Parthasarthy Rock signifies the world to students of Jawaharlal Nehru University. It could mean anything from meetings,romance in the moonlight,to political indoctrination sessions or just a place for gup shup after a long walk in the green and lush campus. But now,the iconic Parthasarthy Rock Open Air Theatre might soon see crews shooting commercials,films or serials. A notification has been issued opening up the theatre for such activities by the University,which is usually seen as firm in its stand against any form of the commercialisation of its campus.
Coming out in strong protest,the ultra-Left dominated Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union,JNUSU,after a meeting with students from 13 hostels,has planned to organise a massive one-day strike and the Long March to Reclaim JNU on Tuesday.
Nothing less than the JNUs heart and spirit is at stake. Each and every institution and value that we have painstakingly built over the years is under concerted assault, said JNUSU president Sandeep Singh.
The January 21 notification mentions that it will charge upto Rs 30,000 as licence fee from the agencies depending upon the proposal. A sum of Rs 2,000 per day shall be charged for maintenance and security during the programme.
The reason for the initiative has not been disclosed but after the JNUSU protested against the move last week,the policy has been kept on hold until further discussion on the topic takes place.
On Tuesday,the Students Union will also protest several other steps taken by the administration recently including putting up electric meters in hostels for individual user charges and the destruction of JNUs ecologically sensitive areas around the Parthasarathy Rock by cutting down trees.
The University,however,claimed on Monday that; there is no attempt by the University to commercialise the space available at the Parthasarthy Rocks. It is not correct to say that the ecology of the campus has been harmed. The fact is that the JNU is far greener today than it ever has been and this has been attained by judicious of resources.
Taking advantage of the Supreme Courts stay order on the JNUSU elections,the present JNU administration has launched such assaults to change the fundamental character and identity of JNU. This is shameful to say the least,and will be fought back by the entire JNU community tooth and nail, said Shephalika Shekhar,vice president,JNUSU.
It is not known if any fiery meetings are being planned on the Rock itself to protest this move.