IIMC Director General K.G. Suresh, insisted the institute was only allowing the use of its hall for free.
"We give our hall for the use of media persons who want to organise an event as long as it is not objectionable, communal, obscene or provocative. Renting the hall is expensive. If I want to help a media organisation, we have to become their partner. Our only support is to give the hall. The organising, selection of speakers, paying for snacks et cetera is up to them," Mr. Suresh told The Telegraph.
"Exams and classes are over and we have not asked students to attend. Also, Saturday is a holiday. Can I stop anyone from lighting a lamp or garlanding an image? The yagna won't be held in the hall", he added.
"I am not surprised, but confused," said Riyas Babu an alumnus of IIMC.
"There have been reports of alternative views being sidelines on the campus, recently. The yagna is a step in promoting the Hindutva agenda in education institutions. But you can't run a journalism institute focusing on a single ideology," he added.
"Journalism is not about nationalism. It can never be nationalistic," he said about the theme of the seminar.
Students also criticised IIMC over the Yagna saying, "We don't understand how a yagna contributes to journalism".
Former Bastar inspector general of police, S.R.P. Kalluri, known for his strong-arm tactics against Maoists, human rights activists and journalists is also invited to the seminar to speak at a discussion named 'Questions on deprived sections of the society'.
Against the move, Bastar Solidarity Network's Delhi Chapter has called for a protest demonstration at 1:00 pm in front of IIMC on May 20.
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