Professor PN Srivastava, who passed away on June 2017, was VC of JNU from 5 March 1983 to 30 Apr 1987. Since the last few years, the university organizes Prof. P.N. Srivastava Endowment lecture in the memory of eminent academician who was one of the key architects of the National Policy of Education (1986). I am talking about a former JNU VC because what happened to him is no different from what the students are doing to current VC- M. Jagadesh Kumar- and other professors who do not subscribe to the leftist ideology.
In 1983, JNU was completely dominated by leftists and the professors like Srivastava were seen as “Nationalists”, and therefore, more than 100 students broke into his house- of course, without permission- and looted savings of his 35 year old career, destroyed his property. The university officials were gheraoed, whose health began to deteriorate. The doctor who came to attend them was heckled by the students. In the entire plan to attack the ‘Nationalist’ teachers, the leftist professors supported them actively. Later the university was closed for more than a year by the Indira Gandhi administration.
Previously the government had shut down the university for 46 days between November 16, 1980 and January 3, 1981 due to violence led by student mobs becoming acute. Not only this, even the door of the hostel was broken, in order to detain the then JNUSU president Rajan G James.
After the 1983 episode, the government had to deploy a contingent of paramilitary forces in the campus to keep an eye on the student activities. After the Kargil war, the students in the university organized a mushaira of Pakistani poets, where Indian stand on Kashmir and India’s action against Pakistan were criticized, and when a few people from the audience opposed it; the students beat them and forced outside the campus.
Almost every Prime Minister, from Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi, who visited JNU faced protests and sloganeering. Even Manmohan Singh, who himself was a Professor at Delhi University and a very respected academician, faced protest when he visited the university, in 2005 as well as in 2013. In 2005, the students chanted slogans of “Manmohan Singh murdabad, down with the Prime Minister,” even before the Prime Minister started his speech. The reason behind the protest changed from the one to another, but what did not change was student’s obstructionist approach to administration.
JNU is among the few universities still dominated by the Left. The ideas of Marx- “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, has been rejected by countries around the world. There is not a single country in the world, which has state ownership on all means of production.
But the walls of JNU are still painted in red, and every evening, the campus echoes with- ‘Red Salute, Red Salute, Red Salute to Comrade’ slogan. The utopian idea of borderless, casteless, classless, gender-neutral still founds space on the posters pasted on the trees, bus stands, notice boards, and walls of JNU.
The university is a ‘promised land’ to adherents of Communism. The extreme freedom of expression, ideas, clothing, for which space around the world is shrinking can find space in the Promised Land.
The slogans like- Lal Salaam, We Shall Fight, We Shall Win, Brahmanvad Ho Barbaad, Bharat tere tukde hoge inshallah inshallah, Kashmir ki Azaadi se Bharat ki Barbaadi tak Jang Rahegi Jang Rahegi could be heard only inside the boundary walls of JNU. Such extreme freedom for the ‘fringe voices’, have space only inside the boundary walls of JNU.
Some students had spent more than a decade at the university. Many students do double Masters, take seven or eight years to complete Ph. D, only to spend maximum time in JNU. This is economical too, given the dirt-cheap price of canteen food, and negligible Hostel Fee, one can easily spend a month in JNU with 5,000 rupees in his/her pocket. Therefore, even if one works only on weekends, the person does not need pocket money from guardian to live a good life in the posh location of South Delhi.
The only aim of these freeloaders is to create obstruction, for the heck of it. They are bound to oppose any action, irrespective of consequences. The utopian world imagined by the students of JNU is limited to the university, because outside the university, these students cannot make any significant change, given their freeloading culture.