Vandals defaced the door of the chapel inside Delhi University’s prestigious St. Stephen’s College, late Friday night. A pro-Hindutva slogan was written on the door that read ‘mandir yahin banega’ (The temple will be constructed here). Moreover, the cross on the grave of Samuel Scott Allnutt, founder principal (1881-99) of St Stephen’s outside the chapel was also defaced.
“I can confirm that this happened, but we don’t know who did it. This may appear to be minor vandalism, but it is deeply disturbing. This is the first such incident with strongly communal undertones I am aware of in our history,” said Prasanto K Roy, who runs the College alumni account @CafeSSC on Twitter and is an admin for the official College alumni group on Facebook.
“There may have been a very few other acts the college has described as vandalism, sometimes incorrectly, in our 137-year history, but they have been largely pranks—such as the dangling of a pair of panties from the College cross in 1985, which triggered much mirth, media coverage and even a Parliament question. But we’ve never seen messages with undertones of communal hatred sprayed on our walls, ever,” said Roy.
“It’s painful to see such a despicable act happening to a great centre of educational excellence that has produced the cream of our society – civil service, politics and corporate, among others,” SY Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner and a prominent Stephanian told NewsMobile.
The incident was posted on Twitter by Ashish Joshi, a government official who in his personal capacity is an admin for ‘Stephanians’, the most popular of the college’s several alumni groups on social media.
Nothing Shocks me any more.
The hate mongers have infiltrated my College – Stephen’s.
But these guys have to be stopped before these ‘so called’ Pseudo Bhakts destroy the country & it’s institutions.
— Ashish Joshi (@acjoshi) May 5, 2018
The graffiti on the door was first noticed by students on Friday evening and as of late Saturday afternoon it had not been removed. There might be a time lag between the time the defacement and when the students noticed it as regular classes have been suspended in the University due imminent examinations.
While the door of the chapel read “Mandir yahin bangea”, the cross outside the church had the words “I’m going to hell” written on them.