After reopening in February 2022 following the covid pandemic, Hansraj College made the decision to stop providing non-vegetarian cuisine in its canteen and dormitories. This decision has received harsh criticism from a number of sources.Â
Despite strong opposition on Wednesday, Rama Sharma, the principal of Hansraj Institution, insisted that Hansraj College, a DU affiliated college, adheres to the Arya Samaj doctrine and refused to revoke the decision banning non-vegetarian food in the dormitory and restaurant. Speaking to PTI, Sharma added that 90% of the students are vegetarians and that they had previously demonstrated against non-vegetarian food being supplied in the dorms.
Sharma emphasized that âa notification was provided and the hostel prospectus indicated that no non-vegetarian food will be served at the hostelâ in response to studentsâ claims that no notice had been given in this case. âThe warning about non-vegetarian food wonât be removed. It is a college affiliated with the Arya Samaj. We wonât provide non-vegetarian meals since it goes against our principles. We often hold âhavan.â We adhere to our guidelines. The brochure for the hostel specifies that only vegetarian food would be provided, âshe informed PTI.
âWe donât request that St. Stephenâs (college) lead a âhavan.â We respect the policies of Khalsa College. So why are we being interrogated?âSharma stated. According to the principal, non-vegetarian food was never offered in the hostel canteen and it has been discontinued in the hostel after informing students.
Alok Sharma, a third-year student who lives in the hostel, had earlier claimed that the institution unexpectedly ceased providing non-vegetarian meals. âWe werenât made aware of any such order. No order, in my opinion, was issued. This is wrong. We require appropriate nutrition because we are living apart from our family . This is a step in the wrong direction. Our choice of food should be unrestricted.â
The âdiscontinuationâ of non-vegetarian food has been criticized by the Studentsâ Federation of India (SFI) as an effort to âsaffronise the campusâ and has called for a protest at Hansraj College on 20th January.
According to the SFI, the Hansraj management has also allegedly taken eggs from students who brought them to the hostel. Also, in contrast to the college principalâs assertion that 90% of students were vegetarians, the SFI stated that a poll performed within the Hansraj hostel revealed that over 75% of students were non-vegetarians.