Members of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) of Panjab University on Thursday said the students guilty of raising “anti-national” slogans at JNU in New Delhi need to be punished.
However, the members condemned the arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition.
The NSUI leaders, including Gurjot Sandhu, Chandan Rana, Manoj Lubana, Snigdha Bawa and Siya Minocha, said the JNU crackdown was carried out strategically to harm the students and close down the institution.
However the leaders said whoever is involved in tossing anti-national agenda should be punished. “NSUI PU wants to make it clear that those who reflect anti-India views must be dealt with legally and action should be taken against them,” said a senior NSUI leader.
The leaders further accused the BJP government and Delhi police of mishandling the issue stating that “the government was practising hooliganism and not nationalism”. Making their stand clear on the JNU controversy, student leader Manoj Lubana said: “Without any internal inquiry, charges as serious as sedition were levelled against Kanhaiya Kumar whose speech had nothing anti-national about it.”
The NSUI members added that because of a few “fringe elements” who yelled the anti-national slogans, the entire university was being called as a hub of anti-national activities.
“Nobody can claim to have monopoly over the concept of nationalism. Labeling anyone who speaks against the state is not anti-national and this is not how things should be handled in a democracy like India. Students of the country neither need nationalism certificates nor do they need to be imparted lessons on patriotism.”
The members said the constant interference by the government in the internal functioning of educational institutions is a cause of concern.