Continuing their efforts to seek the release of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on charges of sedition, some students and teachers of JNU Tuesday decided to launch their campaign on social media. The campaign, called ‘Stand with JNU’, now has its own Facebook page and Twitter
“We have been getting a lot of support from people from across the country as well as from abroad, who want to know what’s happening on the ground. We have decided to start live streaming from tomorrow. Additionally, our videos will be uploaded on Youtube and shared on our Facebook page and Twitter handle, with the hashtag Stand with JNU,” said Rohit, an associate professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP).
Every activity undertaken by the group, including classes on “nationalism”, will be streamed live from Wednesday, they said.
Earlier, while speaking on what inspired the group to hold classes on “nationalism”, Rohit had said, “We stand for the nationalism of Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh. Soon, a group of teachers will take classes on nationalism.”
“We are trying to get some eminent lawyers to talk about sedition,” he said. Professor Vikas Rawal from CESP, who is heading the social media team of the ‘Stand with JNU’ movement, said, “The details will be decided Wednesday.
Right now, the idea is to just use one common hashtag to reach as many people as we can”. The ‘Stand with JNU’ Facebook Page has already attracted over 5,000 likes. “We need people who know how to make online posters, and edit photos and videos. We are asking for students to volunteer so that we can run the social media campaign swiftly and smoothly,” said a student volunteer who did not wish to be named.
However, while the JNUSU and JNU Teachers’ Association have supported the decision to run a social media campaign against Kanhaiya’s arrest, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) termed such efforts as a “farce”. “If the teachers had taught their students nationalism properly, these anti-national activities would not have taken place in the first place. All this is a farce. If there is indeed some plan to live stream these classes and other things, we will definitely protest,” said Alok Singh, ABVP’s JNU unit president.