In a bizarre development, the National University of Juridical Sciences Model United Nations Society ‘uninvited‘ West Bengal Governor, Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was supposed to grace the closing ceremony of the event as the Chief Guest. The decision of the MUN society comes after it was held to ransom by 45 students, while the total strength of the general body is around 600.
The MUN Society had sent an invitation to the Governor in August last year, days after he took oath. However, there was no subsequent communication between Raj Bhawan and NUJS-MUN Society till the 6th of January this year, when the Governor accepted the invite. Interestingly, the MUN Society had, prior to receiving this confirmation, decided to ‘uninvite’ the Governor as his views were ‘antithetical’ to those with which the society functioned. As a result, Congress MP from Kaliabor, Assam, Gaurav Gogoi and Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia were invited as Chief Guests to the event.
The MUN society did not even consider it important to inform the Governor that he was no longer the Chief Guest, therefore showing absolute disrespect to the highest constitutional functionary in the state of West Bengal. Post confirmation from Raj Bhawan, the MUN Society had to formally ‘uninvite’ the Governor. This is a shocking development to say the least, and shows how students of a Law university have absolute disregard for the highest constitutional office in the state.
It all started when a 4th year BA LLB student and a member of the General Body wrote an email to the Secretariat and Organising Committee, in which he said, “as members of the General Body we firmly oppose inviting an individual an individual who is in support of State violence on those protesting the CAA-NRC-NPR…We sincerely hope you consider uninviting him since being a chief guest in a closing ceremony of one of our major flagship events gives him a platform where his action and words that have aggravated the climate of fear are legitimized…We are extremely disappointed with the MUN SOC taking such steps and hope we can uninvite such an individual. We sincerely hope our requests are taken into account seriously.”
Interestingly, this individual had the support of only 45 other students, including the one who had first been enthusiastic about inviting the Governor.
“He had been invited at the behest of a particular student. We were excited about the invitation. Surprisingly, this student is now part of the 45-strong group which feel that the governor should not come to the NUJS campus. He has gone ahead and sent a mail to uninvite him. The students’ body is in a fix over this,” said a student.
Being aware of how an MUN functions, I can say that it is extremely unprofessional on the part of the Secretariat to be held by ransom by some frenzied students who cannot digest the fact that people can have views contrary to theirs. Who is to be invited, how the conference is to go about, and all other related administrative parameters of an MUN are decided upon the discretion of the Secretariat and the Organising Committee alone. Moreover, how is it that a Model United Nations Society has a stated political ideology, which is against a particular party and its policy decisions? This is extremely unheard of, and if true, says a lot about the kind of MUN Society NUJS has, where dissent is unwelcome and worthy of being shunned openly.
The NUJS-MUN was a name everyone in the Eastern circuit was aware of, and it was a well recognized MUN. However, now that the MUN society of this institution has disrespected the office of a sitting governor in such a manner, it speaks a lot about the fascist mindset of those running the society, who cannot stand the sight of anybody holding a view contrary to theirs. Perhaps this is the reason why two senior Congress leaders have been invited as Chief Guests now, to drool over them while they spread their naked anti-CAA and anti-BJP propaganda at the event.