Bengaluru college casteist skit: Govt says insult to Ambedkar intolerable | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

Nine people including students and the principal of Jain University in Bengaluru were arrested for staging a play with casteist overtones and derogatory references to BR Ambedkar.

In the wake of an objectionable play that was staged in a Bengaluru college recently, the Karnataka government said that it will not tolerate any insult to the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar. The skit, which was staged as part of the ‘MadAds’ section of Jain University’s youth festival, had casteist overtones and derogatory references to Ambedkar. Nine people including seven students and the college principal were arrested after an FIR was registered by the Siddapura police in Bengaluru.

During zero hour in the Karnataka Assembly, on Wednesday, February 15, JD(S) legislator K Annadani raised the issue of the play’s derogatory portrayal of Ambedkar. "The government has taken action by arresting some people. Such an insult to Ambedkar is unacceptable. Remove the 'deemed university' status and withdraw all the facilities given to the educational institution," Annadani said and stepped into the well of the House.

Replying to him, state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said, "The government is not in a position to tolerate it. If the management's role is found then certainly action will be taken." On repeated insistence seeking removal of deemed-to-be-university status, Madhuswamy said the government will not yield to pressure from the House. Annadani alleged the professor and the dean of the university must be held accountable as they knew about the play when the rehearsal was happening.

The incident occurred during a college youth festival in Bengaluru on February 4, where a group of students from the University performed a skit as part of ‘Mad-Ads’, a segment where participants advertise imaginary products in a humorous manner. The skit, performed by the group ‘The Delroys Boys’, showcased a man from a lower-caste background trying to date an upper-caste woman and used several problematic phrases, including the alteration of BR Ambedkar’s name to ‘Beer Ambedkar’.

Outrage against the skit grew online, and a complaint was filed on Thursday, February 9, before the Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra, by Aakshay Bansode, State Member of the Vanchit Bahujan Yuva Aaghadi. An FIR was subsequently registered against the Dean of Jain University, the writers of the skit, and the actors, under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Read: Bengaluru students petition against casteist college skit, demand apology

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