Apparently, in what is IIT-Roorkee’s version of Saarang was an event where ‘boys holding lipsticks in their mouth applied them on girls’. Ravikanth brought this to my attention in the comments here. Predictably, the saffron monkeys of the ABVP and the Hindu Jagran Manch have started jumping up and down about this, burning the Dean (I assume the DoSA) of IIT-R in effigy, and threatening to close down IIT-R’s gates if there isn’t any action taken:
“We condemn this incident. We will lock the gates of IIT Roorkee if the management does not take any action in this regard,” AVBP secretary Raj Singh Pundir said.
Not so predictably, however, the state government has ordered an ‘inquiry’ into the matter:
“We will not tolerate any obscenity in our state. We have launched an inquiry in this regard,” Uttarakhand Education Minister Govind Singh Bisht said.
Really, now? I wonder what an ‘inquiry’ into an event at a college festival entails. If this festival is like Saarang, somebody proposes an event, the student heads approve it, the Dean approves it and the event is held. There. That’s an ‘inquiry’ into the matter. Why on Earth does this require orders from the education minister?
This ‘event’, to be sure, is about as tasteless as events at college cultural festivals can get. I should add, before I get thrown in the same bin as the thugs of the saffron brigade, that I have no problem with an event getting men and women, in any combination, to kiss on stage. What I do have a problem with is the intellectual cowardice of dressing it up as something else. Using lipstick for this is perhaps particularly stupid.
These attempts at chikanery – dithering at best, contemptible dishonesty at worst – are to me the reason the goons of the ABVP can get away with threatening to close down an institution set up by an act of parliament. Surely it’s time we learnt our lesson. The right wing is going to cry murder (of ‘Hindu culture’ – whatever that might be) in any case. The least we can do is to hold on to our intellectual honesty and have the courage of our convictions.[hr]
Hat Tip: Ravikanth