Madhu Kishwar named to JNU council as School of Arts expert, Dean objects

The move to appoint Madhu Kishwar hasn’t gone down well with a section of the faculty, including the Dean of SAA.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Updated: May 9, 2017 11:40 am
madhu kishwar, madhu kishwar JNU council, madhu kishwar School of Arts expert, Madhu Kishwar, academic and writer. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal

JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has nominated scholar-activist Madhu Kishwar to the university’s Academic Council (AC) to represent the School of Arts & Aesthetics (SAA) as an outside expert for two years.

As an AC member, Kishwar will have the power to decide on matters related to JNU’s academic policies. The university will hold its 143rd AC meeting on May 9.

Sources said Kishwar was sent an official letter on May 3 to attend the meeting which is expected to debate changes in the university admissions policy including deep cuts in MPhil and PhD seats.

Kishwar, founding editor of Manushi, is a graduate of Miranda House and JNU and has widely researched and written on issues of gender and politics. In 2014, she published Modi, Muslims and Media: Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.

The move to appoint Kishwar hasn’t gone down well with a section of the faculty, including the Dean of SAA. Some teachers criticised Kishwar’s nomination saying her name was not among the list of experts provided by the School to the V-C. Every School is required to suggest at least four names from outside the university from which the V-C usually picks one.

When contacted, SAA Dean Bishnupriya Dutt said: “We were given a letter asking us to suggest names of experts pertaining to the discipline. We sent six names of people who are prominent in the field of arts. Her (Kishwar’s) name wasn’t part of the list because she has nothing to do with the study of the arts.”

“We are very confused and bewildered why these names were rejected and somebody who has no connection with our discipline was selected. It has never happened before in the 17 years of this school’s existence. Until date, one of the names — and usually the first name on the list — is the one that has been selected by the V-C. We have asked the Registrar the reason why this happened; I am sure they have a logical explanation for this,” Dutt said.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Kishwar said she was unaware of her nomination and that she had not applied for the same.

On the Dean’s criticism that she had “no connection” with the School’s discipline — cinema studies, theatre & performance studies, and visual studies — Kishwar said: “I have made several documentaries, at least 13 of them, which have been screened on Doordarshan. I am also working on a book on Bollywood, as well as a book and film on India’s traditional art performers. I have also written countless film reviews. Not that I care about the uproar but they should at least look at my CV before they speak nonsense.”

Said JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai: “The VC has cited some mysterious rule from 2005 and illegally given himself the powers to nominate members from outside the list provided by schools.”

Denying any irregularity, JNU Rector Chintamani Mahapatra said: “There are many provisions in the JNU statutes which give the V-C the power to nominate people to different committees, including the AC. Whether a V-C is going to nominate on his own or take the advice of the Dean or the School is up to him. This is hundred per cent legal.”

Mahapatra added that to expect the V-C to only pick from the list provided by the School would be a “restriction of his powers”.

Asked about the Dean’s objection, he said, “I don’t know why they (teachers) are saying this. If we start evaluating all the past names, then anyone can be similarly blamed. Who’s going to decide who is the best person in a particular field? Every teacher knows that specialisations are very broad; nobody is chosen only on the basis of a narrow specialisation.”

Earlier, art critic B N Goswami; art historian Tapti Guha Thakurta; and, most recently, Ravi Vasudevan from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), a film studies scholar, have represented SAA in the AC.

