After the Calcutta University refused to allow a seminar featuring Aishe Ghosh on its premises, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president today called upon democratic forces to put up a strong fight against the "divisive policies" of the RSS and the BJP "without crossing each other's path".
She said this in an address to students outside the university gates, which were shut by the authorities soon after the denial of permission. "If the objective of the fight is the same, everyone should hit the streets against the Hindutva forces without crossing each other's path," news agency PTI quoted Aishe Ghosh as saying.
The student leader was supposed to address the seminar, titled "Calcutta University Save Autonomy Save University Forum", on the university's College Street campus. The authorities did not provide any reason for denying permission to the Left-leaning group expected to organise the event.
Significantly, the state police also denied Aishe Ghosh permission to take out a rally in Durgapur. PTI quoted sources as saying that there were security concerns over her rally clashing with a scheduled procession of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Left-wing groups expressed surprise over the decision, and wondered if the ruling Trinamool Congress was "serious" in its opposition to central policies such as the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.
The JNUSU leader had suffered head injuries on the night of January 5, when a group of masked people armed with sticks attacked students and teachers protesting against a proposal to hike hostel fees at the premier university in the national capital.
In her address outside the Calcutta University campus, Aishe Ghosh alleged that the RSS was implementing its 90-year-old agenda of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra. "The RSS-BJP is branding those speaking against their diabolical gameplan as traitors. They are carrying out attacks on the campuses. They are attacking girls in JNU. We must stand united against them," PTI quoted her as saying.
The student leader said she was not bothered by the RSS and BJP calling her a "traitor", given that the British had referred to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh by the same term.
Later, she took out a rally organised by the Students Federation of India -- the students wing of the Communist Party of India -- from Vidyasagar Statue to Shyambazar area in Kolkata. West Bengal Left Front committee chairman Biman Bose and filmmaker Tarun Majumder were also present on the occasion.
(With inputs from PTI)