In the past few years, the JNU has become infamous as the hub of anti-national activities, especially after the sedition row in 2016 when anti-national slogans were raised on the occasion of the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. After that infamous event, the University has kept making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The National Defence Academy (NDA), on the other hand, is seen as the cradle of India’s military leadership. Ever since its establishment in the year 1954, it has been shaping up men into gallant and patriotic military officers. In such circumstances, it is difficult to fathom that the NDA cadets are conferred JNU degrees.
In August 1973, the NDA was degree linked and affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Since then, the cadets of the coveted Academy have been conferred degrees from the JNU.
However, in the present circumstances conferring degrees upon future military leaders from a University that is infamous for routinely witnessing anti-national activities on its campus, does not seem reasonable.
In 2016, even defence veterans had expressed disillusionment with the state of affairs at JNU and had threatened to return their JNU degrees following the sedition row. They had even told the University Vice-Chancellor that it was becoming difficult for them to remain associated with the University. The defence veterans had written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor stating, “We the proud fraternity of Ex-servicemen of the June 1978 Batch of National Defence Academy, who are proud recipient of the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degree from your esteemed University, are today constrained at the ongoing anti-national activities on your university campus like celebration of Afzal Guru day, and consider it an affront to be equated with the present student fraternity of the university which is indulging in such anti-national activities. We the patriotic Retired Officers of the 54th NDA course, feel that the present activities in the JNU campus negate the sacrifices made by the past degree holders of your esteemed university.” They had further stated, “In light of above we, the proud, patriotic ex-servicemen of the 54th NDA course find it difficult to be associated to a university which has become a hub of anti-national activity, and would therefore be constrained to return our prized and well earned Degrees to your esteemed institution if such activities are allowed to be conducted inside the University Campus.”
Despite this letter by ex-servicemen, there has been no positive change in the University. In fact, in the succeeding year itself, the JNU had again come in limelight for all the wrong reasons, as Afzal Guru’s death anniversary was observed by its students, a year after a similar event had made JNU infamous across the country. A dominant section of the JNU, which seems to be the trendsetter at the Central University has therefore been shamelessly pushing its anti-national narrative. Modi government must not allow such an institution to share links with the coveted NDA any longer. With several Central Universities and prestigious autonomous institutions like the IITs providing very high academic quality, it is time we look beyond JNU as far as conferring degrees upon NDA cadets is concerned.