Student groups including ABVP not in favour of renaming JNU

BJP National Secretary C.T. Ravi’s proposal that Jawaharlal Nehru University be renamed Swami Vivekananda University has not found flavour with students on campus with all major student organisations, including the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) opposing the suggestion.

The BJP leader made the suggestion after PM Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekanada last week.

“It is Swami Vivekananda who stood for the “Idea of Bharat”. His philosophy & values signify the “Strength of Bharat”. It is only right that Jawaharlal Nehru University be renamed as Swami Vivekananda University. Life of Bharat’s patriotic Saint will inspire generations to come,” Mr. Ravi had tweeted.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliate ABVP said that it was against renaming the university. Shivam Chaurasiya, ABVP president at JNU said, “We are not in favour of any kind of changes. The Vivekananda statue is an honour for the student community here in JNU and we want to spread the idea of Swami Vivekananda among students. This is out sole motto.”

The statue at one end of the administration block stands opposite a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru at the other end. It was unveiled nearly a year after being installed and became a controversial site as miscreants had defaced the pedestal of the statue in November 2019 during the anti-fee hike protests in the university.

‘Not the first time’

Former JNUSU presidential candidate from the Congress’ student organisation, the National Students’ Union on India, Prashant Kumar said that it was not for the first time that BJP leaders have called for a change in the name of the university and played “name change” politics. “BJP leaders have tried to stir up controversies by making unnecessary statements to divert the attention from important issues. Why not make a better university than JNU and name it after Swami Vivekananda instead of wanting to change the name of JNU?” Mr. Kumar said.

Follow values first

He added that the NSUI appreciates the ideas and values that Swami Vivekananda stood for and suggested that the BJP leaders, who are calling for a name change, should first read about and follow the values of Swami Vivekananda before becoming his self-appointed brand ambassadors on one hand and giving hate speeches on the other.

JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh from the Students’ Federation of India, said that instead of wanting to rename JNU, the government should build new universities and name them after whoever they like. “If you go back and see what the government has done over the past six years, it has only renamed and that is their success story in a nutshell.”

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 11:07:26 PM |

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