Foreign students offering Namaz in ‘open’ triggers row in Gurgaon University

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By Our Correspondent Syed Ali Mujtaba, The India observer, TIO, NJ:  Gurgaon: A Zohar Namaz by a few African students at the football ground of GD Goenka University on the Sohna-Gurgaon road in the NCR took a communal turn early this week when some 20 Hindu students protested against Muslims worshipping in the open field.

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A group of 20 Hindu students objected to prayers being offered by a few foreign students in the open playground of GD Goenka University. The protestors held demonstrations and shouted slogans in the corridor of the College. They raised the slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram,’ and “Bharat Matta ki Jai” videos which have surfaced on social media and now have become viral.

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 The protesting students contended that Namaz should not be offered in open by the Muslim students and dictated that they can offer namaz either in their hostel rooms or at their place of worship. They filed a written complaint to college authorities to register their protest.

Dr. Dhirendra Singh Parihar, the registrar of the GD Goenka University, told the media that around “8-10” foreign students mostly from African countries (Nigeria, Ethiopia, etc) were playing football when it was the time for their prayer; they stopped playing and offered Namaz on the field itself.

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“After the demonstrations by some Hindu students, these foreign students were sensitized about the matter and told that they can offer prayers in their hostel rooms or at a mosque but not in the open,” Dr. Parihar said.

The registrar denied rumors that a separate room is allocated for offering Namaz, clarifying that the university does not discriminate between communities and called the rumor “baseless.” “The entire incident lasted for bout 15-20 minutes and the matter was resolved amicably after a discussion,” he added.

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Naveen Sindhu, ACP Sohna, told the media that it appears there had been some misunderstanding among students but the matter was resolved there itself and it did not escalate beyond the university campus.

The incident although maybe trivial is significant because it points toward the level of communalism that has crept into society. It no more revolves in the realm of the political domain but its toxicity has percolated down to the youth and especially among the college-going students.

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The Hindutva ideology has now acquired a huge social base that would be hard to dismantle. It is beyond comprehension how such deep-rooted communal ideology can be de-communalized. This is something that bothers every sane Indian. Will the ideas of unity in diversity can ever be restored in our country?

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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a Sr.Journalist, Author based in Chennai, India. Writes frequently for the USA based News Portal, TheIndiaObserver. He is author of the book Soundings on South Asia, New Dawn Press (2005). He can be reached at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com or TIO, at Mediaiss@Gmail.com

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