The Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh, India, has cancelled all classes, exams and cultural programmes on campus over concerns that students would be celebrating Valentine’s day.
According to local news outlet NDTV, the university issued a bizarre order telling students to be seen on the campus grounds “under no circumstances” while parents and guardians were told to not send their children to college.
The university warned that anyone seen on campus on Valentine’s Day would be “punished”.
In the order, the university says it is closed for “Mahashivratri”, the day celebrated to venerate Lord Shiva, an important deity in Hindu culture, but the intro suggests something else.
“In recent years it has been seen that influenced by Western culture, young people celebrate Feb14 as Valentine’s Day. But students are informed that tomorrow is a holiday at the university for Mahashivratri.”
The order was signed by the university’s Chief Proctor Vinod Singh who said disciplinary action would be taken against anyone who violated the order.
Students call Lucknow University's advisory on Valentine's Day, 'an example of chhoti soch,' add that, 'You've declared a holiday on that day, but telling students to not enter university premises isn't right at all. If we won't enter the university, then who will?' pic.twitter.com/AkqjtstKpr
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 13, 2018
The students, however, slammed the university’s “pettiness”.
“You’ve declared a holiday, but telling students to not enter university premises isn’t right at all. If we don’t enter the university, then who will?” a student was quoted as saying.
The university is no stranger to controversy surrounding Valentine’s Day.
Last year, the institution warned students against bringing gifts or flowers to college on Valentine’s Day over concerns that it led to harassment of women.
“The reason is very specific. Outsiders should not come and our students should not be harassed. We don’t want law and order problems,” Vice-Chancellor SN Singh said.
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