Organizers of a seminar based on Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar allege that Delhi University’s Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) withdrew their permission to conduct the seminar at the last minute. The Cluster Innovation Center is an institute funded by the Central Government with the support of Delhi University and was founded in 2011.
The seminar was called “B.R Ambedkar’s Idea of India, Dalit Empowerment and its Challenges” and was scheduled to be held at 1:30 pm on 13th April, 2018 in the seminar room of the CIC to commemorate BR Ambedkar, seeing as Ambedkar Jayanti is on the 14thof April.
Among the speakers were Manoj Jha, Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson for RJD, Bal Gangadhar Baghi, research scholar at JNU, and Harish Gautam, Dalit activist.
The preliminary permission to hold the seminar had already been received according to Nishant, a final year BA Humanities and Social Science (CIC) student and he had this to say, “We had also called the speakers, pasted posters in various departments and colleges of North Campus, created an event on social networking sites,” adding further, “My programme coordinator today informed me about denial of permission and at around 2 pm the CIC director told me we cannot hold this event. Instead he asked us to participate in the event which the university is conducting on April 14 in which Union Social Justice Minister was taking part.”
The director of Cluster Innovation Centre, Harinder P Singh, did not comment on the matter.
According to Nishant the seminar “has been cancelled under pressure of some groups and individuals who are against the idea of Babasheb”.
“They don’t want that his ideas should reach the masses and are against any dialogue on the issue of caste,” he further added, noting and questioning the abrupt nature in which the permission was withdrawn by the department for the seminar.