JNUTA statement on HRD Minister’s Observations

JNUTA is disappointed at the statement by the Minister of Human Resource Development regarding the number of research scholars working with each faculty in JNU, and considers his remarks as unbefitting of the Minister of Human Resource Development.

First of all, the claim that there are JNU teachers guiding more than 20/25 registered students is simply false, as this suppresses the important fact that JNU like other universities across India, has a provision that allows students to deregister from the university. This provision has proved very beneficial, as it enables students to take up employment and slow-track their PhDs until their life circumstances allow them to return to their jobs.  It is only when deregistered students over a decade are included that some professors can have a reasonably large number.

Continue reading “JNUTA statement on HRD Minister’s Observations”

In the face of election results, Nazim Hikmet on life and living

Nazim Hikmet was a Turkish poet and writer. A communist revolutionary, he was repeatedly arrested for his political beliefs and spent much of his adult life in prison or in exile.

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example–
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people–
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees–
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier…

Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk

Read the whole poem here.

Our “hormonal outbursts” will be your nightmare! Pinjra Tod

Statement and image by Pinjra Tod

On the eve of International Working Women’s Day, Maneka Gandhi has given a deeply patriarchal, casteist and classist statement to a media channel saying that hostel curfews are necessary as “laxman rekha” for controlling women’s “hormonal outbursts”, that the question of “women’s safety in colleges cannot be solved with just two Bihari guards with dandas”, that there should be separate days for men and women to go to the library at night.

Its clear to us that she has said this today in response to the fact that women students across the country from Benaras to Mumbai, Delhi to Patiala, Lucknow to Hyderabad, Chennai to Ludhiana, Roorkie to Cuttack have come out strongly to assert their presence in the university space and claim over public resources.

Continue reading “Our “hormonal outbursts” will be your nightmare! Pinjra Tod”

Are Students at their Work? Prashant Kumar

Guest Post by PRASHANT KUMAR

Students who are protesting across the country are being charged that they are not doing what they are supposed to do. What I understand this charge say is that they are not doing their “duties” or fulfilling their “responsibilities” as a student. I seriously doubt thislimited understanding of being a “student”. To say this, I feel an intellectual burden to explicate what it means to be a student. I will argue that these students are also the one who, contrary to the charge, does their “duties” and carries out their “responsibilities”.

Generally speaking, anyone who tries to learn and reflect upon what he learnt can be considered as a student. However, one becomes a student technically when he does this job within an academic institution. In this sense, studentship is a job to get mature with the help of institutional academic training(s) as well as reflecting back on these. Maturity, as I discern, is nothing but to understand the real meaning of a world, and act according to this apprehension. In this sense, understanding and acting go together. Lack of one will categorically destruct the purpose of a student.

There is one more aspect of this maturity with relation to, what Kant terms, enlightenment. Continue reading “Are Students at their Work? Prashant Kumar”

Gender Justice In Naga Society – Naga Feminist Reflections: Dolly Kikon

DOLLY KIKON in raiot.in

Dolly Kikon points out that Article 371 (A) is breached also in the ongoing coal mining operations and the oil exploration negotiations in Nagaland. Naga politicians, landowners, village councils, and business families have all interpreted the provision for their benefit to mine for minerals and not be held accountable for the environmental degradation. But it is only when women may enter the decision-making process (and potentially reverse such policies) that Article 371 suddenly becomes sacrosanct.

What is the meaning of gender? What is the meaning of Justice? Which comes first in Naga society and how do we understand it? Like many nationalist societies around the world, the issue of gender justice and rights have remained marginal for a long time. We were told that issues like women’s rights or gender justice could wait till the Naga people gained their freedom. In that context, what did it mean to bestow any kinds of rights on women in Naga society? When terms like gender ‘rights’ and ‘equality’ remains extremely resentful terms for a larger section of powerful Naga traditional bodies, they become meaningless words. I ask these questions in relation to the opposition against 33% reservation that escalated into a violent protest and brought the entire state of Nagaland to a standstill recently. If Naga customary law is seen as the foundation of justice, the exclusion of women from these powerful decision making-bodies negates the entire notion that these are pillars of justice. The Indian state and the male traditional bodies alike are responsible for excluding the Naga women from all spheres of representative political processes. Article 371 (A) is a prime example of the patriarchal nature of the Indian constitution that bestows the Naga male bodies to have full authority and power to interpret customary affairs covering social, religious, and criminal cases.