No one told me why: MA Gold medallist kept out at PU convocation event until Kovind left
Puducherry, Dec 24: Rabeeha Abdurehim, MA gold medalist in Mass Communication from Pondicherry University on Tuesday alleged that she was not allowed to attend the convocation ceremony, while President Ram Nath Kovind was present at the venue.
Speaking to media, Rabeeha, who has been vocal about her opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act, said,'' I don't know why I was sent out. But I learnt when the students inside asked police they said maybe it is because she is wearing a scarf in a different way. That could also be the reason why they sent me out but nobody told me blatantly on my face.''
Taking to Facebook, Rabeeha wrote:
I have dreamt often about the moment I would receive my gold medal and master's certificate fondly. Never did I imagine it would end up being a way in which I could send a strong peaceful message across India. As a woman, as a student, as an Indian, today in my graduation I reject the Gold medal that is awarded to me in solidarity with all the students and public of India who are fighting against CAA and NRC in India. This is my way of showing the world what education means to our youth, not medals and certificates but learning the message of unity, peace and standing up against injustice, fascism and bigotry.
And even though (for 'unknown' reasons) I was sent out of the auditorium where 100s of students sat awaiting their medals when the president came and was only allowed inside when he left, I feel at peace for the fact that I was able to take a stand as an educated youth.
P. S. I have been seeing news which says I was asked to remove my scarf. That is false. No one asked me to remove anything. No one told me why I was kept outside.
However, the university authorities said there was no question of not allowing her inside the convocation hall and they had no idea why Rabeeha was asked to stay out of the event. An official in the University told PTI that the ceremony went off well.
She also had received support from across quarters, including that of former finance minister P Chidambaram.
Keeping out gold medalist Rabeeha Abdurehim from the Convocation of Pondicherry University was an outrageous assault on her rights.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 24, 2019
Rabeeha said her decision to reject the gold medal was also to express solidarity with students who faced police brutality while staging protests against the CAA.
She did her masters in the School of Media and Communication of Pondicherry University.
However, Rabeeha was allowed to participate in the ceremony only after Kovind left the university after presenting gold medals and certificates to a few students.
President Ram Nath Kovind participated in the 27th convocation of the Pondicherry University, amidst a boycott by members of the students council over the newly amended law.