JNU home to intellectuals, not anti-nationals: VC’s retort to RSS

New Delhi: Condemning RSS comments that JNU was home to “huge anti-national block”, the university Vice Chancellor Wednesday said it is an attempt to malign the image of the institution which has contributed considerably to nation building.

“The comments by the RSS are really in bad taste. We have contributed considerably to nation building. From MPs to Cabinet Secretaries to Ambassadors, JNU has been home to intellectuals and not anti-nationals,” JNU Vice Chancellor S K Sopory told PTI.

“The researchers and students here might be anti-establishment and there is nothing wrong about it but there is definitely no encouragement to any anti-national activity here. The RSS comment is just an attempt to malign the image,” he asserted.

The allegations 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 yesterday with its students’ union 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 the 2010 ambush in Dantewada, the RSS organ, in its cover article, charged that “JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities.”

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.”

Hitting back at RSS, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) said the varsity’s composition reflects the character of our society and it was against RSS’ imagination of ‘Hindu Rashtra’.

“We condemn the highly regressive comments by RSS made against JNU students… 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 JNUSU said.