Statement Of JNU Faculty On Incident Of Sexual Violence On Campus

We, the undersigned faculty members of JNU, express deep shock and dismay at the news that a complaint of rape has been lodged against a JNU student Anmol Ratan (an activist of a left students organisation but since then expelled from it), by another student of JNU. We express our support and solidarity for the complainant and request the JNU community, the administration, and the GSCASH to ensure that the due process of law is allowed to proceed without any hindrance.

It is of primary importance that the health and safety of the complainant be at the centre of all that the university community and the JNU administration does. This necessitates swift action to ensure that the accused (or those acting on his behalf) do not have any opportunity to intimidate, slander, or harm the complainant or the complainant’s witnesses, tamper with evidence or testimony, or otherwise create a campus environment that indulges in victim blaming or casting aspersions on the motives of the complainant.

We are therefore extremely dismayed to know that more than 48 hours after the complaint has been lodged, the accused has yet to be suspended or declared out of bounds from the university, so that safe conditions of complaint and testimony for the complainant may be maintained. We demand that this be done forthwith. This failure to act has tarnished the image of the JNU administration quite severely.

We also recognize the manner in which over the decades, teachers and students have made JNU a space in which women generally feel safe, and also empowered to report cases of sexual violence when these occur. This atmosphere however, has been caricatured in the recent past by sections of the media and by right-wing individuals as one of irresponsible sexual license, which the JNU administration has done nothing to counter.

We are dismayed also by the instrumental use of this case by some organizations on campus to further their political ambitions.

The JNU administration must undertake to cover all medical and legal costs of the complainant. It must fully cooperate with the investigation. So must all other members of the JNU community, as they are likely to have information relevant to the case and conduct of the accused.

As JNU faculty, we reiterate our commitment to building a campus that is safe, democratic, secular and mindful of the dignity of all sections of our community.

 Signed:

Mohan Rao

Rohit

Ayesha Kidwai

Nivedita Menon

Madhu Sahni

Ranjani Mazumdar

V Sujatha

Ritoo Jerath

Supriya Varma Continue reading “Statement Of JNU Faculty On Incident Of Sexual Violence On Campus”

Choice, Agency and the Naming of Names – The Trap of ‘Immediate Identities’ and the Vision of a Democratic Revolution: Chintu Kumari & Umar Khalid

Paired Guest Posts by CHINTU KUMARI and UMAR KHALID

[ Every struggle goes through highs and lows. The students who are part of the  movements that are spreading out of universities in India – Hyderabad Central University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University have had their share of internal debates and disagreements, even as they have found moments of significant victory. and solidarity

Students at JNU who have recently concluded their hunger strike to give time to the university authorities to respond reasonably to the High Court directives on the HLEC punishments are now being criticized for having ‘abandoned the struggle’ by some sections who claim to play a role within the broader students movement, when, in fact, nothing of that sort has actually happened.

The majority of the students who were on hunger strike (including several JNUSU office bearers, and others) have said that they have given up the hunger strike against the HLEC recommendations in keeping with the court order.  In doing so, they have never said that they are suspending the agitation against the attempts by the JNU administration to weaken OBC reservation in admissions, hostel seats and deprivation points for women and oppressed sections of society.

In fact it is not as if the HLEC punishments issue has taken precedence over the other issues. It is actually the other way round. The students have decided to give priority to the struggle for ’social justice’ within the campus, while simultaneously giving time to the university authorities to respond adequately to the court directive on the HLEC punishment question.The call for a demonstration against the University Authorities by the JNUSU to continue the struggle on the social justice issues on the 16th of May is indicative of this fact.

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The attacks and insinuations against the majority of the students at JNU who were on hunger strike have also featured a deliberate attempt to create divisions within the unified ‘Red-Blue’ / ‘Jai Bhim-Lal Salaam’ dynamics of the movement on the grounds of identity. Activists, such as Umar Khalid, on the left have been singled out for being ‘Savarna-Syed’, if they happen to bear a Muslim name, and for being ‘sold out to the Savarna left’ if they are Dalit, as happened with Chintu Kumari and Rama Naga. This attack has come primarily from individuals representing organizations like BAPSA that claim to speak from a ‘Dalit’ position, and it is given traction by several other individuals eager to flaunt their disdain for the ‘left’ students on Facebook and social media.  Continue reading “Choice, Agency and the Naming of Names – The Trap of ‘Immediate Identities’ and the Vision of a Democratic Revolution: Chintu Kumari & Umar Khalid”

Who will Educate the Educators? Reflections on JNU today: Janaki Nair

Guest Post by JANAKI NAIR

 In an interview to the journal Frontline on February 16, 2016, just 11 days before he took over one of India’s most prestigious universities, Prof Jagadesh Kumar had this to say:

I am a defender of free expression of thought in a democratic set-up and students are free to question me or challenge my views. I believe in constructive criticism, and as long as it is done peacefully and within the boundaries of the law, there is no problem.

Declaring his  two top priorities, of which one was the redressal of  infrastructural shortcomings, he desired

to improve the learning environment by making it more student-centric. Some of the faculty are great researchers, but they do not have much understanding of teaching. What I want to do requires cooperation from faculty members.

These words, which Prof Kumar has thus far not refuted or denied, should be recalled today, more than three months after his takeover, the  most tumultous months the University has ever known.  It is too early to judge the VC on his infrastructure  promise, as some of us continue to make  bone rattling journeys on cycles over  the most rutted roads on the campus.  Continue reading “Who will Educate the Educators? Reflections on JNU today: Janaki Nair”

The JNU administration now faces a crisis of credibility: Ayesha Kidwai

AYESHA KIDWAI in scroll.in

students on hunger strike

The indefinite hunger strike by 17 Jawaharlal Nehru University students has been continuing since April 28, with university teachers and students also showing their solidarity by joining as relay hunger strikers.

