15 years before HRD diktat, JNU hoisted flag

It was under the Tricolour that JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar gave a hard-hitting speech, a day before he wasarrested under sedition special arrangement  

: The national flag has been fluttering atop the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for around 15 years now.

The university, which is currently under turmoil over an event on Afzal Guru in the campus, was named by the HRD Ministry as the first university where the Tricolour should be hoisted after the government on Thursday decided to fly the national flag atop a 207-feet mast in all central universities to evoke “nationalistic sentiments” on campuses.

Right under the Tricolour was where JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar gave a hard-hitting speech, just a day before he was arrested under charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at the Afzal Guru event on February 9.

In his speech on February 11, he criticised the caste-system, brahminical oppression and the RSS trying to make inroads in Indian universities.

“We don’t need a certificate of patriotism from the RSS. We don’t need the RSS to certify us as nationalists. We are of this country and love the soil of India. We fight for those 80 per cent of this country’s people who are poor. For us, this is desh bhakti. We have full faith in Babasaheb,” Kanhaiya had said on February 11.

The speech, which largely mentioned his feelings towards the country, added: “We have full faith in our country’s Constitution. And we want to assert that if anyone lifts a finger against this country’s Constitution, we won’t tolerate it”.

The students on Friday said they do not need to be taught patriotism through symbolic gestures. “The Tricolour has been flying atop our university for many years. Now is the turn to fly Tricolour on the headquarters of RSS in Nagpur, since they do not understand any colour other than saffron,” said JNUSU Vice-President Shehla Rashid Shora.

The faculty members at the university have also started a one-hour long lecture on nationalism every evening right under the Tricolour, at the administration block.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 4:05:58 PM |

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