The allegation by RSS mouthpiece “Panchjanya” that JNU is home to “a huge anti- national block” which has an aim of “disintegrating India” kicked up a storm today with its students condemning it as “highly regressive” and Congress saying the university should sue the magazine.
The CPI-M slammed the RSS organ for use of “absurd, ridiculous and derogatory language” and reminded it that JNU has a high reputation both in the country and abroad.
Claiming that pro-Naxal students’ unions of JNU had openly celebrated the killing of 75 CRPF personnel in an ambush at Dantewada in 2010, the RSS organ, in its cover article yesterday, charged that “JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities.”
“In 2010 when Naxals in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, killed 75 paramilitary personnel, pro-Naxal students’ unions of the University celebrated openly and hailed the act. And all this happened under the nose of the JNU administration.”
Another article in it alleged that “JNU is one such institute where nationalism is considered an offence. Presenting Indian culture in a distorted way is common. The removal of Army from Kashmir is supported here. They advocate various other anti-national activities here.”
Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the RSS organ has said “Jawahar Lal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi’s social and economic agenda.”
The RSS organ said JNU’s tendency of relying on the state for resources (JNU is a central university funded by the government) “is nothing but capitalism masquerading as socialism and even Maoism.”
“These tendencies are inspired by two things – bitterness for Hindus and an urge to break India. These things became possible due to two historical reasons. The first was the desire of Nehru and his successors to impose state-run model of economy on India and two, Nehru’s proximity to the Soviet block.
The JNU Students’ Union(JNUSU) took on the RSS over the attack on the university.
“We condemn the highly regressive comments by RSS made against JNU students at a time when the students are at the forefront of a national movement against government’s decision to scrap non-NET fellowships.
“JNU’s composition reflects the character of our society, as women and students from marginalised sections and backward districts are duly represented. This goes against the way RSS imagines Indian society, that is, as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’,” a statement by the JNUSU said.
Congress leader Manish Tewari came down heavily on the RSS organ, saying the varsity should sue it on defamation charges.
“The Jawaharlal Nehru University should sue ‘Panchjanya’ for defamation. After all, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad also is active in the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Does the ‘ Panchjanya’ want to say that those students, who are affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad are also a part of the den of whatever terminology they have used,” Tewari said.
“What ‘Panchajanya’ says can only be taken as a badge of honour for the JNU as it shows the institution of learning must be doing something right when anti-national magazine like ‘Panchajanya’ speaks about them in an absurd, ridiculous and derogatory language,” CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat told a press conference in Ranchi.
“Everybody knows that the JNU is of the intellectual and questioning (kind) and it has a high reputation both in the country and abroad,” Karat said.