Chapel And Cross Vandalised, Hindutva Hits St. Stephens College
The slogan 'Temple Will Be Built Here' written in black ink
The door of the Chapel at St. Stephens college was vandalised on May 4.A pro-Hindutva slogan, “Mandir Yahin Banega” which translates to “The temple will be built here” was written in black ink all over the chapel door of this prestigious Delhi University college. The cross outside the chapel was also defaced with the words “I’m going to hell” on it.
The graffiti was first noticed by students on Friday evening, however by the next morning the administration had already started working on cleaning up the slogans.
“ The defacement of the grave of the founding father of the College Samuel Allnutt & smearing of the door of chapel is not only an attack on the liberal and secular ethos of the college but also on minorities of India. Attack on minorities & its institutions is a very dangerous trend and could adversely impact the secular and democratic fabric of our country. My feedback from the College is that the teachers and students are shocked,” said Ashish Joshi, a civil servant and an alumnus of St. Stephens College.
Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) President Rocky Tusseed expressed concern over the matter and said they would raise the issue with the concerned authorities. “There is an attempt to divide students of the country along religious lines. The same script of Aligarh Muslim University (where an 80-year-old portrait of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah created a controversy) is playing out here as well,” Tusseed said.
Concern was also expressed by both NSUI and ABVP members. “Whoever is responsible for this must be brought to book. ABVP condemns this act of vandalism”, said the ABVP Delhi state secretary, Bharat Kumar calling for action.
“St Stephen's College has been a shining beacon in granting excellent quality education to students and has played a pivotal role in shaping young minds that have gone to positively influence policy making decisions. Such an incident brings harm to the very fabric of the institution and to the spirit of the idea of India for which it stands. This incident is condemnable and strict actions should be taken against those who are found guilty,” NSUI media in-charge Neeraj Mishra told News 18.
“It's quite deplorable to be honest, St Stephens has a very strong liberal left wing which to a great extent keeps the environment to certain extent quite safe but like any other institution,we do have a certain group of people who belong on the right of the ideological spectrum and we know of them but the interactions were rather courteous on both sides. But recently with certain unknown or know factor's, we have had a certain group of people or rather maybe a person who has turned to unprofessionally expressing themselves but with this we crossed a line,” said a student of St. Stephens college who did not want to be named. “Now the implications or the purpose of the act is still unknown, I assume it to be a petty prank but I wouldn't deny the possibility of it being a means for certain people to express their ideological opinion.” they further added.
The details of the incident still remain unknown to the students as well as the administration. There are rumours building up about who did it, but nothing has been said for sure as of yet.