‘JNU cannot be made into a theatre of war’, teachers, students slam V-C for tank remark
New Delhi, July 25: The teachers and students of the premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi spoke in unison against the proposal of Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to install an army tank inside the campus "to remind students of the army's sacrifices".
On Monday, the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) said the university cannot be made into a "theatre of war" and that the JNU was not a "boot camp". The JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) alleged that the statement was being made to "fan the February 9 controversy".
Last year, during February, the JNU was rocked by a controversy over the alleged chanting of anti-national slogans by some students. The controversy led to the entire campus being branded as "anti-national" by right-wing groups.
Several student leaders of the university were also arrested over the alleged "anti-national" slogans.
The JNUTA said, "It is surprising that Professor Jagadesh Kumar can only be inspired to patriotism upon beholding instruments of war. This seems to be only a personal affliction, since the rest of the JNU community does not need these visual aids to feel love and concern for this land..."
"The JNU cannot be made into a theatre of war. His statutory role is one of maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the university and of upholding the JNU Act and Statutes.
Unfortunately, by these standards, the JNU V-C has spectacularly failed--he and his team have effectively shut down admissions to JNU's research programmes, academic expression is constantly being threatened, every single statutory institution has been perverted...," the JNUTA added.
The JNUTA said it was "bad enough" that V-Cs were being made to "comply with the government's requirements to demonstrate love for the country through physical symbols. But, for a V-C to take the lead in turning the campus into a parade ground is a worrying sign of the debilitating anti-intellectual effects of long years in an obedience school."
The V-C made the statement on Sunday while speaking on the occasion of "Kargil Vijay Diwas". He said that an army tank can remind students of the sacrifices and valour of the soldiers.
According to PTI, the event started with the JNU faculty, students and kin of Kargil martyrs holding a march with a 2,200-feet-long Tricolour and paying tributes at the Wall of Heroes, located in JNU's convention centre where 21 portraits of Param Vir Chakra awardees are exhibited.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said the JNU created history by organising "Tiranga March" and setting up Wall of Heroes. He said it is an important day to remember the sacrifices made by the army.