GUWAHATI: The administration of National Institute of Technology, Meghalaya on Monday removed an idol of Lord Ganesha from its campus after a local students’ union had registered its protest alleging that the idol’s installation was hurting the sentiments of people belonging to other faiths.
A faculty member of the Central institute told this newspaper on Monday that the idol had been removed in the morning.
The Jaintia Students’ Union, in a representation to the institute’s director BB Biswal on September 26, had alleged that the idol’s installation was hurting the sentiments of students and staffs belonging to other faiths and demanded its removal.
It warned that the act of the NIT-Meghalaya administration might incite “communal sentiments” and suggested the administration to install the bust of a renowned personality from the field of science, arts or literature in place of the Ganesha idol.
Biswal had defended the idol’s installation. He had told this newspaper on Sunday that the idol was installed for “decorative” purpose and that it was not being worshipped. Religion has nothing to do with it, he had said.
He had also said that as its installation was hurting the sentiments of some groups of people, the administration had taken a decision to remove it from the campus.
“We were renovating the office rooms and that portion, where the idol was put, is a common passage and it was very dirty. When we cleaned it up, someone suggested that we put an idol so that nobody makes that portion dirty. That was the idea,” Biswal had said.
Carved by a national award-winning sculptor, the idol was installed at the entrance point of director’s secretariat on September 23.