New Delhi, 17 October
Defying threats from right-wing student organisations, the All India Backward Students’ Forum today celebrated the controversial ‘Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas’ on the university campus.
Five days after Vijaydashmi was celebrated across the country, AIBSF celebrated ‘Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas’ aiming to break the ‘Brahmanical cultural hegemony’.
“We consider Mahishasur as a great non-Aryan king who worked for the downtrodden people. We don’t believe in the Hindu mythology propagated by the Brahmins for their own benefits. In celebrating Mahishasur we are trying to break the hegemony of Brahmins over Hindu religion,” said Jitendra Yadav, president AIBSF.
Nearly 700 people from across the country assembled at JNU to celebrate the day with AIBSF.
“We had people coming in from Patna, Lucknow, Ranchi, Allahabad and many other cities. Around 700 of us marked the day by garlanding a photo of Mahishasur. We also held discussions about the significance of Mahishasur in our religious history," said Yadav, a student of PhD.
The event has courted controversies since the day it was celebrated three years ago. Right-wing student groups are opposed to the celebration, saying that it hurts their ‘religious sentiments’. The university administration has, in the past, served notices to the organisers.
“We have always been against it as Mahishasur is a symbol of oppression and evil. This celebration on campus is obviously wrong and should not happen. Last year they had taken out an offensive parcha (pamphlet) against Goddess Durga but this year they did not do anything like that so we did not do much to stop them, even though we are in principle against any such celebration,” said Mamata, a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), JNU unit.
Another student said that AIBSF is trying to create a false history by celebrating such baseless days. “They are trying to create a new history without any evidence. These students are getting intellectual support from people who are trying to convert Hindus in tribal areas. It is a well thought conspiracy,” said Sandip Singh of ABVP.