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The university’s choice to hold ‘homam’

A recent circular issued by Sri Krishnadevaraya University officials in Anantapur to conduct an homam (havan) on the campus on February 24 sparked controversy.

The circular, which was issued on February 16 by university registrar Prof. M V Lakshmaiah, stated that the university, under the direction of Vice-Chancellor M Ramakrishna Reddy, planned to perform “Sri Dhanvanthari Maha Mruthyunjaya Shanthi Homam” on February 24 at 8.30 a.m. at the S.K. University Kreeda Vedhika (sports arena) to have the blessings of the Al

Monday, students representing several unions organised a protest outside the office of university registrar Prof. M V Lakshmaiah, demanding that the intended homam be cancelled.

“How can university administrators engage in such events when there are students of various faiths on campus? They advocate for superstitions and irrational ideas. It will divide students along religious and caste lines, said an anonymous student union head.

He suggested that if university administrators wish to conduct such homams, they should do it off-campus. “The university should immediately retract the idea,” he said.

The registrar stated that all employees eager to voluntarily participate in the homam can give a minimum of 500 for teaching staff and 100 for non-teaching staff to cover the homam’s expenses.

Dr. Ch Krishnudu, assistant professor in the Department of Management, and Santhalingam, secretary of the non-teaching employees’ association, respectively, must receive the aforementioned sum by February 21.

The registrar defended the decision, stating that no employee was required to pay money or attend the homam. “During the past few months, there have been a number of deaths among non-teaching university staff. “As a result, there were requests from some places for Santhi homam,” he explained.

Lakshmaiah stated that it was not an official university programme, but rather a non-teaching employees’ group initiative. “It is purely a personal endeavour of a few employees. No one is being compelled. This activity does not discriminate on the basis of religion. He stated that the university treats all religions equally.

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