Too serious to be brushed aside

| | in Oped

There are a number of persons associated with the JNU, both as teachers and students, who are deeply upset by the actions of those who masquerade as Left-liberals among them, but in reality promote divisive, anti-national agendas

During his poll campaign in Varanasi, Mr Narendra Modi had listed bringing back the lost glory of Ganga among his priorities. Now his Government is planning a policy initiative to check pollution in the mighty river with the establishment of a Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation under Ms Uma Bharti.

Much before Mr Modi’s Varanasi debut, the BJP had undertaken a Ganga Samagra Yatra, beginning from Ganga Sagar in West Bengal. It passed through five States, with special emphasis on Uttar Pradesh where party leaders offered prayers and held public meetings at 54 places along the river and appealed to the people to save the Ganga from pollution. They also highlighted the Centre’s neglect.

Indeed, the party realised that if there is one national symbol close to the heart of every Indian, or at least a majority of them, it is the river Ganga. The river has been the cradle of civilisations and has sustained generations of Indians not only with life, giving aqua, but also instilled in them a hope for the life after.

Thus, apart from the widely discussed polarisation, the strategic skills of Mr Amit Shah, the Modi wave, the Ram Temple movement et al, the Ganga strategy also contributed to the party’s unprecedented and impressive win in Uttar Pradesh.

But what about Saraswati? Or education? Irrespective of who the country’s Union Minister of Human Resource Development is and what her educational qualifications are, one of the key areas of the Modi-led NDA Government has to be the cleaning up of the Augean stables of that hallowed institution called the Jawaharlal Nehru University, which over the years has become a den of secessionism, Maoism and terrorism.

The prestigious university was set up in 1969 as an advanced academic institution to foster national integration, composite culture, international understanding, scientific temper and to present an India-centric view of world affairs. Unfortunately, under the garb of communism, freedom of speech and progressive thought, the university has become the hub of subversive activities with anti-nationals ruling the roost. A section of ultra-Left wing academics in tandem with few Maoist and separatist and communal student outfits has emerged as a mafia which dominates the political discourse in the campus and has penetrated academic/intellectual institutions across the country, with dangerous ideas which pose a grave threat to national unity, integrity and the fragile secular fabric of the country.

These academics, masquerading as liberals and feminists, have been engaged in nefarious and anti-national activities by maligning India through their statements, lectures, publications, protests and demonstrations, seminars and symposia through organisations which receive liberal funding from hostile foreign agencies.

Some of the vociferous agitations in support of ‘azadi’ (so-called freedom of Kashmir from India) don’t take place in the valley but at the JNU. What’s more, memorial meetings are held publicly in support of not only separatists Kashmiri militants such as Afzal Guru but also Ajmal Kasab, the butcher of 26/11.

India’s national Tricolour, for whose honour our officers and jawans proudly lay down their lives, is routinely trampled and denigrated at the JNU campus. For instance, on August 25, 2011, some students tore the national flag at the Tapti hostel and the administration remained a mute spectator. The case is still pending at the Vasant Vihar Police Station.

With the active support of anti-national academics, the JNU Forum against War on People publicly organised a dance party/revellery in front of an eatery to celebrate the massacre of 76 CRPF jawans by Maoists at Dantewada in 2011.

The Democratic Students Union, allegedly funded by Pakistan, has been at the forefront of undermining Indian sovereignty over Kashmir, legitimising secessionist movements in Kashmir and the North-East, repeal of the AFSPA, defamation of India by highlighting alleged atrocities by the security forces in Kashmir and the North-East, raising the unsubstantiated issues of mass graves and disappearances in Kashmir etc. In fact, the outfit’s main slogan is ‘azadi’ for Kashmir (Ladke Lenge Azadi).

Though most of the majority patriotic academics and students have been silenced by these hooligans and mafiosi, braveheart dons have dared to come out and lodge their protest against such activities, notwithstanding even attempts at character assassination through false sexual harassment cases, denial of promotions and other pressure tactics such as boycotts.

For instance, Professor Amitabh Kundu, a senior Professor at JNU, lodged a complaint with the Crime Branch in January 2014, asking for urgent inquiry into the activities of the DSU.

In fact, way back in 1996, in a strongly worded letter to the JNU Registrar, Badal Ghana Chakravorty, Associate Professor at the Department of German, stated thus, “I am writing these lines more in anguish than in anger. JNU, financed by national exchequer, is being massively misused, with total impunity, as a spring board to launch a heinous sabotage for another partition of India”. He cited several instances of armed terrorists staying as unauthorised guests and occupants in Aravali and Gomti hostels.

Prof Chakravorty was not talking in thin air. Shahabuddin Gauri, a registered student of JNU and resident of Kaveri hostel, was a Pakistani agent. His active involvement in terrorist activities in Kashmir and his association with Inter-Services Intelligence activities under the garb of a human rights activist was proved by Delhi Police which busted the racket in early 1991. Shahabuddin was using the JNU campus as a safe hideout for his seditious activities.

The agenda of these saboteurs goes beyond the JNU campus. Through their networking and sympathisers, they also ensure the placement of these brainwashed, indoctrinated M Phil/Ph D students in strategic and key institutions from where they can continue to promote their activities under some garb or the other and in turn brainwash other people in these institutions — universities, think-tanks and NGOs — to perpetuate their ideology of hate, secessionism and terrorism, under the mask of liberalism, democracy and freedom.

Some of the innocuously named outfits, which float around the campus with impunity, include JUGNU, SAWERA, Forum for Federal India, Progressive Democratic Students Union, South Asian Forum for People’s Initiatives, JNU Forum Against War on People, Democratic Students Union, Students for Resistance, Coordination Committee for Oppressed Nationalities, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, Students’ League, Campus Front of India, The New Materialists, Popular Front of India, Forum for Freedom, Forum for People’s Right, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, Feminist Collective, Revolutionary Cultural Front, Naga Study Forum, Centre for Policy Analysis etc.

Among other things, their activities include observing the ‘martyrdom’ days of ‘Shaheed’ Afzal Guru and ‘Shaheed’ Maqbool (Butt) through having torchlight processions, staging street plays, dharnas, seminars etc.

Some of the JNU academics, who have been actively involved in many of these programmes, also have the distinction of attending international seminars organised by the convicted Pakistani agent Ghulam Nabi Fai, of the Kashmiri American Council, in Muzaffarabad and elsewhere. In fact, according to a May 28, 2011, Press release of the Council, Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy of JNU (now an Aam Aadmi Party leader) has been quoted as having said at the seminar that Kashmir is an international problem, the status quo was not acceptable to the people of Kashmir and azadi is the demand of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Can one imagine any other democratic country in the region allowing such anti-national activities? Now that a nationalist Government is in power at the Centre, and in a majority of its own, it is high time that this great institution is cleansed of separatist, Maoist and anti-national forces. Academic campuses should have freedom but not licence to say and do what they want, even if it’s detrimental to national interest.

As Prof Badal Ghana Chakravorty aptly put it, “Jawaharlal Nehru University was founded in memory of Nehru. It has no business to function as a monument to Mohammed Ali Jinnah”.

(The author is Senior Fellow and Editor with the Vivekananda International Foundation)

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