Students fined for missing unity run

Even as the Nationalist Congress Party said that the majority of the crowd in Narendra Modi’s massive rally in Mumbai on Sunday were from Gujarat, the Gujarat chief minister seems to have garnered support also for his December 15 successful nationwide ‘run for unity’ through coercion.

By Mahesh Trivedi

Published: Tue 24 Dec 2013, 12:07 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:23 PM

The much-hyped 2km marathon to mobilise support for the world’s tallest statue in Gujarat has run into controversy with a college in a town near Jamnagar imposing a fine of Rs100 on students who did not participate in the run.

Principal J.R. Vanja had put up a notice on the college premises about the heavy fine on the 259 sophomores who skipped the event.

However, following protests by the students and criticism by local Gujarati newspapers, the order, which had also warned the students that if they did not pay the fine, they won’t be allowed to sit in next exam, was withdrawn.

Sources said many college authorities had pulled up students since top officials of the education department and the Saurashtra University had asked colleges to ensure large participation of students in the event.

A medical college student told Khaleej Times that many like him were compelled to join the run despite having tough examinations next day.

Terming the nationwide ‘run’ of the BJP-ruled Gujarat government to mark the 63rd death anniversary of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the RSS’ handiwork, the NCP’s Goa unit had appealed to students to kept away from it.

NCP vice-president Trajano D’Mello had told journalists that the circular issued by the Goa education department asking all schools to participate in the programme headed by BJP’s prime minister hopeful was illegal.

“The directorate of education has no business in getting involved and issuing circular with settle pressure on institutions to participate in this Unity Run,” he had said.

More news from WORLD