Mangaluru: The decision of the St. Aloysius College at Mangalore to name a park in its premises after Father Stan Swamy was opposed by the right-wing outfits here in the district of Dakshina Kannada. Pro-people organizations and individuals have collectively written an open letter to the Mangalore district administration against the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Bajrang Dal. They have also supported the college’s decision to name a park in its premises after Late Father Stan Swamy. Their letter dated 8th October 2021 they have demanded the district administration to initiate actions against ABVP, VHP and Bajrang Dal for engaging in criminal intimidation and issuing such threats.
‘They have absolutely no right to interfere in the goings-on of the private institution. These organizations have a stated purpose and history for violence, communal divisiveness and subscribe to an idea of our country, with scant regard to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. This blatantly illegal behavior is a consequence of the free-run that is being given to these fascist organizations in coastal Karnataka. These organizations are imposing social apartheid, interfering in the private affairs of citizens and acting against the Constitutional principle of fraternity by engaging in daily acts of violence and intimidation with impunity. Members of
these organizations have engaged in lynching of minorities across the country, conducting
riots and engaging in violence to push minorities into second-class citizenship. ‘ the letter noted
Alongside the demand to initiate immediate action be taken against these fascist organizations, they have demanded that the district administration and the police provide adequate protection to the college to ensure that there is no interference in its private affairs.
The letter has been endorsed by Campaign to Defend Democracy – Karnataka, People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka (PUCL-K), All India People’s Forum and individuals including P Sainath, Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Ram Puniyani, Nandini Sundar, Cynthia Stephen, Clifton D’ Rozario, Kavita Srivastava, Harsh Mander, Meera Sanghamitra, Madhu Bhushan, Vidya Dinker amongst others.
St. Aloysius Autonomous College at Mangalore had earlier decided that they will name a park in its premises in one of their institution premises in Beeri, in the outskirts of Mangaluru after Late Father Stan Swamy. Opposing the move of the college, pro- RSS and pro-BJP organizations including the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal had called for a press conference and had also openly issued threats of organizing protests if the management went ahead with its decision.
mangalorean.com, a regional media outlet had earlier reported that VHP Zonal Secretary Sharan Pumpwell said, “ It is an insult to the social system to name a park after him. The move by an old institution like St. Aloysius College, which has contributed immensely to the field of education, to name a park after a person like Stan Swamy is akin to it indirectly challenging national unity and such a development is shocking”. He had also added that “If St. Aloysius Institutions management goes ahead with the plan, we will carry out a strong protest, following which the institution will be responsible if there is any untoward incident. We have already conveyed our opposition to the institution management and also have submitted a memorandum to DK Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra”.
Meanwhile, the institution has postponed the event to name the park after Fr. Stan Swamy that was initially planned for 7th October on account of the suggestion made by the police in connection with the visit of President of India, Ram Nath Kovind to the city.
It was reported that Rector Father Melwin Pinto SJ, Rector of St. Aloysius Institutions had said: “We will go ahead with our naming of park plan and we will not budge for such threats from these activists because in their own words they have said that Father Stan Swamy is an accused and nothing has been proven against him. Then what stops us from doing it? We have postponed today’s event as we did not want to trouble the police when they are busy with the President’s visit and the alternate date of inauguration will be fixed soon”. The naming of the park program which was scheduled for Thursday 7 October morning, has now been postponed based on the suggestion of city police that President of India Ram Nath Kovind will be visiting the city on Thursday, and there should not be any protest or untoward incident to take place.
Stan Swamy, a Catholic priest, who hailed from Tamil Nadu fought for human rights and tribal rights for more than 50 years. The NIA had arrested him on October 8 last year in the Elgar Parishad case. He was the 16th person to be arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case and the eldest of those arrested so far. He had been in prison for about nine months and had died in custody on July 5. His death has now been noted as a case of ‘Institutional Murder’ involving all the pillars of the state including the executive and the judiciary.