#StandWithJNU: The story so far

Read our exclusive articles and columns on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy

| March 4, 2016


#Sedition charges   #Jawaharlal Nehru University   #Kanhaiya Kumar   #Jnu row   #Cover Story  


 "JNU has a history of making rulers – of different hues – uncomfortable. The latest attack on it is unprecedented, but it will survive and continue its job in democracy," writes Pranay Krishna, former JNUSU president (1993-94)


 
 

"I first entered JNU in July 1997, weeks before India celebrated its fiftieth year of azaadi. Like most freshers, I was overawed by JNU’s sylvan sprawl, its honeycomb of red-brick buildings, its scruffy, jargon-spouting, jhola-toting students. A thousand miles away from home and on my own for the first time, every cliché I had ever heard about freedom suddenly rang true," writes Chennai-based literary critic, Abhirami Sriram
 
 
 

In a free country, forceful acceptance will never work: Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi 
 
 
 
 
"There have been two important phases in this country: the post-independence era and the post-emergency India. The emergency necessitated changes in the law and the 44th amendment of 1978 to the constitution introduced safeguards that have made it nearly impossible for any government to impose the emergency the way it was done in 1975. But, the situation is becoming more and more emergency-like by the day and I can see the fissures reappearing in society."
 
 
 
 
The JNU case can be a catalyst to further the debate on the law, which was relaxed even by the British during Quit India movement 
 
 
 
 
Students need time to adjust when they come from their hinterland hometowns to JNU, the other Red Fort of Delhi. For Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNU students union president facing the sedition charge, there was little change in air, since he comes from a place known as Leningrad of Bihar. 
 
 
 
 
On February 11, a bunch of JNU students gathered at a dhaba in the campus, and spoke of Afzal Guru (convicted of terror charges and hanged on February 9, 2013), Kashmir, BJP and other issues. Outright anti-India slogans were indeed raised, but it is not clear by whom. As far as the JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar is concerned, he did make a speech, whose videos and now even the text is available. He certainly did not make any “anti-India” point. On the contrary, he spoke of his faith in the constitution. 
 
 
 
 
When BJP leaders like Sadhvi Prachi talk of JNU as a hotbed of “anti-nationals”, they are forgetting that Nirmala Sitharaman, one of the few articulate people in the Modi cabinet, is a JNU alumnus. Let's clear some misconceptions about the university in controversy
 
 
 
 
 
“We have learnt of the shameful act of the Indian government which, invoking sedition laws formulated by India’s colonial rulers, ordered the police to enter the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus and unlawfully arrest a student leader, Mr. Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of inciting violence - without any proof whatever of such wrongdoing on his part,” notes the statement signed by 93 people from around the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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