Forget Kanhaiya Kumar, this time another war is brewing in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and it’s over the campus’ iconic Ganga Dhaba. The authorities served an eviction notice to the owner Bharat Tomar who had time until the morning of August 18 to move out. Failure to do so would result in use of force by the authorities and Tomar alone would be held responsible for the consequences.
In a statement Umakant Agarwal, JNU estate officer said, “Bharat Tomar has been given show cause notice and eviction notice. Reminders have also been issued to him directing him to vacate the dhaba but he has failed to do so. The committe will do the eviction process on August 19 in case he does not vacate the shop by then.”
Authorities are unhappy about the possession and claim that Tomar doesn’t have a licence to operate and hence, should close shop but students have a differing opinion. Deemed as the place where revolutions are sown, this place has become an integral part of JNU. Naturally, there is unrest among the students and they are holding a protest at 11 am, August 19, at their favourite hangout joint to voice their opinions against the administration’s attack on the dhaba culture.
A statement by Rama Naga, general secretary, JNU Students’ Union on his Facebook page said: “The new JNU administration has been proving itself as an agent, who is appointed to destroy the JNU in every manner. It has left no single instance to take the opportunity to implement all its “farmaans” to shrink the campus democracy. It has been using the February 9 incident as a pretext to justify all its decisions. After the incident, it did not invite the JNUSU to be part of many crucial decision making processes. It had made changes in many policies without asking the opinion of the JNUSU. JNUSU was not allowed to enter the convention centre during the admission. It started installing CCTV cameras in various places of the campus, which were not done before by any administration. The VC has asked every warden to install CCTVs in all hostel wings.”
The statement further added, “The new administration has the only task which is left, that is to finish the debate culture in JNU between new and old students, between teachers and students, between JNU and rest of the country. Many students issues are pending but it does not care about that. Students have no places to stay, they are roaming around the campus and Munirka. But unfortunately it is not a headache of our VC. Instead of resolving the students problems the VC wants the students and teachers to do protests throughout the years. Now, it has decided to shutdown the Ganga Dhaba for ever. The administration has sent a “final letter” to the owner of the Ganga Dhaba by saying that it will shut down the Dhaba tomorrow at 11 am. What is the problem if the Dhaba remains open for anyone to have something in the night? The real problem with the administration which it has showed many times is that all the dhabas will be closed down in the night. All students are supposed to have their dinners in their mess before 9 pm. No one should go out and sit at dhabas in the night. The priority of the administration is to ensure that no discussion should take place in JNU whether it is in the day or night.”
No wonder students are upset, we are too. We are going to miss the food and the discussions. Sigh!