Ridiculing the Centre's move to organise "patriotic" rock shows at the IITs and central universities, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi today alleged that it amounted to "interference" in the functioning of the country's premier educational institutions.
He also described the decision as "shocking and strange".
"This is very shocking and strange that the government is now saying it will send rock bands to instill patriotism.
Please define a patriotic rock band," the Hyderabad MP told reporters here.
He added that the IITs had earned their stature because the government never interfered in their functioning in the last 60 years.
"Now, the government is telling them what to do, what not to do, whereas it is not filling the vacancies in the IITs. It has also slashed the research funds," Owaisi said.
He claimed that it was an attempt to divert public attention from the NDA government's "failures", including on the job creation front and in "dealing strongly with China, despite all the chest-thumping".
"This is a new form of diverting attention. The issue is that the IITs have to be given full freedom. But the government is telling them that it will send rock bands...In a lighter vein, can the HRD Ministry tell me that when the rock bands will sing patriotic songs, what should one wear," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief said.
"These are completely diversionary tactics and they are not going to help the IITs or the central universities fulfil their original mandate," he added.
As part of a programme named "Yeh India ka Time Hai", the government has identified certain bands which will be visiting the campuses of educational institutions across the country and perform patriotic songs, especially those from Bollywood films.
The programme has been organised to celebrate 70 years of Independence and 75 years of the Quit India Movement.