Did you check facts before making the speech: JNU prof asks Kanhaiya

Makarand Paranjape (right) with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar during the 15th edition of 'Speak In' at the university campus in New Delhi.  

Makarand Paranjape, poet and professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, on Tuesday took on students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charge, asking him whether he checked his facts before delivering the much-celebrated speech.

“Mr. Kumar said Golwalkar met Mussolini. Did you check your facts, it was Moonje who met Mussolini. I am not saying they were not impressed by the fascist, they were. They thought it is a very good idea to have an authoritarian system. Please let us agree on what is factual and what is not. Fascism stands for anti-democratic position and so does Stalinism,” Mr. Paranjape said, while addressing the students at JNU.

“I am proud to belong to a country where one so called judicial murder created such a huge ruckus. Do you know how many judicial murders were committed from 1920 to 1950s in Stalin’s USSR? Almost a million and how many people were executed for criminal and civil charges? Only 34000,” he added.

Paranjape was speaking at the 15th edition of the Speak-in at the administration block.

Mr. Paranjape, unlike other speakers who took a pro-Left position on the issue of Nationalism debate, was interrupted by sloganeering by Kanhaiya Kumar and was also booed by some students in the audience. Mr. Paranjape was also made to face a barrage of questions from the audience, again led by Mr. Kumar.

Speaking amid a gathering, which was either neutral or pro-Left, Mr. Paranjape still took on Mr. Kumar’s “misrepresentation” during a speech after his release from jail.

Speaking on the topic “Uncivil wars: Tagore, Gandhi, JNU and What’s left of the Nation?”, Mr. Paranjape said: “When we (JNU) consider ourselves to be a democratic space we should also ask ourselves if this is entirely true. Isn’t it possible that this is a Left hegemonic space, where if you disagree you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are brow beaten, or ... (at this point he was shouted down and JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid had to ask students to maintain order) but I love JNU too.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 2:34:14 PM |

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