The Twitter Gherao of Mamidala90 on the 10th Day of Najeeb Ahmed’s Disappearance from JNU: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

[ Between the 9th and 1oth day of the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed from the JNU campus, the JNU Vice Chancellor, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar decided to salvage his reputation on twitter, even as he squandered it on the grounds of the campus of the university he presides over. And so he let forth a volley of tweets, while sitting inside his office and his residence, even as he refused to meet or listen to the JNU students who have grown increasingly concerned and anxious at the university administrations callous laxity about the fate of Najeeb Ahmed, the missing students.

While students marched down the campus, forming a human chain that culminated at the gates of the VC’s residence near the university’s east gate, Mamidala90 (the handle with which the VC distinguishes himself in twitsville) began getting extremely active. While the students were peacefully assembled at the gates of the VC’s residence, very much not in ‘gherao’ or ‘blockade’ mode, Mamidala90 whined about being ‘blockaded’.

A Sample of Mamidala90's tweets while students gathered peacefully outside his residence. Is this what it felt like to hear Nero fiddle while Rome burnt?
A Sample of Mamidala90’s tweets while students gathered peacefully outside his residence. Is this what it felt like to hear Nero fiddle while Rome burnt?

Not to be outdone, the JNU students decided that they would conduct a twitter-gherao of Mamidala90 even as they declared that they were not in fact in ‘gherao’ on the ground. Shehla Rashid, a popular student activist in JNU led the charge, responding, sometimes at the rate of two sharp tweets to each one of Mamidala90’s misshapen volleys. We are offering Kafila readers a choice selection of Shehla Rashid’s responses to the backhand serves of Mamidala90.m

So here goes, the short history of a gherao that wasn’t (on the ground) and was (in the air) –  in a dozen tweets from Shehla Rashid. Enjoy, and spread the word – ‘On the one hand there is this VC who spends more time on twitter than he does caring for the students under his charge. On the other hand, Najeeb Ahmed is still missing, the ABVP thugs who assailed him are still at large, basking in the protective glow of the VC’s concern and the university administration’s care. Najeeb Ahmed must come back home to JNU safe and sound. But is it time for us (and by us we don’t just mean JNU students) to start asking whether this VC should stay, or go?’ – Kafila Admin. ]





Shehla Rashid is a student activist and PhD student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Mamidala90 functions as the current vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University when he gets time to put in a few hours in the middle tweeting his pain.

3 thoughts on “The Twitter Gherao of Mamidala90 on the 10th Day of Najeeb Ahmed’s Disappearance from JNU: Shehla Rashid”

  1. The way this woman is addressing the VC, it appears she has no respect for age, seniority or authority. JNU is a place where students should study not indulge in politics and talk of breaking the nation.

    Debates, free discussion are different from slogan shouting, strikes etc which is what these people are doing at the cost of tax payer. These elements seek refuge in Lallu Yadav a tainted casteist politician and Rahul Gandhi a buffon, and national disgrace.

    They enjoy highly subsidized education and live in the glory of those students who are hard working and go there to study.

    A police matter should be dealt by police. VC can forward the complaint to police but can not become a detective.

    These elements use police, judiciary and VC as per their convenience. If a student has been beaten or harmed, the first thing is to establish facts. Only then something can be done.

    How does RSS come into picture? Some students are involved let the police do its work.

    The police can do its work and students should behave like students. If they are so determined to fight RSS let them enter politics and not take refuge behind a university, get stipends, free rent free accomidation etc etc. show us you can earn your living and are not parasites.

    When we were students we studied, we wanted to become somebody. We burnt midnight oil. We did not demand or suffer from entitlement syndrome. The I phones the fancy stuff that these people have we had to struggle and earn it. Now these people are getting stipends for strikes, goodaism and doing nothing. This needs to stop. A certain academic standard should be enforced and those who do not pass the exams and have a certain required attendance should be asked to leave and join Lallu Prasad and his family.


    1. Incidentally, the vice-chancellor, has no concern, care or sensitivity for his students. His callousness is transparent. Respect is not an automatic entitle, it needs to be earned, and can be squandered. The police is not doing its work so far, nor is the university administration, and that is why the situation is compelling students to agitate. Shehla Rashid, the author of this post is one of the most academically accomplished students in the university, her track record shows exactly how diligent she is as a student. And if the vice chancellor can tweet fifteen times in an hour from his smart phone (which he has bought from his salary) why should it be unusual for a student (who marshals her resources on the basis of a hard earned stipend)to respond on Twitter.? Finally, on the matter of the involvement of the RSS – everyone knows that the ABVP, the student organization affiliated to the RSS whose members attacked
      Najeeb Ahmed is the most disruptive force in Indian universities today. ABVP activists use money and muscle power and political connections to have their way and create a climate of terror. They do so with the blessings of, and under the patronage of, the RSS.


  2. Respect for age is the worst kind of age discrimination that exists in the society. The fact that the students don’t harbour social stereotypes about the age of the JNU VC only goes on to show their respect for equality and the right for every individual to not be judged, patronized or undermined for their age. JNU has a vibrant culture of debate, discussion and protest. That the VC is expressing his protest via twitter is a sign of this healthy JNU culture. The VC himself stands testimony to the fact that public protesting through any means is a mark of greater academic proficiency and rigour. The JNU administration and the students protesting against each other, is the most benign expression of democratic free speech. It even got the Home Ministry to take notice of the missing student Najeeb. I have full faith that this wonderful force of debate and protest will work towards encouraging the Delhi police in finding and bringing Najeeb back.


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