JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar wants an Army tank on campus as inspiration

The idea of showcasing a military tank to “instill nationalism” was first brought up in the aftermath of the February 9, 2016 event on campus, where the alleged raising of anti-India slogans led to students being arrested for sedition.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2017 10:37 am
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Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Sunday requested union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and General V K Singh to help in “procuring an Army tank” that could be displayed at a “prominent place” on campus to serve as a “constant” reminder to students of the sacrifices the Army makes.

The idea of showcasing a military tank to “instill nationalism” was first brought up in the aftermath of the February 9, 2016 event on campus, where the alleged raising of anti-India slogans led to students being arrested for sedition.

Kumar was speaking at the first ever celebration of Kargil Vijay Diwas on the JNU campus, organised by the university administration and Veterans India. Besides Pradhan and Singh, cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Major General (retd) G D Bakshi and author Rajiv Malhotra were part of the event, which began with a Tiranga March from the main gate to the Convention Centre, carrying a 2,200 foot-long tricolor.

“It’s an important day for us to remember the sacrifices made by men in the defence forces to keep the safety and security of this country… We would like to request V K Singh and also Pradhan ji to help us procure an Army tank so that we can put it in a prominent place in JNU. The presence of the Army tank will constantly remind thousands of students who pass through this university about the great sacrifices and valour of the Indian Army,” Kumar said.

Gambhir spoke about the February 9 controversy, and said respect for the tricolor should be non-negotiable, and that the Army had the right to take extreme decisions. “Those standing on the borders are the real heroes, not cricketers or Bollywood celebrities. Standing in JNU, it takes me back to when there was a lot of talk about freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is important, but there are certain things which are absolutely non-negotiable. One is the respect for the tricolor,” Gambhir said.

“There are people sitting in AC rooms and comfortable positions should never try and make a comment about the defence forces. People who stay in extreme conditions and risk their lives should be given all the rights to take extreme decisions… Some time back, people said that the decision (to tie a Kashmiri man to the front of a military vehicle to deter stone-pelters) taken by Major (Leetul) Gogoi in Kashmir was very wrong, but I always maintained that people w’o’re in extreme conditions should have all the right to protect themselves, their men and the country,” Gambhir added.

MoS External Affairs V K Singh said the Indian Army had the “best record” on human rights across the world.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that in no other country was the Army undermined in the way some people did in India. “JNU is always making headlines. But I am happy that under the current VC, the university has installed the Wall of Heroes and organised this Tiranga March where slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai reverberated,” Pradhan said.

Rajiv Malhotra, who has written a book called Academic Hinduphobia, said he was “glad we’re capturing JNU”. “This is not only a victory of taking over Kargil in the external war, but also the victory of taking over JNU in the internal war,” he said. He was supported by Bakshi, who said, that while the gadh (stronghold) of JNU was being captured, the other qilas (fortresses) of Jadavpur University and Hyderabad Central University remained to be captured as well.

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    Chandrabhal Tripathi
    Jul 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm
    This gentleman does not understand the distinction between a think tank and an army tank. To enable him to show his bravery he should be sent to Siachin for a week in coming winter but then the poor man may not survive to complete his inglorious term as VC of a great University like JNU. The country has to suffer the Hindutva government a the Centre and persons like Jagdesh Kumar at the Universities for another 22 months.
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    1. M
      m
      Jul 26, 2017 at 10:19 am
      JNU - VC requires permission from whom
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      1. N
        N
        Jul 25, 2017 at 10:48 am
        All these guys criticizing JNU VC will be happy if the statues of Ajzal Guru installled in every nook and corner of JNU.
        Reply
        1. D
          Dr. Sandeep Nambiar
          Jul 25, 2017 at 5:49 am
          "A battle tank is no less a symbol of patriotism and armed struggle as a statue of Gandhi is for patriotism and non-violent struggle – they must co-exist as symbols of freedom and national pride in the academic and intellectual narrative of the abstraction we call our nation " s: sandysthattukada. /2017/07/24/jnu-the-battle-over-a-battle-tank/
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          1. R
            Radhakrishnan Govindan
            Jul 25, 2017 at 1:22 am
            Was it not Samuel Johnson who said "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"?
            Reply
            1. K
              kiran
              Jul 26, 2017 at 12:28 am
              what is yours ?
              Reply
            2. P
              pratyaksha
              Jul 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm
              If Gautam feels so strongly about nationalism and soldiers' sacrifices, he should have joined the armed forces instead of playing cricket. And, if showcasing a military tank could evoke nationalist sentiments, some Kashmiri youths would not be misguided. They see it regularly and still choose the path of terrorism. Why can't the VC ask the students to help teach and make at least ten people literate, this will be the greatest service to the nation.
              Reply
              1. A
                Ali Zaman
                Jul 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm
                What a beautiful answer to the so call patriotic. Now a days everyone is talking about patriotism but no one is joining arm forces honararyly
                Reply
                1. K
                  kiran
                  Jul 25, 2017 at 11:18 pm
                  joining army or not is his freedom.what's the problem for you, if he support s army. if u want to support do it,don't hide behind the bushes. whoever u want to support u can support ,but come out otherwise that would be hijacked by someone else later again u get angry and message the same message again. military tank is not only for evoking nationalism but main thing is to respect. instead of that V.C why don't u do that service.
                  Reply
                2. S
                  shubh
                  Jul 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm
                  All right, right, left, centrist agnostic or atheist have all their say. The people with such jargon only know to divide the people to grind their own axes and to always be near to seat of power to enjoy the privileges the rulers of all hues shower on them being their lackeys. The common people always suffer of all kind of turmoils hurled on them by all sorts of protagonists of such faiths or say belief. The Armies is full of these commoners, they fight so that no one can play with honors of their aged parents,innocent and lovely and caring wives and young brides and their lovely brothers and sisters. Sooner in colleges and universities the so called progressive students if realise this would be better for them and the nation. Life is not to spoil the nations resources taking shelters behind the guard screen of fundamental right of freedom of speech. Army service of 3 years must be made compulsory for every young person after a plus two or graduation.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Subhash Chaturvedi
                    Jul 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm
                    The troll army with all the armoury and in full flow ready to attack the peaceful logical arguments for preventing conversion of India to Pakistan 2.0......!!!! Great job... keep it up !!!
                    Reply
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