In what corroborates the typical JNU mindset of holding the administration to ransom by staging ugly protests and creating a deadlock, reports have stated that the ongoing protests at JNU turned violent on Monday as the protesting JNU students clashed with the police and security personnel. The personnel were deployed at the AICTE auditorium in Vasant Kunj to disperse the protesters. The protesters reportedly toppled the barricades and hurled shoes at the police.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Students’ Union (JNUSU) has been infamous for its affinity with ugly protests. The university has time and again witnessed ugly scenes with students resorting to tactics such as blocking and gheraoing professors and other individuals during protests, in an attempt to take the administration by ransom. JNU Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh alleged that on November 8, some students had kept Associate Dean Dr Vandana Mishra in illegal captivity during their protests. Union Human Resource Development Minister Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, who along with the Vice President of India had gone to the AICTE to attend its third convocation, too was stuck inside the AICTE auditorium for six hours owing to the JNU protests. Thus, JNU’s affinity for protests is not at all about peaceful and democratic protests, rather it is based on the modus operandi of wrongfully confining a person against his will, which is an offence under the IPC, in an attempt to extort the authorities into agreeing with their demands. The students in the left-dominated University, which has become a hub of anti-national narrative once again resorted to similar tactics.
The protesting students have claimed that there is going to be a 300 per cent hike in the hostel fee. The University has meanwhile denied that there is a proposal for a massive hike. It also gave a break up of the fee hike. In order to lend a false sense of legitimacy to their protests, the students also alleged that there is going to be a dress code and curfew timings. Such allegations have been altogether denied by the administration, which released a statement reading, “The JNU Administration appeals to the student community not to be misled by rumours.”
The protests against the fee hike exhibit a strong sense of entitlement within the JNU students. They have assumed that they have the right of getting their stay at JNU subsidised by the nation, the very nation that they love to slander. A cursory look at the hostel fee structure at the JNU gives a clear picture of how highly subsidised the Central University is. The present rent for a single room is Rs. 10, and that for a double room is Rs. 20, which is now proposed to be hiked to Rs. 300 and Rs. 600 respectively. Even if the proposed hike takes place, the hostel fee would actually remain highly subsidised, given the rent prices in the area in which the JNU is located. Coming to academics, admission fee for Bachelors, Masters, PhD and MPhil programmes is a mere Rs. 5/-. The annual tuition fee for BA and MA courses is Rs. 216/-, while of M.Phil and PhD is Rs. 240/-. The present hostel fee structure and negligible food rates, coupled with a very low admission fee makes JNU a heaven for all those individuals who are uninterested in academics, to spread propaganda and make a political career for themselves. It is for this very reason that several students remain on campus for even nine to ten years.
The fee structure of the JNU and its sick socialist approach in education are the biggest culprits in making JNU what it has become. A strong sense of entitlement to protest within an institution largely funded by the common taxpayer has been systematically indoctrinated in the mind of the JNU students. There is no incentive for academic pursuit, and the bizarre fee structure of the JNU makes it a perfect destination for students to continue to remain on campus for unnecessary durations.
The proposal for fee hike, against which the present protests are taking place, is a major step in the right direction towards reforming the University. Bringing the fee structure of JNU at par with all other central government colleges is the only solution to bring an end to anti-India activities and shutting of the propaganda machinery, at the University. This move will make it difficult for students to continue to remain on campus for unnecessary durations. It will also stop individuals who are disinterested in studies to not take admission in the first place, and only truly deserving individuals will be given admission. The administration must not relent in face of the ongoing protests, and should not allow itself to be blackmailed by the JNU students who feel they are entitled to resort to ugly protests and somehow have their way. JNU is a Central University and the common taxpayers’ money goes into its functioning. It cannot be allowed to be converted into a breeding ground of protesters. It is an educational institution, and the administration must ensure that academic pursuit remains the primary function of the University, instead of protests and ideological propaganda.