JNU Nationalism class: ‘If one wrote a letter to Gandhi today… it would come to JNU’

Apoorvanand spoke about Partition and how Gandhi tried to douse the effects of communal conflicts wherever he went.

Written by Shikha Sharma | New Delhi | Published: March 5, 2016 3:08 am
New Delhi: JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid addresses a press conference on the JNU campus in New Delhi. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh New Delhi: JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid addresses a press conference on the JNU campus in New Delhi. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh

In an hour-long lecture outside the JNU administrative block, Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand spoke of the idea of Gandhi’s nation and his vision of a secular India. He asked the audience one simple question — If one wrote a letter to Gandhi today, where would it go?

“Gandhi’s mail from around the world had a single address — his name, Gandhi, Bapu, India. If a letter is written to him today, where would it go? Where will the letter reach? It is a question worth pondering over,” said Apoorvanand.

Talking about how the ashrams and trusts Gandhi lived in couldn’t represent his last address anymore, the professor said one had to look at the leader’s last years to find his mailing address.

“Gandhi had lived in Sabarmati Ashram, but when hapless Muslims went to the ashram to seek refuge during the 2002 riots, the door was shut on their faces. That couldn’t be Gandhi’s last refuge… A lot of trusts are run in his name, but that couldn’t be his last address either… But if one has to find his true address we need to go to the last years of his life… From 1915, he was essentially a wanderer, never staying at one place for too long.”

Touching upon the time between 1946 and 1948, Apoorvanand spoke about Partition and how Gandhi tried to douse the effects of communal conflicts wherever he went.

The professor added that when Gandhi spent his last days at Birla Bhawan on a fast to stop communities in Delhi from killing each other, he was urged by Jawaharlal Nehru to end his fast.

He added that if there was one person whom Gandhi trusted with his idea of a secular nation, it was Nehru.

“That is why I think if there is a letter addressed to Nehru, it should come to this university named after the leader. Gandhi chose Nehru as his last address… because Nehru was the one man committed to Gandhi’s idea of a secular nation… Even when they differed in ideas sometimes, they loved each other… and a place like JNU and its students has a responsibility to protect that vision which Gandhi and Nehru held for the country,” he said.

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Ashoknarang
    Mar 6, 2016 at 2:16 am
    Indeed a true guidance to misguided students in name of freedom of speech to abuse the freedom and to nation. If they go to real world, I am sure they will not be offered suitable/any worth job. They are students let them study make career and then jump/Perdue any political inclination. Do we have record how many unsuccessful students/professionals we have over the years which have ped out?? They get scholarships for studying not to indulge in any anti national activities in the name of freedom of speech?? Let them ponder and respect the feeling of 125 carpets of people. Every govt. is trying for uplift meant of poor.let us not shout but do service on respective places for upliftment of the people. I am sure these so called freedom speech preachers will leave the country in a flick once they get opportunity to go out. Ashok Narang Toronto Canada
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. K
      Kishor
      Mar 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm
      hi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Patel, Bhagat Singh are all smiling from HEAVEN seeing JNU and Kanhaiya fight out pseudo-nationalists. God bless you all JNU'ites (except ABVP - Atyachari Brahman Violence Parishad students-you all hate poor dalits and tribals we know that)
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. Gajanan Pole
        Mar 6, 2016 at 6:49 am
        While one could appreciate and cherish old and personal relations and relationships, the politics of that time has no relationship with the present day politics, which is leaving a lasting bitter tastes in the minds of the people at large. Gajanan Pole, Hydeabad.
        (0)(0)
        Reply
        1. Y
          yousef
          Mar 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm
          Chanting Mantra of hi, Nehru, Secular will not wash the deeds to JNU. There is no hi, Nehru or secular when you have dismembered the country and allowed Taliban to take over. If Taliban takes over Bamian Buddha are destro. What is hi and What is Nehru in front of Bamian Budha.
          (0)(0)
          Reply
          1. Y
            yousef
            Mar 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm
            You seem to have a log of caste of all students. What a casteist University.
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments