‘We are with you’, five Rajya Sabha MPs tell JNU students

In a bid to highlight “irregularities and misgovernance” by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, five Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament on Friday came together and voiced concerns against the “attack on intellect”.

Action against V-C

Demanding an inquiry against the JNU Vice-Chancellor, MP Manoj Jha said: “We demand immediate inquiry, pending which he [JNU V-C] should be removed. We will be writing to the Human Resource Development Minister as well. This is an act of solidarity to JNU and through JNU to higher education. You [JNU teachers and students] are not struggling for your personal benefit but for an ‘idea’ and we are with you.”

Stating that the MPs will bring up the matter in Parliament, MP L. Hanumanthaiah said: “The government has a clear cut agenda... that is the saffronisation of education. They have taken up JNU as an experiment and it will spread to other universities as well. All constitutional bodies have been polluted and we cannot be mere spectators. The V-C is running the university as a dictator.”

The MPs said that JNU students and teachers have been “struggling for over three years to defend their institution against a continuous onslaught on the culture of debate and discussion”.

“The offensive approach of the administration in undermining reservations for marginalised sections amounts to closing doors of higher education to the aspirations of SC/ST/OBC communities and those coming from remote and underdeveloped regions,” they said.

‘A larger conspiracy’

Stating that the “attack on JNU is part of a larger conspiracy”, MP Kumar Ketkar said: “All fascists and authoritarians hate research, scholarships and progressive thinking. They try to bury, control and destroy any institution that has an independent mind. The current government wants to destroy universities and JNU has been made the symbol. There are global forces involved as well.”

While stating the need to “fight collectively as a force and including the legal framework” as well, MP Amee Yagnik said: “After trying to capture open spaces, they [the government] now wants to capture invisible spaces, which are the minds. They cannot tolerate intellect and want the average minds to suit their needs.”

Extending support to JNU teachers and students, MP Sanjay Singh said: “The first voice of dissent arose from JNU. Under the current regime, if you raise your voice, you will be termed a ‘deshdrohi’ (anti-national) and this is a matter of grave concern. Will those responsible for mob lynching decide who is an ‘anti-national’ and who isn’t? We are with you and so is my party. We will continue fighting together.”

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 7:18:06 PM |

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