Governance Now Masterminds

One year of JNU row: Reposting postcards and letters

The JNU episode reflected failures of governance, success of hate politics. Here are the article we replug from the last year’s cover

GN Bureau | February 13, 2017


#JNU   #Jawaharlal Nehru University   #JNU Row   #Kanhaiya Kumar  


“Initially, I found myself eagerly attending every post-dinner lecture in the mess by headline-makers of all political hues, the left, right and centre. Why I stopped going to the ABVP events (even) after listening to the wise words of the Hindutva leaders will need a separate letter, but at least I did not start with a prejudice and gave them a chance to convince me of their ideology. On the left side too, I did not enrol myself with any of the four organisations. I would pester my SFI friends with uneasy questions about its (albeit rare) populist postures, even as I dutifully shouted slogans along with them. I would pose questions about opportunism of AISA even as I would follow their instructions and collect ‘chanda’ at the end of film screenings. I would criticise any justification of violence even as I would take sunday-afternoon walks through forested parts of the campus with DSU sympathisers.” Read: Letter to my daughter: Why JNU matters


“When I hear of Muslims being referred to as ‘Pakistanis’ in India, my thoughts drift to one or two years before the partition to which I was a witness. Sialkot had started to see the influx of people based on religion. Separate pitchers labelled ‘Hindu water’ and ‘Muslim water’ had started to be placed at the railway station. And though Quaid-e-Azam had categorically said that after the partition you will cease to be a Hindu or a Muslim and remain either a Hindustani or a Pakistani, the amalgamation of the eastern and north-western regions on religious lines made Muslims irrelevant in India. It was the overpowering nature of religion that made us kill over a million people on either side.”
Read: Kuldip Nayar ‘s column: Let pluralism survive


“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.” Read: Books, ideas and azaadi


“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.” Read: Former JNUSU president Pranay Krishna’s column: Poetry, passion and politics



(All articles appeared in the March 1-15, 2016 issue)

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