NEW DELHI: Former office-bearers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union from across the political spectrum converged on the campus on Friday to pledge their support to the student community’s struggle against the Supreme Court stay order on the elections.
They came forward to defend the JNUSU constitution and spoke against any move to “curb the democratic culture” of the University.
Shakeel Ahmad Khan, Director-General of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, who was the president in 1992-93, said no one could destroy JNU’s collective consciousness.
“JNUSU constitution has been evolved after a lot of debate and discussion. It has been framed keeping in mind the Indian Constitution and ensures full participation from students,” he noted.
Congress leader Tanvir Akhtar, who helmed the students’ union in 1991-92, said the students, both former and present, would stand united in defence of the JNUSU election model despite their different ideological leanings.
An assistant professor at JNU, Rohan D’Souza, recalled his campaigning days as a student activist.
“Contesting the students’ union election at JNU was a rewarding and profound learning experience. There was an exchange of a wealth of ideas. It helped us grow as an individual. What more can we ask for from a students’ union election?” asked Prof. D’Souza, who held the general secretary’s post in 1989-90.
Albeena Shakil, who became the president in 2001, asserted that the students’ movement at JNU had always stood up against injustice.
Kavita Krishnan, who became the joint secretary in 1995-96, demanded to know why the JNUSU poll process had caught the Supreme Court’s attention, while other universities that had been flouting its order not been taken to task. The present JNUSU president, Sandeep Singh, said that a delegation of the joint struggle committee had met Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh who gave them a patient hearing.