CHENNAI: Did their protest in support of the traditional Tamil sport jallikattu cost the students of the prestigious College of Engineering, Guindy, (CEG) their popular campus techno-cultural festival?
On Wednesday afternoon, within hours of the students’ protest on the Anna University campus, in which the college is located, the student representatives allegedly received a message from the college dean informing that the campus techno-cultural event, Techofes, and all symposia scheduled by various departments stand cancelled.
Techofes, held in mid February, draws about 40,000 students from more than 250 colleges across South India.According to some students and alumni, the message from dean P Narayanasamy was received around 2 pm. “Good morning my dear students. There are so many ways to represent your concern about Jallikattu. Instead if you boycott the classes then I will not be in a position to support you and you may have to meet the consequences. It has been decided in HODs meeting, all symposiums and Techofes 2017 stand cancelled,” (sic) it read, alleged the students.
According to the students, this was sent to all the representatives of the departments and students’ president of CEG. The matter spread further after students informed the alumni who enquired about the details of the events and symposia scheduled for this edition in the Facebook group, CEGAM (CEG Alumni meet).
A final year student from the Department of Mechancial Engineering said, “Symposia are very important. It is a technical fest where students come up with innovations, and facilitate industry-academia interaction.”
“They should not cancel symposia,” said another student.This has resulted in the students hardening their stance over jallikattu. “The college officials came during the protest and said we should have taken permission at least a fortnight earlier to stage a protest. Since we did not take permission, they got furious and cancelled the events. We accept the cancellation but we do not want the ban on jallikattu, a traditional sport which has been going on for centuries,” said one of the students who was part of the protest.
Even if sought, it was unlikely that the authorities would grant permission for such a protest, noted another student.However, speaking to Express, Narayanasamy denied sending the message. “We are not cancelling the event because of the protest. This is false information spread by the students.
As we are unable to secure sponsorship from companies, we might cancel or conduct the event in a smaller way depending on the funds. There is a meeting of the heads of departments scheduled next week to discuss this,” he said.
“The college has a fund allocated for these fests and we will continue these symposia and fests in a smaller way. We will take a decision next week,” he said.