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  1. S
    Santy
    May 9, 2017 at 8:37 pm
    Yep rightly so!!!! Only communist commies are allowed a seat at the high table. Rest of the lowly natives can only dream of the opportunity!!!
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    1. M
      manu
      May 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm
      otherwise priyanak his dance teacher who even moved ganapati idol from some prestigious dance academy..
      Reply
    2. S
      SP
      May 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm
      JNU left oriented people find every move as threat to their existence.how sitaram return who is unable to face Modi political y always takes help of crooks like laloo and sonia
      Reply
      1. A
        An Indian
        May 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm
        If she has written anything to cut the nose of the critics of Mr. Narenddra Modi, she would have authenticated her work with proper reasoning and proof. If she has done the work perfectly, there should not be any question of her name being taken for nomination to any prestegeous position. If anybody tomorrow says or questions the selection of the presidential candidate as he is a tax paying genuine Indian citizen, can this be accepted under any rule, even though there may be some people to support this person as they are waiting for a chance to create havoc. It is utter nonsense.characteristics of any person recommended for the Indian President's position, has praise the development of
        Reply
        1. K
          Kamal
          May 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm
          JNU rascals only want antinational antihindu pro jehadi, pro Vatican, leftist communist, free perverted person, who has no values, wants Bharat ke tukde and azaadi for Kashmir. Any other person will never be acceptable to them. Better to shut down JNU and have a new university in its place
          Reply
          1. R
            rattanmal
            May 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm
            This disgusting government will do everything to destroy ins utions with their stooges. NGMA IGNCA Nehru Library National Museum each now headed by an incompetent right winger. Just think of the damage that they are doing.
            Reply
            1. A
              An Indian
              May 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm
              Indian education system should be preferably remodelled, rewritten at any cost. There is no problem for people like R.mal, to study the life and rule of British, Russian, Chinese monarchs and autocrats. If the valuable indian culture and other subjects in which our ancient people had made developments much much before any other country people would have even thought about, it is not digestable to these brainless ones. They oppose everything and any thing brought about by the presesnt government. Many of these brainless are paid for that outcry.
              Reply
            2. M
              Madhukar Nikam
              May 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm
              Good move by the govt to get the right skill sets and dump the leftover of the azadi brigade
              Reply
              1. D
                Dhruv Kalra
                May 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm
                You are not a leftist,you don't smoke,drink,not a Hindu hater,not anti Jew,not anti American,not abusive of nationalism in general and Indian nationalism in particular. You don't consider deshbhakti as jahilpuna. How can you be an intellectual?An academic ?Worthy of being, in any way attached to, the pure and pious ins ution of " acedemic excellence" like JNU, where teenagers are turned into anti-Nationals, taught failed ideologies of Marx,allowed free , taught how to create chaos,turn villains into heros and heros into villains. O !Come on Madhu , Don't come here! This place is not for you.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Abu Fitna
                  May 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm
                  JNU is an overrated pile of lefto-liberal dung-hill. They made their careers writing politically correct sickular history. The new Rightist movement has kicked the sh 1t out of the lovers.
                  Reply
                  1. P
                    P.R.Joshi
                    May 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm
                    Madhu Kishwar may be effective in bringing about change. Other wise JNU means rhetorical Bengali babus, like the Dean Bishnupriya Dutt.
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                    1. A
                      Ajay Sunder
                      May 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm
                      Let us not dump JNU with people who are convenient to the present dispensation. Let us remember there are lots of talented people in this vast country and let us go by merit and no other consideration Otherwise the future generation will never forgive us.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        manu
                        May 10, 2017 at 2:24 pm
                        yes..kavita krishnan or anna vetticad like anti hidnu activist or priyanka chopras dance teracher or preacher anti hindu activist john dayal ?
                        Reply
                      2. G
                        Guest4321
                        May 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm
                        JNU anti-nationals have had a free run for too long and they have in-bred during that period and avoided any scrutiny of their work and activities. It is time to either close down this anti-national organization or try to improve it by inducting good honest and nationalist people.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          Vijita
                          May 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                          JNU definitely needs to clout out the inbreeding and incestuous racket
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Ashish Biswas
                            May 9, 2017 at 12:22 pm
                            Every faculty has limited power including Mt Dean.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Shamsul Islam
                              May 9, 2017 at 12:22 pm
                              What a FALL! The lady who was in race to be minister, HRD, Rajya Sabha seat, then VC of some university is ending up with a council seat in a department of JNU.
                              Reply
                              1. M
                                manu
                                May 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm
                                she will get that one also...but minorty activist who target majoirty comunty will not get any thing atleast for next 20 years..bcos majoirty realised the cheat ...
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                              2. N
                                NS
                                May 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm
                                Nothing goes down well with these commie filth which challenges their hegemony
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Rici
                                  May 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm
                                  Madhu has shown mirror to leftist criminals many times hence the objections.
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    rkannan
                                    May 9, 2017 at 11:17 am
                                    A typical JNU issue. Nobody outside of a closed circle should be allowed. At the end of the day, JNU remains one of India's minor universities and gets disproportionate publicity because it is based in Delhi.
                                    Reply
                                    1. Z
                                      Zaheer Arif
                                      May 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm
                                      is this minor? Jawaharlal Nehru University is a public central university in New Delhi, the capital of India. In 2012 The National essment and Accreditation Council gave the university a grade of 3.91 out of 4, highest grade by NAAC[1] awarded to any educational ins ution in the country.[2] It is one of the top universities in the country, ranking 2nd according to the National Ins utional Ranking Framework.[3][4] It is known for leading faculties and research emphasis on liberal arts and applied sciences.
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                                      1. G
                                        Guest4321
                                        May 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm
                                        JNU is an anti national ins ute number 1 and should shut down immediately. There is nothing of value coming out from this communist bastion. It has become a den for anti-national and anti-social activities.
                                        1. A
                                          An Indian
                                          May 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm
                                          Latest reports show that no university in this country, India is able to produce people of competetive standards and the w system should undergo drastic changes. Time is changing, the present government should take proper steps to make the necessary changes. Has the certification of 2012 any value today? World is moving in a supersonic speed. Let us stop studying about Shah Jahan, Aurangaseb etc. Let us take new lines and the principles used in our vedic days which can solve problems much faster than the so called present day scientists.
                                      2. A
                                        Anubhav
                                        May 9, 2017 at 11:13 am
                                        "every teacher knows that specialisations are very broad" What kind of an oxymoronic and illogical statement is this. The very fact that it is a specialisation makes it "not broad". Can't believe a JNU RECTOR has said this.
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                                        1. C
                                          ceedeeram
                                          May 9, 2017 at 10:50 am
                                          Welcome to real world JNU. Dean and the the dept suggest not nominate AC member. May be due to your arts background u don't know English. Pl. Check dictionary for meaning of the word 'suggest '.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            S L
                                            May 9, 2017 at 10:41 am
                                            A good decision
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                                            1. n
                                              naishadh. i.
                                              May 9, 2017 at 10:36 am
                                              after madhu"s appointment JNU"s internal politics of JNU about who are including in anti nation activity including faculty & professor will come out
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                                              1. R
                                                Ravishankar Balasubramanian
                                                May 9, 2017 at 11:45 am
                                                Was that the JD & purpose of head of arts & culture?
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