Despite receiving a showcause notice from the Jawaharlal Nehru administration last year, All India Backward Students’ Organisation (AIBSF) will be observing ‘Mahishasur’s Martyrdom Day’ on October 29.
The event had last year led to a clash between students organisations on the JNU campus. Following this, a police case had been registered and a showcause notice was issued to AIBSF president Jeetendra Yadav.
Last year’s incidents, however, have not acted as a deterrent for AIBSF. “We have pasted posters about the event all over the campus. Students from Lucknow University, Bhimrao Ambedkar University and Patna University will also join us,” Yadav said.
Elaborating on the belief behind the ‘Mahishasur’s Martyrdom Day’, Yadav said, “Mahishasur was a powerful ruler who led the working class in the region which is now part of Bihar and Jharkhand. When surs — who are known as gods in mythology — came to the region with the intention of controlling it as it was very fertile, a battle ensued. Mahishasur said he would not kill animals or hurt women. Taking advantage of his benevolent nature, the surs sent Durga to slay him. Durga is called “shakti avatar” as she was able to do what the “Gods” could not.” The Asura community of Jharkhand believe in this myth, he said.
The posters put up by AIBSF include a copy of the former Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s interview in which he talks about the Asura community in Jharkhand and the efforts of his government to uplift them.
While the AIBSF members alleged that there was tension on campus because of the observance of Mahishasur’s Martyrdom Day with some “rightist political elements” tearing their posters.
“We are not going to do anything about this. We have informed the administration about the event, it is up to them to look into it,” Sandeep, general secretary of ABVP (JNU unit), said.