebrating festival

Students celebrated Holi by ripping of their clothes

BHU/Holi celebrations Representative Image| PTI

A notice issued by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) administration banning Holi celebrations on campus has drawn criticism as being a ‘Tughlaki farman’ by the BJP’s national spokesperson.

The order issued on February 28 said that celebrating Holi, playing loud music, creating any kind of ruckus on campus in public spaces is completely banned. Anyone indulging in the same will be liable to administrative action.

On Friday night, Vinod Bansal, the ruling party’s national spokesperson likened it to a dictatorial announcement.

Students in turn responded by playing Holi in a pool to loud music, and even ripping of clothes as part of the celebration.

Bansal also quipped that this could possibly be the start of removing the word ‘Hindu’ from the university in Varanasi.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (the student wing of the BJP), president, Abhay Singh said that the order was ‘unacceptable’.

“If students don’t play Holi on the campus, before leaving for their homes, where are they supposed to go?”, said Singh.

Meanwhile, photos of an Iftar Party organised by BHU have been doing the rounds on social media.

In April 2022, the BHU VC, Sudhir K. Jain had organised an Iftar party citing the university’s traditions. Students had taken to burning his effigy and blaming him for falling into the trap of appeasement politics.

The chief proctor of the university, Bhuvan Chandra Kapri had issued a clarification saying that such gatherings were often organised in different hostels and that the Prime Minister (whose constituency Varanasi is) had also participated in it.

Slogans written in red ink had also appeared during the anti Iftar party protests. They read, ‘Brahmin teri kabra khudegi, BHU ki dharti pe"; "Kashmir to jhaaki hai, pura bharat baki hai’. (Brahmins your tombs will be dug in BHU. Kashmir is a trailer, the whole of India remains). 

A couple of students had also tonsured their heads in front of the VC’s residence in protest. Others had chanted the Hanuman Chalisa to protest. 

Interestingly, at that time the BHU PRO had issued a statement saying that the university had a tradition of celebrating festivals of all religions. 

There is no confirmation yet of any action taken against the students who celebrated Holi in violation of the order.

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