‘JNU has long-standing association with defence institutes, cadets’, V-C explains on tank row
New Delhi, July 26: On Wednesday, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) M Jagadesh Kumar clarified his comments on installing a decommissioned army tank on the campus which created a lot of uproar in the last few days.
Speaking to ANI, the V-C said that the JNU has a long-standing association with major defence academic institutes. "Several cadets who pass out from these institutes are our alumni," added Kumar.
The V-C explained that several former students of the varsity, who are associated with the defence forces, suggested installing a symbol of the Indian Army on the campus.
"These alumni said why not have some kind of a symbol on the campus. It could be a tank, an aeroplane, a ship or any other symbol signifying link between the varsity and them."
When asked if his statements, dubbed as "forced nationalism", are harming the reputation of the institute, Kumar said that focus was always on academic activities.
"We have renovated libraries and procured more online resources. Every day seminars and workshop are taking place. Our focus is as usual on academic activities," he added.
The teachers and students of the premier institute spoke in unison against the proposal of Kumar to install an army tank on the campus "to remind students of the army's sacrifices".
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.