Despite the searing heat and failing health of many – including Chintu Kumari, Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar – the declaration by the Vice Chancellor of JNU that a hunger strike is an “unlawful activity” has only fuelled the strikers’ determination. Although over a hundred teachers met the Vice Chancellor and his team (as he likes to call them) in a bid to break the deadlock, no progress has been made because the JNU administration seems to believe that the fight here is one about the quantum of punishment.

Such is the chasm that separates the current JNU administration’s understanding of what the law is and what justice actually demands that the law has become something of a fugitive in JNU these past few months. The extremely obstinate, vengeful and motivated enquiry proceedings anddisciplinary action over the February 9 event have so perverted university procedures and institutions that the entire JNU administration now faces a crisis of credibility.

Continue reading “The JNU administration now faces a crisis of credibility: Ayesha Kidwai”

जी हाँ, हम राजनीति करते हैं : अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

Guest Post by Anant Prakash Narayan

जे.एन.यू. में 9 फरवरी को एक घटना घटी. घटना क्या थी अब उसके बारे में बहुत सी चीजे स्पष्ट हो चुकी है. सरकार का दमन चला जिसके परिणामस्वरुप एक आन्दोलन चला. कहा ये जा रहा है कि आन्दोलन के कारण सरकार बैकफुट पर है. ये आन्दोलन अभी भी चल रहा है. जब ये मुद्दा पुरे देश में गरमाया जा रहा था  उस समय बहुत सारी चीजे डिबेट का हिस्सा बनी जैसे राष्ट्रवाद क्या है? अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression) को कैसे देखा जाये? आज़ादी की सीमा क्या होगी? क्या टैक्स से पढने वाले स्टूडेंट्स को “इतना बोलना” शोभा देता है? क्या जब सीमा पर जवान मर रहे है तो “ये काम” किया जा सकता है? ये सारे मुद्दे बहुत ही जोर–शोर से सरकार के पक्ष से या फिर इसके उलट लोकतंत्र के पक्ष में बात रखने वालों की तरफ से भी की जा रही थी. लेकिन इसी बीच में एक खतरनाक अवधारणा सरकार के तरफ से बात रखने वाले और जाने अनजाने लोकतंत्र की तरफ से भी बात रखने वाले टी.वी. चैनलो, अखबारों, इंटेलेक्चुअल, राजनीतिज्ञों की तरफ से रखी जा रही थी. वो अवधारणा थी कि राजनीति बहुत बुरी चीज है और छात्र राजनीति तो बदतर. यहाँ तक कि हमारी पैरोकारी करने वाला पक्ष भी यह बार-बार साबित करने का प्रयास कर रहा था कि ये सामान्य से पढने लिखने वाले छात्र है इनका राजनीति से कोई मतलब नही है. ये लोग तो बस कभी कभी कुछ यू हीं करते रहते हैं. क्या अगर हमारे बारे में यह टैग लग जाता कि हम राजनीति करने वाले लोग है तो हमारे पक्ष से बात रखना इतना मुश्किल हो जाता. जबकि यह सर्वविदित है कि जिन कुछ छात्रो के नाम राजद्रोह के तहत लिए जा रहे है वे वामपंथ की सक्रिय राजनीति का हिस्सा है. आने वाले समय में हम आन्दोलन को किस हद तक जीतते है और आगे ले जा करके इसको इस फासिस्ट सरकार के लिए कितना खतरनाक बना पाते है ये अभी तय होना बाकी है लेकिन “मुख्याधारा” की राजनीति करने वाली पार्टियाँ, जिसको प्रोग्रेसिव छात्र-आन्दोलन ने हमेशा उनके जन –विरोधी रवैये के कारण चैलेंज दिया है, एक बार इस मौके को राजनीति, खासतौर से अगर छात्र करे तो, बहुत ही गलत चीज है इसको स्थापित करने में लगी हैं. छात्रों का काम काज सिर्फ पढना-लिखना है और इसके इतर वो अगर कोई और काम करते है तो वो अपनी “सीमा” लांघते है. बड़ी-बड़ी मल्टीनेशनल कंपनियों में छोटे-छोटे उम्र के कमाने वाले लोगों के साथ तुलना करके ये समझाने की कोशिश की गई कि आप जितनी कम उम्र में जितना ज्यादा कमा लेते है आप उतने ही सफल स्टूडेंट है. हम अभी लगभग बीस दिन के एक कैंपेन में थे. इस कैंपेन के तहत देश के विभिन्न हिस्सों खास तौर से उत्तर भारत के गाँवो और छोटे-छोटे कस्बो और कुछ शहरो में मेरा जाना हुआ. जिसमे जे. एन. यू. पर बात होती, भगत सिंह और डॉ. अम्बेडकर के विज़न पर बात होती. जब इन विषयों पर बात होती तो नैचुरली मोदी सरकार के ऊपर बात होती. उन कार्यक्रमों में कुछ ऐसे लोग भी मिलते जिनका कहना होता कि आप लोगों के साथ जो हुआ गलत हुआ लेकिन इस मैटर को लेकर अब आप लोग राजनीति कर रहे है. मोदी के खिलाफ आप लोग जो इतना बोल रहे है उससे अब आप लोग एक्सपोज हो गये है कि आप लोग राजनीति कर रहे है. क्या सच में राजनीति इतनी बुरी चीज है कि उससे स्टूडेंट्स को दूर रहना चाहिए? Continue reading “जी हाँ, हम राजनीति करते हैं : अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण”