Following the objections raised by Dalit organisations and student groups to a skit that allegedly defamed Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the Karnataka Police arrested nine people, including the Principal and seven students of Jain University’s Centre for Management Studies (CMS) here.
Dr. Dinesh Nilkant, the Principal from Jain (Deemed-to-be) University and seven students pursuing fifth-semester in BBA course and the controversial event’s programme co-ordinator have been arrested, according to police on Tuesday.
The Dalit organisations have given a bandh call for Tuesday in protest.
The controversial skit was played at the campus during the ‘MadAds’ competition of Jain University Youth Fest 8.
After the arrest, the accused were presented before the court and remanded to judicial custody for four days.
The accused were booked under IPC Section 153 A for creating enmity between different groups and SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act). The university issued an unconditional apology for the development and stated that the university does not approve of certain words used against Ambedkar and Dalits.
Karnataka Congress had raised concern over the incident of casteist slur being used in a skit performed during the college fest in Bengaluru. The party on its social media handle stated that there is a video containing abusive and objectionable content on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Dalit communities being exhibited in a programme organised at Jain College in Bengaluru. The City Police Commissioner must act in this regard.
“The police should take cognizance of the incident and initiate legal action,” the Congress demanded.
The skit was performed by group of students ‘The Delroys Boys’, who tendered an unconditional apology for the presentation. However, the debate over the issue is rising.
The incident had come to light after a group of students published an online petition on Jhatkaa.org. The petition stated the college contingent from Jain University’s Centre for Management Studies (CMS) staged an incredibly casteist and insensitive skit at the event.
The anonymous petitioners objected to the normalization of caste discrimination in the pretext of humour. The skit was performed as part of ‘MadAds’, a segment at the fest where the participants had to advertise imaginary products along lines of humour.
The Delroys Boys, the theatre group from CMS, who are in the thick of controversy, in their skit, exhibited a man belonging to the lower caste attempting to date an upper caste woman.
Akshay Bansode, State Member of the Vanchit Bahujan Yuva Aghadi has filed a police complaint in Maharashtra under provisions of the Atrocity Act and IPC. The complainant had urged the police to treat the complaint as FIR and initiate action against the performers and University.
Sources said that the controversial skit was performed at other platforms. The Delroys Boys maintained that they apologize to everyone they have spoken badly about and genuinely they apologize for their mistake.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)