Vadodara: A workshop on politics of caste and social movements in India, which was scheduled on Monday was “postponed” by M S University authorities fearing “disturbance”.

The workshop on ‘Reading the margins: Politics of caste and social movements in India’ was scheduled at the Department of Political Science of MSU’s Faculty of Arts on Monday.

The workshop jointly organised by the Institute of Policy Research and International Studies and the department was to be conducted by social scientist and retired professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University Ghanshyam Shah.

Professor Lajwanti Chatani, head of the department said that the workshop was postponed for no specific reason. “I know that there are lot of things being talked about the workshop. But it will be held on March 29 or March 30 at the same venue,” she said.

Shah, however, told TOI that he was informed that the workshop was postponed as MSU vice-chancellor professor Parimal Vyas had called up the head of department asking the later to postpone the workshop fearing “disturbance”.

“I was told that the university authorities are fearing that the workshop may create disturbance at the campus and the university will not be able to provide security. So, the vice-chancellor had asked the head to postpone the workshop,” said Shah, adding that new dates for holding the workshop haven’t been informed to him so far.

Ironically, Shah, himself had started taking lessons on caste politics when he was student at the same department in 1962.

“I have learnt my lessons about caste and politics from Baroda university. I don’t know what is sensitive about this topic and what could have caused the disturbance,” he said. Although Vyas was not available for comment, sources suggest that local saffron leaders may have played spoilsport by approaching the state government complaining against the programme.

It is worth mentioning here that MSU campus had only recently witnessed clashes between student groups of ABVP and NSUI rebels when ABVP had reached the Faculty of Commerce to spread awareness on “anti-national” movements at Delhi University’s Ramjas College.


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