Not Namaz, Non-Veg Food Could Be Trigger Behind Varsity Violence, Says V-C As She Bats For Better Cultural Integration - Vibes Of India

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Not Namaz, Non-Veg Food Could Be Trigger Behind Varsity Violence, Says V-C As She Bats For Better Cultural Integration

| Updated: March 19, 2024 12:40

Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Neerja Gupta said the offering of namaz could not have been the only provocation for violence on the varsity campus on Saturday night and it was the food habits of the foreign students which were also instrumental in inciting the cultural emotions of the local populace.

Gupta, who served as the coordinator of the Study Abroad Programme (SAP) for 16 years before she assumed charge of the current post, also said the foreign students needed to be “mentored” and culturally sensitised about food habits and conduct in view of the sentiments of the predominantly “vegetarian society” in the state.

“Namaz cannot be about just one incident. We are not so insensitive or intolerant to someone offering namaz,” she added.

Going back to her past experiences regarding foreign students, Gupta said, “Violence in any society would trigger a larger problem. They should also feel heard. It is also an opportunity for us because they are our ambassadors. They take our culture to the world.”

She further said, “Gujarat is a very safe society. I have handled this (SAP) department for almost two decades – from 2005 to 2021. So I have seen they love our music, our food, and our clothes. The local society nurtures that confidence.”

To set things right, she also said, “Two decades back, I started with one (foreign student) and we reached 400. There were several orientation practices that helped us to increase the intake. I think somewhere we need to bring back the practices. Earlier we used to give a handbook to students that would include the do’s and don’ts about the local culture. Besides, there is always a gap between expectations and reality. They might land here with so many expectations. They may find a different environment. They may be in contact with their other counterparts in another city where the atmosphere is different. Earlier we also arranged interactions, and dialogues, community gatherings, and celebrated special days for different nations. But I came to know that now these have been discontinued.”

On Saturday night a group of vandals reportedly shouting Jai Shri Ram slogans had disrupted the namaz offering by a group of Muslim students at the university hostel, which had led to a violent clash, causing injuries to several of the foreign students and subsequently leading to the arrest of three individuals involved in the incident.

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