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JNU teachers urge people not to brand varsity as ‘anti-national’

The faculty members also claimed that the internal mechanism of the university seems to be completely 'subverted' and autonomy of the institution stands 'surrendered'.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: February 14, 2016 1:24 pm
Jawaharlal Nehru University, JNU, Kanhaiya Kumar, Sedition, Anti-National, JNU protests, JNUSU, JNU teachers, ABVP, Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhatt, Anti-National activity, JNU news, Kanhaiya Kumar news, BJP on JNU row Residents of Munirka village protest outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) against the organising of a meet to “mourn” the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI Photo by Kamal Singh)

Amid a raging row over an event at JNU campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the varsity’s teachers have appealed to the public not to brand the university as ‘anti-national’.

The faculty members also claimed that the internal mechanism of the university seems to be completely ‘subverted’ and autonomy of the institution stands ‘surrendered’.

“Isn’t it unfair to brand the university as anti-national which has stood as an epitome of academics and democratic culture. Why tarnish its image by calling it a home to anti-nationals?

“We have taught here for years, we know what it is to be at JNU. We appeal to the public to look beyond the present controversy and not to associate the “adjective” anti-national with JNU,” said a Social Science professor, who did not wish to be identified.

A professor of the Linguistics department said the “university is doing an inquiry, police is probing the case, the Delhi Government has also ordered a magisterial inquiry. Why cant’ we wait to see how the situation unfolds? Why brand the university as a ground for terrorists?”

The teachers have also come out in support of the students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is in police custody on sedition charges in connection with the event, saying even if the students have done anything wrong, it is an issue of ‘indiscipline’ and not ‘sedition’.

Kanhaiya was arrested earlier this week in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over holding of the event at the varsity during which anti-India slogans were alleged to have been raised.

The event was held despite the JNU administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who had termed it ‘anti-national’.

“University is a place of debate and dissent. Ideas should compete with ideas, force and violence cannot be used to supress ideas. Arbitrary arrests should stop and our internal mechanism should deal with situations,” said Ayesha Kidwai, another professor at the varsity’s Centre for Linguistics.

The teachers have also called for a solidarity march on campus Sunday evening demanding that Kanhaiya be released and the varsity be left on its own without any police patrolling.

“JNU is known for its democratic ethos. We do not want this kind of tense atmosphere on the campus where students have to be scared as they might be called a terrorist. If some student insults the Constitution, the varsity will penalise him, but do not target students with serious charges like sedition without the varsity probing the matter,” said the teacher’s association of JNU.

The row at the varsity on Saturday turned into an ideological battle between BJP and its Left opponents, with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi lending support to students protesting against Kanhaiya’s arrest even as the government declared that the varsity cannot be allowed to be a “hub of anti-national” activity.

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  1. I
    IML sood
    Feb 14, 2016 at 10:29 am
    Why not? These Professers who are making a hue and cry and wanted people not to treat JNU as terrorist place,must explain why they wee having their eyes shut like blinds when such activities were going on for the long time?Did they ever raised their voice or protested when anti India tirade was going on. When the things are going out of control Govt. has to take put down this anti- nation elements with iron hands and some of these so called professors having sympathy rather one can say supporting their anti nation action. Time to expose each one of them and teach them a lesson of their life for their unholy behaviour.
    1. J
      Feb 14, 2016 at 8:06 am
      supporting aguru is completely unacceptable
      1. L
        Lalitha Rangachari
        Feb 18, 2016 at 1:05 am
        I have lived most of my life in Delhi ever since I remember JNU always had students staging some protest or other. We all had very low opinion of the UNIV. General opinion was those in that univ did nothing except protest.
        1. N
          Feb 14, 2016 at 11:16 am
          I feel like I can't breathe. The party whose leaders take pride in going to jail to protest indira hi's politics against her opponents are now doing the exact same thing - anybody who disagrees with the government on absolutely anything is bed anti- national. And the irony is that they themselves are from an organisation that was once banned for being anti-national and subsequently unbanned because the then then Nehru government believed that bans were undemocrstic (the rss for those of you engineers who have never read history).
          1. P
            Feb 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm
            Parents Withdraw your students from jnut seems like a favorable terrorist ground., anti India university change name call it Bharat Maata. University it will be poison to these pests s., forfeit their nationality properties like France etc
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