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Cong veteran Aiyar’s nationalism lecture at Jamia called off

Former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had a bad experience at Jamia Millia Islamia. Report has surfaced that his proposed lecture titled “The Rapidly Changing Definition of Nationalism” at Jamia was called off today after Vice-Chancellor Professor Talat Ahmad said he had not granted permission for the event.

The Telegraph reported about the incident in its August 29 edition, reporting that Congress’s National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) had planned the lecture at Central Canteen at 3 pm today.

Unit president Imran Choudhary told The Telegraph: “We submitted the request at 2.30 pm on Friday to the dean of students’ welfare, Dr Naved Iqbal. On Sunday night, he called me up and said we could conduct the event. But today morning, the V-C told Aiyar that permission had not been taken.”

Following the development, according to the report, a senior Congress leader Aiyar sent an email to a NSUI member who had been coordinating with the Congress veteran, at 10.05 am today. This is what he said: “The vice-chancellor has contacted me to say that required permission has not been taken from him for the programme to which you had invited me at 2 pm this afternoon.

“Accordingly, I request you to approach him to fix an appropriate day, time and venue for the meeting. In view of the V-C’s apprehension, I will not be attending this afternoon’s programme and would request you to determine an alternative arrangement after speaking to the vice-chancellor and in consultation with my office to ascertain my convenience.”

This is what V-C Talat Ahmad told The Telegraph: “No permission was taken for this (the lecture). It is not possible to hold it in a canteen. They applied for permission late on Friday evening, after which there was the weekend. We had not even considered the application as requests must be submitted at least one or two working days (in advance). The DSW (dean of students’ welfare) finally granted permission, but it was too late for them.”

NSUI member Laraib Neyazi, who was at the forefront of holding this event, said permission was granted around 11 am at the Centre for Information Technology on the condition that “it’s not under any political banner” by when Aiyar had already sent the mails.

The Telegraph sent text message and call Aaiyar to solicit his response but did not get one.


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