JNU Teachers on allegations of motive behind car vandalism

STATEMENT FROM JNU TEACHERS

We, members of the JNU faculty, are deeply shocked at the kinds of allegations and speculations being made because a faculty member’s car was vandalised a couple of nights ago. Obviously the incident in which the windshield of the car was found shattered in the morning,  is worrisome, and cause for concern – yet this is not an isolated incident on an otherwise safe campus. In past months other faculty members living on campus have had similar experiences, where random acts of vandalism have occurred, in different parts of the university. However, no one, until now, has made either baseless allegations or blamed students’ groups, or levelled charges against any particular political ideology.

This is the first time that such quick, and hasty conclusions have been drawn. Instead of investigating a matter of vandalism, this is being recast as some kind of political conspiracy and vendetta. This does not reflect the spirit of JNU – which has always been collegial despite its many differences. It is only since early 2016 that we are seeing this sense of reflective engagement fraying – which ought to be a cause of concern for us all.

We would also wish to state that the untimely loss of every life is, and should be, one of great sorrow. And it is particularly so in the cases of ordinary jawans, most of whom come from impoverished families and have few opportunities, especially to study, and to make a better life for themselves. Who knows – had their families had the wherewithal for educating their children – they too could have been university professors. The baseless allegations against JNU being levelled at the moment, purportedly in support of the killing of jawans in Sukma, neither respects their lives and immense challenges, nor does it show any concern for the university and its community.

At a time when the JNU community is facing grave challenges, and its excellent academic environment is at risk, it is the duty of the faculty to maintain calm. Instead, such baseless allegations are adding to a situation of anxiety and distress, especially for students who are in the midst of examinations, other than facing an uncertain future.  An attack on JNU at this moment not merely adds to existing conditions of worry, but is, in the last instance, an attack on public universities and the values they stand for. As B.R. Ambedkar famously said, “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone… the policy therefore ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possibly be made.” JNU is one of those universities in India that has enabled students from socially and economically deprived backgrounds to achieve their dreams. No retroactive condolences will absolve us of the responsibility of killing those dreams and futures.   Continue reading “JNU Teachers on allegations of motive behind car vandalism”

Shut down JNU if not one way then another? JNUTA statement on UGC regulations

JNU administration has drastically cut intake into the university for the next academic session and perhaps for years to come, using the UGC ‘caps’ on research as a pretext. JNU Teachers’ Association demonstrates conclusively here through a survey of 46 Central Universities, that barring a handful which have definitively adopted them, most others are still operating with other Regulations based on the preceding 2009 version. And even the few universities that have adopted them, barring JNU, have implemented modifications by way of harmonisation with the statutes, objects, and past practices of the institutions.

JNU not being targeted using the UGC Regulations as a pretext? Right.

Over the past few weeks we have been told that the mandatory nature of the UGC Regulations require them to be implemented by universities immediately and in a chapter-and- verse fashion. JNUTA’s survey of 46 Central Universities however shows that barring a handful who have definitively adopted them, most others are still operating with other Regulations based on the preceding 2009 version. And for even the few universities that have adopted them, barring JNU, modifications in the way of harmonisation with the statutes, objects, and past practices of the institution have inevitably resulted.

Table 1 presents the facts of 46 Central Universities, the year of their founding, and the research programmes they take admission to. To determine whether they had adopted the 2016 UGC Regulations, we examined the Ordinances and notifications on the university website in order to detect its adoption. (The value label unclear is to mark the cases where no explicit information of either type was posted on the university’s website.)CENTRAL UNIVS WITH UGC 2016 Continue reading “Shut down JNU if not one way then another? JNUTA statement on UGC regulations”

Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal

Guest Post by JATIN GORAYA and PRADEEP NARWAL

ABVP ARE THE FOOT-SOLDIERS OF THIS FASCIST GOVERNMENT WHO ORCHESTRATED THE ATTACK ON JNU POST 9TH FEB LAST YEAR!

APPEAL TO EVERYONE TO REJECT AND ISOLATE THE KILLERS OF ROHITH AND THOSE WHO ORCHESTRATED THE #SHUTDOWNJNU CAMPAIGN!

As JNU is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year sangh parivar’s attack on our university post 9th of February we are again facing an unprecedented attack on our university – its democratic space, progressive admission policy, its inclusive character. The latter has been the heart and soul of JNU which the student movement has built over the last four decades. Last year’s attack was an attack on our right to dissent, to curb our democratic spaces and to implement the fascist Hindutva agenda on our universities. This year, in the name of “academic quality” and “excellence”, by reducing the seat intake & closing admission they want to ensure that none is able to access higher education in JNU.

We were members of ABVP previous to the events of Feb 9 last year, and we subsequently resigned because of our differences with this fascist, casteist, Brahmanical and patriarchal organisation. These differences, as we have earlier said, had been long standing ones. But after the orchestrated attack on JNU, we felt a limit had been crossed and we could no longer associate with ABVP. Continue reading “Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal”

The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya

Guest Post by ANIRBAN BHATTACHARYA

A few days back, drawing from Oscar Wilde’s classic, Makarand Paranjape wrote a piece titled The importance of being Narendra Modi. He urged his readers to ensure a second term for Modi saying “If Narendra Modi gets a second term, he will certainly change India in a lasting and significant way.” That he is going to change India, and is doing so already is not that far from truth, but the question is which way is this change taking us. Given the track record of Modi Ji(o) so far, the change is surely going to be for the worse. But this piece is not on Modi Ji(o). This one is on the Makarand Paranjapes of the world. Yes, they are not one. They are in fact a particular breed not new in history, and they have a particular role. Specifically, we would evaluate this role of theirs in the light of a recent piece of his on the gherao of the JNU VC.

