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BJP’s CT Ravi wants JNU renamed after Swami Vivekananda, stirs row

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the JNU campus.

BJP national general secretary and former Karnataka minister CT Ravi courted controversy on Monday when he called for the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi to be renamed as Swami Vivekananda University. In a social media post, he argued that Swami Vivekananda stood for the “idea of Bharat”.

“It is Swami Vivekananda who stood for the “Idea of Bharat”. His philosophy & values signify the “Strength of Bharat”. It is only right that Jawaharlal Nehru University be renamed as Swami Vivekananda University. Life of Bharat’s patriotic Saint will inspire generations to come,” he tweeted.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the JNU campus and asserted that people’s ideologies should be seen standing with and not against the country in matters of national interest.

Students flashed posters of “Modi go back” and “we want answers” ahead of the unveiling of the statue by him.

He has chosen this university for installing the statue but whenever students raise their voice on any issue, everybody comes “hounding” and demands that the university should be shut, said JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh, who was leading the protest at the varsity’s north gate.

The Prime Minister had said that the statue will inspire everyone and instil courage and compassion that Swami Vivekananda wanted to see in people.

Ravi is known for making controversial remarks from his early days in politics. He rose to prominence by organising the ‘Datta Mala Abhiyana’, which was launched in early 90s in Chikkamagaluru claiming that Bababudangiri, a syncretic shrine visited by Muslims and Hindus, was actually the abode of Guru Dattatreya.

He had recently suggested that ‘love jihad’ should be criminalised in Karnataka. Later, the matter was discussed in the BJP’s executive committee meeting in Mangaluru and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had even announced that his government would bring in such a legislation soon.

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