JNU cancels webinar on Kashmir, says subject ‘objectionable’

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University has cancelled a webinar on Kashmir since the subject was found to be “objectionable and provocative”, and the organisers had not sought permission for the event, vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said on Friday.

The Centre For Women’s Studies at the university was to host a talk titled “Gendered Resistance and Fresh Challenges in Post-2019 Kashmir”. Ather Zia, a political anthropologist, author, poet, and activist was the speaker at the webinar.

“The notice of the webinar says ‘this talk will draw and build upon the ethnography of gendered resistance to Indian occupation in Kashmir’. This is a highly objectionable and a provocative subject, which questions the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.

“JNU cannot be a platform to this kind of very questionable webinars. The matter is being inquired into,” Kumar said in a statement.

An immediate response was not available from the faculty members of the Centre For Women’s Studies.

Kumar said, “As soon as it came to our notice that an online webinar titled ‘Gendered Resistance and Fresh Challenges in Post-2019 Kashmir’ was going to be organized at 8.30 pm today by Centre for Women Studies, the JNU administration immediately instructed the faculty member organising the event to cancel it,” Kumar said.

Kumar said “the program was cancelled forthwith and the faculty member did not seek the permission of administration before planning such an event.”

Meanwhile, the JNU unit of RSS-affiliated Akhi Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad demanded action against the chairperson of the Centre for holding such an event.

Rohit Kumar, secretary ABVP-JNU said, “We demand immediate action against the chairperson of the Centre for Women’s Studies, concerned faculties and JNU registrar who allowed the program and who all have mindlessly organised such a webinar by twisting facts on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with the intention to create a distorted narrative on Jammu and Kashmir.”