Some would say that the piece was on the issue of Najeeb. But no, it wasn’t. Najeeb, a new student pursuing M.Sc in Bio-Tech living in Mahi-Mandavi hostel was publicly assaulted by identified ABVP goons in front of students as well as wardens on the night of 14th October. He was showered with dire consequences of which too there are multiple witnesses including again the hostel wardens. A vicious communal slur-campaign was set in motion by the sanghis writing “Muslims are terrorists” within the hostel premises. Amidst all of this and in the given context Najeeb “disappeared” on 15th October from his hostel. He had called his mother last, who, as it appears, had reached Anand Vihar and was on her way to meet her son in distress. But, by the time she was here, Najeeb went “missing” mysteriously and is yet to be found. After five days of entreating an unresponsive university administration to be proactive in creating conditions for Najee’s safe return, JNU students undertook an all night vigil on the 19th of October.

Continue reading “The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya”

2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid.

Video and Photo Inputs from Naushad MK, Samim Asgor Ali and Amit Kumar

[ This post was written shortly after JNU students gathered in front of Vasant Vihar Police Station to articulate their concern and anger at the lax attitude taken so far by the Delhi Police and other concerned authorities in relation to the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed almost two weeks ago. In this text, (originally uploaded as a note on Facebook and then sent to us to be posted at Kafila) Shehla Rashid, thinks aloud about what has happened so far and looks ahead at the possible way forward for the students of JNU and their supporters to focus on making sure that Najeeb Ahmed, wherever he is, returns safe and sound to the JNU campus. We hope that it will be widely read, and discussed to evolve strategies for the evolving future of the campaign to give justice to Najeeb. Kafila]

Shehla Rashid and Others Being Confronted by Delhi Police at the Vasant Vihar Chakka Jam on Oc. 26, 2016

 

First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to all the students who joined the Chakka Jam at Vasant Vihar police station, where the ACP refused to even accept the paper with our demands and, instead, ordered a lathi-charge on us. Students marched as one and stayed together till the end, despite all differences, for one goal- justice for Najeeb, and his safe return to campus life. I salute this spirit of JNU students. Having said that, I must say that we need to do more. Students need to come out in even greater numbers, as the attack on us is of immense magnitude.

Continue reading “2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid”

The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers

Ever since the present Modi government came to power, there appears to have been a clear set of orders issued from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters to its student organization, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to go on the rampage in university campuses all over India. From getting specific parts of syllabuses changed under threat of violence, disrupting events by other student organizations on campuses, to forcing university administrations to intervene to curb freedom of expression, to filing police complaints against dissenters, they seem to have been acting according to a well rehearsed script, subverting democratic processes on campuses. After its recent electoral defeats in JNU and Hyderabad Central University (HCU), however, the ABVP’s role seems to have acquired an even more virulent feature. The game plan appears to be to provoke violence wherever possible so that rather than any kind of debate, however contentious, on issues such as nationalism, minority rights and caste injustice, what we are increasingly likely to see are violent standoffs between student groups, which have to be controlled by the police. These are often represented in the media as brawls between students, as if there were no ideology or political content involved, just two groups of students “clashing.” But of course, in each case ABVP is involved, and in some kinds of reporting it can even be made to appear that ABVP was somehow the victim.

This is the moment at which teachers need to finally accept that ABVP is not just another student organization. We have tended to take the position in our universities that we must not condemn or directly address ABVP, since we must not directly involve ourselves in student politics. Teachers must talk to administration, be publicly critical of its lapses, take all measures necessary to display and enact our solidarity with students under attack by this regime. While students take their own decisions on modes of struggle and so on, teachers see our role as supportive but with a critical distance.

However, now we may need to start thinking of ways in which we  recognize the organization of the ABVP as a serious threat to Indian democracy. I don’t mean individual students, who would also be in our class-rooms, and with whom it may still be possible to continue a conversation, and whose examinations we will continue to grade with utmost probity. as we have always done.

But the ABVP as an organization has a specific role to play, as storm-troopers in the project of Hindu nationalism, and we cannot afford any longer not to face up to this fact frontally.

Continue reading “The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers”

Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

When politics decides your future, decide what your politics should be !

Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the 'Occupy UGC' Movement
Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the ‘Occupy UGC’ Movement

The recent government constituted panel‘s (headed by former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramaniam) report on student politics is unconstitutional, highly regressive and politically motivated, and signals the upcoming onslaught of total commercialisation of education and imposition of Hindutva ideology in universities. The TSR Subramaniam Panel’s report is the logical follow up to the Birla Ambani report (which was submitted in 2000), following which student unions across the country were banned. The Birla Ambani report had lamented that student unions are not allowing commercialisation of education: we accept the charge and take pride in it! We believe that education should be a right of everyone, not a privilege of a handful of people.

Continue reading “Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid”