Bahujan Discourse Puts JNU In The Crosshairs: Pramod Ranjan

PRAMOD RANJAN writes in Forward Press

It is essential to find out how this university, created in 1966 by a special Act of Parliament, became a leftist bastion. The answer lies in its unique reservation system. In this university, from the very outset, aspirants from backward districts, women and other weaker sections were given preference in enrolment. Kashmiri migrants and wards and widows of defence personnel killed in action also get preference (see box). The nature of the questions in the admission tests of the university is such that only the ability to answer multiple-choice questions related to one’s discipline is not enough to see one through. Only those students who have, apart from command over their own subject, analytical skills and reasoning power get admission here. The undergraduate courses of foreign languages are an exception in this regard. But even here, once they have a bachelor’s degree, they can join an MA or an MPhil course only if they have the aforementioned skills. Thus, for years, JNU has been home to the finest and most fertile minds from economically and socially deprived sections of society. And when they analyze the hows and whys of their socio-economic background, they get drawn to Marxism.

This fully residential university, spread over 1000 acres and nestled in the lush green Aravalli Range, never attracted the elite class. The hostels serve plain food and residents drink from jugs – instead of glasses. Estimates suggest that at least 70 per cent students of the university come from either poor or lower-middle-class families…

After the enrolments last year, the percentage of students in JNU from SC, ST and OBC has gone up to 55. A large number of Muslims are enrolled in Arabic, Persian and other language courses in JNU. Data on them is not available. But if, along with them, the number of Ashraf Muslims and other minorities is added, it can be safely presumed that at least 70 per cent of the students in the university are non-Dwij. Note that the number of OBC students in JNU has gone from 288 in 2006 to 2434 in 2015, ie a tenfold increase in nine years. The number of women students has also gone up substantially (see chart)…

This article also points out uncanny similarities between the police report of February 2016 on the controversial cultural event at JNU  and a Panchjanya editorial of 2015.

Read the rest of the article here.


3 thoughts on “Bahujan Discourse Puts JNU In The Crosshairs: Pramod Ranjan”

  1. The best piece on why JNU is under attack ever written. The main target is Left-Bahujan unity. The Left without the Bahujan was harmless- it did not internally undermine Hindutava, and the Bahujan without the Left did not have the global theoretical vision. Now it is Ambedkar and Marx- the most explosive combination as a challenge to upper caste oriented Hindutava. This article needs to be copied in millions and distributed/circulated all over the world where Indians live. It is not only about JNU- it is about a new paradigm for India.


  2. Today it may look fine. In the long run this obsession with identity based ‘left’ politics will wreck the left politics and will not be able to withstand the hindutva politics. The hindutva politics will use nationalism and that will appeal to at least a section of the so called Bahujan. Calculating in terms of diwj and non-dwij (‘ it can be safely presumed that at least 70 per cent of the students in the university are non-Dwij’) may give some satisfaction today. You cannot build a lasting left solidarity on the basis of such identity politics. Because identity politics based solely on caste and religion and opposition to Hindutva, in the long run wont be able to sustain itself, nor is a substitute to the real left politics that is not struck with identity politics.


    1. I support that argument. The objective of Left-wing political movement should be break down barriers created by caste/race/religion/economic status, rather than to reinforce them.


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