Lucknow: Students of the Lucknow University have been asked - no, ordered - not to come to college on Wednesday or February 14, known universally as Valentine's Day. Anyone seen on campus will be punished, warns a bizarre circular put out by the university.
The university is closed for "Mahashivratri", the order says, but the kicker is in the intro. "In recent years it has been seen that influenced by western culture, young people celebrate February 14 as Valentine's Day. But students are informed that tomorrow is a holiday at the university for Mahashivratri."
There will be no classes, no exams and no cultural programmes on campus and under no circumstances should students be seen on the premises. Even parents and guardians have been asked not to send their children to college.
The order signed by the university's Chief Proctor Vinod Singh warns of disciplinary action against anyone violating the instructions.
Put out on Saturday, the order has been widely condemned by students, who call it an example of the university's "chhoti soch (pettiness)".
A student said: "You've declared a holiday, but telling students to not enter university premises isn't right at all. If we don't enter the university, then who will?"
Lucknow University's record on Valentine's Day has been controversial. Last year, Lucknow University had asked students not to bring gifts or flowers to college on Valentine's Day claiming it wanted to check the harassment of women.
"The reason is very specific. Outsiders should not come and our students should not be harassed. We don't want law and order problems," SN Singh, Vice Chancellor of the university, told NDTV.