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Student politics: Is JNU going through a DU-isation and vice-versa

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By Sagar Sethi

‘Neither Hindi nor English, friends I know only one language, and that is the language of Movement!’ says DSF’s Lenin Red in his presidential speech at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Established in 1969 JNU, also known as the Lal Burg (Red Bastion), is today more colourful than before. The student politics in JNU is determined to unfurl its rainbow flag and further the freedom struggle of India’s Queer Movement. Its red bricked walls at the same time seem slightly saffron hued.

INDIA - OCTOBER 24: Election graffiti at Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, October 24, 2006 (Photo by Vivek Singh/The India Today Group/Getty Images)
INDIA – OCTOBER 24: Election graffiti at Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, October 24, 2006 (Photo by Vivek Singh/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

JNU has always been a Left stronghold. But can it keep its politics aloof from the emergence of saffronised politics at the national level? Last year RSS students’ wing ABVP increased its councilors’ share in JNU’s student union to 40%, clarifying the arrival of ‘Modi Leher’ in JNU. Although CPI(ML)’s student-wing AISA retained all four posts of JNUSU’s Central Panel, the language of politics is slightly drifting from progressive issues dealing with queer independence and gender justice to more immediate student issues; like installing Wi-Fi gardens, more Wi-Fi routers and especially more hostel rooms.

ABVP’s National Secretary Rohit Chahal said, “I think now the students are fed up with the policies of the Left in JNU. The Left groups don’t talk about immediate student issues while ABVP has always struggled to emphasize these issues.”

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The crisis of hostel accommodation has been looming in the campus for too long now. “The hostel crisis benefits AISA’s politics,” ABVP Activist Mukesh says. This provides the ground for Left organizations in JNU, he further says, to network with the huge mass of desperate students who need a room to crash in after their classes. On the other hand, this ‘Room Lo, Vote Do’ exchange academically benefits the student community as well. More they interact among themselves, more refined their ideas become. Just like in Plato’s ideal society where political interaction is quintessential for conceiving the idea of ‘ultimate good.’

The overarching concern in JNU is that the ‘progressive politics’ of this campus has to be saved.  AISA’s activist Shehla Rashid is more than just concerned about the extreme de-politicization of her campus in the wake of ABVP’s ‘money-power’ based politics. “We are trying to save our feet here,” she says.

When asked what JNUSU was doing about this, she says ‘Modi leher was at its peak, when we contested him.’ ‘We went to Benaras, and further when Modi came to power that AISA in Delhi University received more than ten thousand  votes – the most  that a Left party has in the last decade.’  Interestingly, last year AISA’s vote share in DUSU’s election did increase from 3,000 to 10,000, while ABVP retained all four posts of DU’s Central Panel on its home turf.

jnuSo does the rise of ABVP mean that JNU will be DU-ised, while a more visible AISA makes DU more JNU-ised? Former JNU President Akbar Chaudhary explains the sudden rise of Left politics in Delhi University when he says –“People were fed up with the Congress government, and desired a change. If these people are given any alternative other than BJP, they would go for it. Like AAP’s clean sweep in Delhi.” Likewise when DU’s student community is provided with better options than ABVP and NSUI, he further says, it would abandon them both.  Under such circumstances, the entry of Aam Aadmi Party’s youth wing, CYSS (Chattra Yuva Sanghrash Samiti) in the DU student politics could prove to be that alternate.

Almost three weeks away from its Students’ Union elections, the scramble for power in JNU resumes. Overall, while shifts in its language of politics seem a matter of concern in itself, the sudden DUisation of JNU poses a bigger threat to its ‘progressive politics.’ These forthcoming elections will decide what ‘Of JNU, By JNU and For JNU,’ stands for!

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JNU – A Hotbed of Evil Agendas And Propaganda

The series of disgusting incidents at JNU and other educational institutions in the past have “clearly revealed” that educated people can act like unscrupulous rascals

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Deepika Padukone rushed to JNU. What is shocking is without an iota of guilt, such public figures shared the stage with such a group of people who has earned notoriety for sympathizing with bloodthirsty terrorists and inciting the violence.

BY SALIL GEWALI

Blatant duplicity, partisanship, arrogance, and terrors are what all have been desecrating the very sacred seat of academia.
Does anyone have the courage to unmask this open depravity in academic institutions like JNU?

The first week of this New Year has brought before us a devious drama enacted by a group of students at JNU. The news spread like wildfire in no time. Now, after a few days of deep investigation, the Delhi police have come up with evidence which is just the opposite of what was vehemently set forth by certain media people and columnists at the beginning. Without a very serious thought and possible contrary outcome one journalist ranted — “who killed Gandhi can also kill students”. He was spitting venom against all those who believe in patriotic values. No denying, the father of the nation was killed by Nathuram Godse and he was hanged on 15 Nov. 1949 for his unpardonable sin. Is it not total “stupidity” to blame the entire associations/families with which Godse was associated? A son is a drug addict, can we blame the parents or entire family, and also his ancestors and clans? Prince Andrew of England is allegedly found to be involved in a series of sexual misconduct. Can we now mindlessly blame and malign the image of the whole Buckingham Palace and Duke of Edinburgh..? But in India so-called journalists “reserve their right” to criticize, ridicule those all who show concerns for the Nation and work for its integrity.

 Incidentally, while the grievous injuries of the JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh switched from right hand to the left hand, albeit mirror image.., it was not the “comedy of errors” of JNU. But, as the administrative machinery of the entire University has continuously been trampled upon and disrupted, I daresay, it is a “tragedy of the academy” now. Here the academy not for the excellence but for the free-thinking for the “worse”! And, what do you call it when all such outrageous vandalism and brutalities by the students with particular leanings are “defended”? Is it not a very dangerous trend and unbecoming of any dignified institutions of higher studies? Mere a few screams of “false victimhood”, vis-à-vis vandalism, have drawn the attention of the celebrities directly from Bollywood. Deepika Padukone rushed to JNU. What is shocking is without an iota of guilt, such public figures shared the stage with such a group of people who has earned notoriety for sympathizing with bloodthirsty terrorists and inciting the violence.

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The first week of this New Year has brought before us a devious drama enacted by a group of students at JNU.

Needless to say, over the years we have noticed that the “support” comes with a vengeance if the outcry of protests has the overtone of hostility and “treason”. Another actress Swara Bhaskar thanked Pakistani people for support for the JNU cause. What does it mean when the responsible citizens make the mockery of the country’s sovereignty? Yes, these all unpatriotically vicious actors, actresses and intellectual elites are the role models for our youths these days. Just be serious and think about what kind of thoughts our children will develop on their minds and what we can expect from them for the nation.

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Another actress Swara Bhaskar thanked Pakistani people for support for the JNU cause.

The series of disgusting incidents at JNU and other educational institutions in the past have “clearly revealed” that educated people can act like unscrupulous rascals, senselessly inciting the violence and terrors. For some of the political leaders, JNU crises have come as opportunities to destabilize the country or cause misunderstanding and division among various communities. If we believe some of the articles by certain senior journalists, it can be well concluded that “education” does not always make one sane and civilized. Blatant duplicity, partisanship, arrogance, and terrors are what all have been desecrating the very sacred seat of academia. Who all are responsible for this depraved mess? Does anyone have the courage to unmask this open depravity in academia and society? Is it not time to say enough is enough?

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Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali