Skip to main content

Attack on foreign students: Gujarat varsity's reputation, ranking at stake, say academics

Counterview Desk 
Expressing anguish over the attack on international students in Gujarat University hostels, a letter claimed to have been signed by 122 current and former academics has asked the Gujarat Vice Chancellor, Dr Neerja Gupta, to provide emotional support to the attacked students and to ensure their physical safety.  
The letter asks the Vice Chancellor to ensure swift action by the police against the perpetrators of the attack and follow up with the police as to why it allowed the miscreants to leave the site in their presence.  The University should look into ways of compensating the students for their losses, it adds.  
The signatories suggest that the University should provide sensitisation to all students of the University about the diversity of religious faiths and practices and about the importance of mutual respect for beliefs and practices of all faiths.
The letter, received by Counterview as a direct message on social media, says, it has been signed by Dr Raghavan Rangarajan,  Dr Navdeep Mathur, Dr Neha Shah, Dr Ghanshyam Shah "and Ahmedabad 118 other academics and concerned citizens". It does not reveal full list of signatories.


It is with great anguish that we, current and retired academics from Gujarat and other States, hear that some students of Gujarat University were attacked in the Gujarat University hostels while they were praying and their rooms vandalised.  
A university campus is a safe space for all students and the manner in which students were targeted is condemnable.  
The video footage that has been seen in the press will allow Gujarat University to pursue this matter and ensure that the miscreants are identified and prosecuted.  
More immediate action may be taken against the miscreants who are from the University.  We presume that the University is providing emotional support to the students who were attacked as well as taking steps to ensure their physical safety.
This incident has sadly tarnished the reputation of Gujarat University, both within the country and abroad as the students who were attacked were from foreign countries.  Its reputation as a premier educational institution with the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Government of India, ranking of 61 among universities will be damaged if student security cannot be established.
In your engagement with the press you have shared that the police is investigating the incident. We urge you to also issue a public statement condemning the incident so that citizens of India and elsewhere can recognise that Gujarat University does not condone hooliganism and violence against its students.
It would be appropriate to sensitise all students about diversity of religious faiths and practices and importance of mutual respect
A message to all students of the University, and personally to the victims of the attack, reassuring them of the University’s commitment to their safety will provide some succour to all students who may be feeling insecure in light of the attack.   
Moreover, visible actions by the University that indicate that it is vigorously pursuing with the police for swift action against the perpetrators of the attack will send the right signal to all concerned that Gujarat University is a serious academic institution that is committed to creating the right environment for scholarship and education.  
At the least, the University must pursue with the Ahmedabad City Police as to why the miscreants were allowed to leave the University campus in their presence, as has been seen in videos, instead of being detained for questioning and investigation.
You have mentioned in your interaction with the press that the international students will be provided with cultural sensitisation.  It would be equally appropriate to provide sensitisation to all students about the diversity of religious faiths and practices and about the importance of mutual respect for beliefs and practices of all faiths.
News reports indicate that the miscreants damaged laptops and other equipment of the students.  The University should also look into ways of compensating the students for their losses.


Polarising the population by targeting minorities on religious grounds and promoting hate as tools for remaining in power will have such seriously damaging side effects in the society.In the present political environment,it appears that such events have tacit approval of authorities concerned.
Arif kazi said…
This incident shows a worst example internationally that whether some community hates other religion on their religious activities.. I being recruiting employees for international corporates never are bias or hate candidates while recruiting. Is it that the hate speeches are now being converted into action? Being a political student, we were taught that religion should not never be mixed with politics..


What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.