Students are the pillars a nation's future. Swami Vivekananda in his discourses always mentioned that education is the manifestation of perfection that is already within us. So it becomes a deeply painful situation for any society when its students are involved in communal riots. Natasha Narwal, a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was arrested on May 30 for her role in communal riots that engulfed Northeast Delhi in February this year.
When a student of a premier institution like JNU, which was set up to keep noble ideas in mind and provide accessibility to students from weaker sections of society, indulges in such acts, it makes us wonder why JNU has been infested with left-wing extremism in its campus? JNU also has examples of brilliant students who have made the nation proud and this ensures its unique academic culture.
Nirmala Sitharaman has made India proud and the globe has taken note of her as an able Finance Minister and in her earlier avatar as the Defence Minister. She showed that education and dedication combined with patriotic spirit can make a citizen an example to emulate. She is working tirelessly for the cause of integrity and unity of the nation. Sitharaman represents the ideal student of this hallowed institution, a student who learns diligently and then serves the nation. It is students like her who embody the spirit of JNU and it is the ability of a premier university to help young students become knowledgeable, responsible and successful in their lives. These virtues have enabled JNU retain its spot as the second-best university for the fourth consecutive year in the Central Government’s NIRF ranking.
But all institutions have their inner demons—just as humans have—a group of people with a negative agenda, meant to mislead and misguide. JNU is an educational campus funded by the citizens of India who hope their kids will too pursue higher education from a renowned institution. But, sadly, certain students at the campus are aligned with the leftist groups who mislead them towards the path of anti-national activities. It’s unfortunate that such students have become paid political agents and propagandists of forces that are inimical to India’s integrity and want JNU students to perceive all nationalist patriots as enemies.
Herein lies the paradox: at one of the top-ranked universities in the national capital is a group of students whose ideological allegiance lies to capitals of Pakistan and China. These leftist students have spoiled the whole atmosphere of JNU; but it’s the well-meaning students at the campus who are suffering. It is a remarkable feat that these deserving students still excel, which ensures JNU remains an excellent educational institution, despite a group of students whose activities sometimes resemble the Naxals, at least in their aims and agendas.
Academic culture of JNU is respected gloablly. It is the anti-national leftist element in it which must be exposed. It is an irony that some of these leftist student ‘netas’ are claiming vindication that JNU remains second best University in national rankings. The truth is that it remains second best despite these misguided youth is an achievement which all Indians must cherish, and it is a testimony to the scholarly aptitude of students and scholars who drive the institution forward. In contrast, the leftist anti-national students don’t focus on their academic or scholarly careers. Rather, they look up to liberal hero like Umar Khalid, or a politician like Kanhaiya Kumar who hobnobs with leftist propagandist Swara Bhaskar.
JNU must get rid of anti-national forces in its campus and transform the institution into a centre of educational as well as cultural excellence. The thugs who defaced Swami Vivekananda’s statue in JNU are equal to the Talibani extremists who seek to remove all cultural, civilisational and historical heritages and use force to enforce their agenda, which is dark and appalling.
Current JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and other Left leaders like Gita Kumari were seen on camera taking masked goons into hostels. The JNU students’ union was behind the pre-planned attack at the campus. Take the case of a student at Kaveri hostel who was attacked, and his two laptops broken. He painfully asked, “Who will write my dissertation now?” The student blamed the leftist groups for this Red Terror on JNU campus. What these extremist students must understand is that this is not Mao’s China; this is a peaceful, democratic India, and indulging in violence will land them not in their imaginary Marxist state, but in Tihar Jail.
Lal salaam must be replaced by Bharat mata ko pranam. Our culture teaches us to worship even the rivers, mountains, and animals. Our culture is of Pranam, not Salaam. We don’t salute River Ganga at Haridwar, we bow down to it. Laal Salaam culture belongs to China where atheism rules. Violence and intimidation on educational campus must be brought to an end, and people like Aishe Ghosh and Kanhaiya Kumar can’t hide behind JNU.
Academic excellence due to students, who work hard, cannot be a justification for crimes committed by leftist students which, many a times, are bone-chilling. Professor Vandana Mishra had alleged that leftist students had confined her to close to 29 hours and demanded she reject the hostel manual. More sickening is the fact the professor was pregnant at that time. This proves the feminism these students preach is merely for their members.
JNUSU has regularly indulged in vandalisation of university property and complete suspension of classes which has affected student’s personal progress. During the fee hike protests last year, JNUSU, led by Aishe Ghosh, had caused suspension of all academic activities, leading to the idea of ‘study and struggle’ being compromised.
The JNUSU kept needlessly stretching the protest even after government rolled back fee hike. The good part is that the message that students must focus on classrooms and “anti-India” sloganeering will cause one to be convicted is going through. The Delhi Government has given the nod to prosecute former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya in the 2016 sedition case.
Finally, the day will come when students like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid will be punished for their dastardly crime of chanting “Bharat tere tukde honge.” People like them must realise that patriotic 1.3 billion Indians love their motherland and that no Chinese and Pakistani ideology will be tolerated on an Indian educational campus, even though it may be named after Jawaharlal Nehru.
(Abhishek Mishra is a BJP youth leader and a columnist. He tweets at @abhimishrabjp. Views are personal.)