As media reports are surfacing about free speech on Jamia Millia Islamia campus with claims being made that BJP leader Shazia Ilmi was allegedly not allowed to speak by the Jamia administration at a seminar organised to discuss the controversial triple talaq issue on February 16, RSS leader linked to the February 28 event on the campus spoke to several news channels at 11 North Avenue.
“We wanted to hold a seminar on triple talaq in Jamia. But Jamia raised two objections: first, hold discussion on triple talaq but the topic of seminar should be changed; second, no politicians should be invited. We agreed to both the points and changed the topic by naming it Muslim women empowerment. However, during the debate on Tuesday we openly debated about triple talaq. Some people were against. We allowed them also to speak. Both the groups had healthy debate. We cannot compare the Jamia programme with Ramjas College,” said Goloak Bihari Rai, National Secretary, FANS, which is associated with RSS.
It was on February 16 when posters had surfaced on the campus about the event. However, it was postponed and then it was held on February 28 during which some hijab-wearing girl students delivered riveting speeches about the place of women in Islam, said sources on the condition of anonymity.
Some students did hold peaceful protest over the inauguration of the event with diya lighting calling it against the years’ long tradition of Jamia of holding opening ceremony with recitation of verses from Quran, said sources requesting anonymity.
The event was held amicably, said source.
University officials could not be reached for their side of the story.