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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 Campus: One Of The Best Places To Learn And Hang Out

JNU Campus is simply one of the best places to meet some of the most intellectual minds in India

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JNU Campus is one of the most happening place for students in Delhi where they can experience everything from fun to academics to nature and peace. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in India
  • JNU is famous for its huge campus and campus life
  • JNU campus is one of the best places to hang out in Delhi for students

JNU or Jawaharlal Nehru University is famous for many things. Be it everyday students’ protests, the excellent reputation in the field of education and research or simply the controversies related to nationalism. But one thing which makes JNU everyone’s favourite is its campus.

JNU is simply one of the best places to meet some of the most intellectual minds in India. You will find various students and teachers from several fields in JNU campus ready to engage in intellectual discussions or debates.

JNU has one of the largest campus in India. Image source: Wikipedia
JNU has one of the largest campuses in India. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

JNU campus is located in the south Delhi area. The JNU campus area is full of greenery and fresh air. JNU campus s also one of the largest in India, JNU campus size is about 1019.38 acres. Jawaharlal Nehru University is easily the hub for all kinds of brainstorming sessions, where one can learn a lot not only about academics but also about life.

But JNU campus life is not all about studies and academics, there is a lot more to it. JNU campus has a plethora of things which makes it one of the best places to hang out as well. If you are ever planning to visit the JNU campus, these are the places you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Mughal Darbaar 

This restaurant serves some of the best Mughlai food in Delhi. It is one of the favourite spots of students who love the non-vegetarian food. The place is famous for its Butter Chicken and amazing ambience. The place is open until midnight and is favourite of all the party-goers.

Also Read: JNU Ideologues are Spewing hate in the name of Dissent and nurturing Anti-India ideologies

Ganga Dhaba

This is another famous food joint in the JNU campus which remains open till wee hours of the morning. It is famous for its multi-cuisine, delicious food which almost feels like it is home-made. It is also a favourite place for all the politically-active students who are often found sipping tea and debating over various issues here.

Ganga Dhaba is one of the most famous food joints in the campus of JNU. Wikimedia Commons
Ganga Dhaba is one of the most famous food joints in the campus of JNU. Wikimedia Commons

JNU Library Canteen

JNU Library Canteen serves South India food which tastes like heaven. The canteen remains open as per the timing of the library and can be found filled with students discussing various issues – academical and political. the canteen is more than 25 years old and is cheap as well.

The 24X7 Canteen

This is the most famous food joint in the JNU campus. The place is especially very buzzing after 10 in the night. It is very popular among the students and is one place where you can experience the actual JNU life.

JNU is also famous for its green and fresh surroundings. Wikimedia Commons
JNU is also famous for its green and fresh surroundings. Wikimedia Commons

Parthasarathy Rocks

JNU campus is not all about food and academics. It is surrounded by natural beauty as well. It is one of the most beautiful places in the JNU campus and in New Delhi as well. The place is also one of the highest in Delhi. Apart from its beauty, it is also very popular among young couples.

Also Read: JNU was awarded ‘Best University’ for its good works, not for Hostage Drama, says HRD Minister

JNU Library 

If we are talking about JNU, we just cannot forget the JNU Library. The multi-storeyed library is simply a heaven for all the book lovers. It is one of the biggest national libraries in India where all kinds of books are available.

JNU
In JNU one can learn while having fun at the same time. Wikimedia Commons

If you want to visit the JNU campus nearest metro station would be Hauz Khas Metro Station.