Saturday, June 10, 2023



By Rajnish Kumar

Getting admitted into JNU after competing its Entrance Examination was a moment of pride for me. While doing my Graduation from Punjab University, I had planned to be a part of this premier institution.

Graduating with National Merit Scholarship was an added advantage and I was confident of getting into the stream of Social Sciences in JNU. The ambience of the campus surrounding by hillock and various flora and fauna, the academic atmosphere, the free and frank companionship, friendly faculty and student relationship, the presence of all ethnics group, caste, various educational and social background not only gave a nationalist but an elitist look.

With mostly graduates assembling for higher degree at JNU the level of confidence and maturity was hardly questionable. Classes, discussion and even gossiping were sensible. The campus was politically vibrant with almost every student getting affiliated to one organization or the other be it partially Leftist, Socialist, Marxist.

I too joined Samta Yuvjan Sabha having students mostly from Bihar, UP, MP with late Digvijay Singh known as Dada as our leader. He was in fact not a leader but elder brother for all as he was so caring and concerned for all. Became Students Faculty Member of Centre of Historical Studies and actively got into students welfare activities.

In 1982, when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was invited to the Campus vehemently opposed her entry into the campus as it was more connected with political issues rather than students and academic issues. Many were arrested and left midnight far away somewhere near Gurgaon of today, which was just coming up that time.

Few of the activities like us were taken to Tihar Jail and later released soon when we protested and went on fast for facilities not being provided to us as per the jail manual. DTC buses dropped us at the campus and campus was declared sine die. Vice Chancellor was gheroed in which his own daughter joined the movement.

This was not ant national activities but student�s cool and non – violent protest. Campus has produced many politicians today who are donning State and Country affairs. Students need to be vigilant watch dog of the nation. JNU is the only place where pre-election is followed by open debate by candidates at every forum, hostels, mess, tea stall, dhaba etc. Healthy and positive way of democratic way of leadership selection and election.

However what happened today in the JNU campus has put us at a cross roads of illusionment and frustration. Such gathering and demonstration against the unity and integrity of the country cannot be justified. This is not freedom of speaking. The entry of politicians into the campus criticizing other politicians is more dangerous and anti -national. One senior political leader and ex JNUite too carried away and started the blame game instead of fighting for the cause and reputation of the university which has groomed and mushroomed his colleague and supporters.

President of JNU Students Union cannot escape the responsibility of such act happening in his campus in his presence and in his leadership. Though, it may not be as a serious anti national act but an outburst provoked by the gathering. He should definitely be taken to task along with all others who are involved but at the same time they all need to be counselled and brought back to the spirit of Indian Constitution. Career in any case should be spoiled.

I am indeed perturbed with this incident along with many of our colleague and appeal to bring back the glory of the otherwise we will have to shy away shying showing our degree and awards that we are from the same JNU.

We have a very active WhatsApp Group in Jharkhand and we often meet too. Most of us are critical of this incident. Attaching the list.

Rajnish Kumar
School of Social Sciences
Centre of Historical Studies
Year – 1981 � 83

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