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The Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor’s so-called words of solace appear to be more in the nature of rubbing salt into the wound (Inside pages, “Bury the past and return to the varsity, JNU V-C tells students”, January 8). He appears to be remorseless and shows complete insensitivity after the attacks by marauders and goons. He speaks nothing about going after the culprits, bringing them to book and punishing those responsible for laxity in security. His words almost amount to this: ‘Some of you deserved it, now commit yourself to behaving properly and let us together put it behind us and move on with the future.’

M.A. Siraj,

Bengaluru

It is appalling that there is growing mass violence in our country. India which has a brilliant past of being a centre for knowledge seekers, is now finding its centres of learning being muddied by politics and violence. India, a democracy, does not require Tiananmen Square-like protests or student unrest which may have found an outlet in several non-democratic countries. Much of the strife seems to be politically motivated or has political backing. Political leaders may benefit from all this, but not the student or the teacher. Socio-economic factors may cause conflicts in the minds of students to fester and have to be addressed with resoluteness. All political leaders must join hands to resolve this peacefully and by unity, i.e., if these leaders have national interests uppermost in their mind. In the process, the democratic system in our country will be strengthened.

One gets a feeling that political leaders in India are seeking cover as proponents of the Gandhian philosophy but, instead, are seen to be enjoying the advantages that may accrue from political chaos. Celebrities and people in the public domain seem to taking sides.The media in India, without doubt, needs course correction, and has to be objective and impartial. If we do not address these issues urgently, India may face more tumultuous times in the future which will impact everyone.

T.V. Lakshminarayanan,

Bengaluru

It was chilling to see and read about the violence on the JNU campus with many getting beaten black and blue and running hither and thither to save their lives. It is also saddening to note the police remaining mute. I would earnestly request the Prime Minister to make a statement. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, would have been stunned and petrified by the ugly scenes.

Mani Natraajan,

Chennai

I was a JNU student at the beginning of this millennium, where my friends and I formed a small progressive group called ‘WE’. The first poster of ‘WE’ had a quote from Kancha Illia’s book, Why I Am Not A Hindu. The poster was torn off by the so-called protectors of Indian culture. Somehow, after this, we were not ready to go ahead with such revolutionary ideas, and ‘WE’ withered away with its very first poster. I often wonder why the poster was torn off instead of all of us confronting the ideas expressed in the poster democratically.

Our secular democracy has gradually failed to inculcate a culture of tolerance and after Jawaharlal Nehru, it is not ready to accommodate dissent. The right’s rise and intolerance are only because of the inherent weakness of the so-called secular parties, including the Left, which have used secularism to garner minority votes.

Sukumaran C.V.,

Palakkad, Kerala

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 1:52:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/campus-notes/article30517104.ece

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