JNU – all that buzz non academic


Jawaharlal Nehru University – a premier educational institute of India, has been in regular news over the last couple of years.

Unfortunately, for reasons not academic.

Not because its students or professors achieved anything remarkable connected with higher studies, research or anything related to learning for that matter. But, because of the battle of supremacy of one idea over the other accompanied by violent protests and clashes bordering in anti national activities.

Jawaharlal Nehru, after whom the university is named, was a free thinker and welcomed criticism of his own ideas. While he advocated secularism, he has also written books about the lofty heritage of this country. By no means he would have been delighted by the attempt to propagate anti-national ideas on Indian soil.

Healthy debates and discussions and free expression of opinions are the bread and butter of a citadel of higher learning. Even though the university was dedicated to the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru, it was the leftist leader Prakash Karat who formulated the major policies related to the University. Moreover, the student politics of the campus has been mostly left dominated. Hence, it can only be expected that the university propagates and zealously guards a particular point of view.

An ideology is just a notion. As a prodigious student, in stead of probing the origin or relevance  age old ideologies, it is unfortunate that  a citadel of learning has been a stage to propagate particular ideologies.

A student should be a skeptic, questioning everything. The faculty should engage in producing and encouraging that spirit of inquiry and should not in any way bring their own ideologies  to influence their commitment for the intellectual growth of the students.

According to the Wikipedia page on JNU, while it is ranked third best university by India’s Ministry of HRD, it ranks 1177th in the world by an international study. Academically speaking, the university has still a long way to go in spite of attracting some of the best minds of India.

The events at JNU also raises serious questions as to whether student politics should be allowed across educational institutes in India. By the way, elections were banned in JNU from 2008 to 2011. At the age when students in India enter campus politics, are they mature enough not to be used as pawns? Moreover, by indulging in active politics, do not they lose precious student time  that they would have devoted to learning? After all ,educational institutes are not meant to give hands on training about the nitty- gritties of winning elections. During my college days I witnessed classes being postponed frequently due to student activism over trivial issues.

As the JNU events  show, students are used as pawns to push forth particular ideologies or carry on certain types of propaganda not at all related to the curriculum of study. The situation becomes dangerous when anti national propaganda are carried out in the name of free speech. Somewhere a line should be drawn between free speech that genuinely encourages spirit of inquiry and self reflection on one hand and  propaganda by vested interests that questions the very fabric of a nation that after all gave them an opportunity to study in that university with a generous subsidy out of her citizens’ earnings.

Indian Bloggers

10 thoughts on “JNU – all that buzz non academic

  1. Just an addition — Once Nehru had written an anonymous letter in a newspaper criticizing the policies of the PM, viz., himself 🙂

    With due respect to the opinions of both sides, I have never been able to understand and appreciate the concept of elections and politics in colleges and universities. The load of academic syllabus itself is so much that I wonder where do they find time for such activities. Secondly, for the skepticism and inquiry that you mention in this article, there is already a universe of topics and problems to discuss.

    I have never been able to understand all this drama and its significance to anybody or anything.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Most political parties make use of students as pawns. Some students use the opportunity for establishing themselves in politics; they go on to become politicians later. However, they would have done much harm to the academic institution by the time they leave it having spent an undistinguished period there.

    The nationalists are doing more harm than others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think a little differently. Education does not mean, just academics. Healthy political scene as well as other extra curricular activities are equally important in preparing a youngster to face the world. Politics per se is not bad. The problem is, weak administration and vested interest, which does not allow our educational institutions to work properly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all very logically written
    and about my thoughts…i never liked Politics in educational institutions,Vandana Ji said right…academic does not mean only education but politics has become so much corrupted that for the well being of the youngsters it should be removed from academic institutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe controlled, but not totally removed. The children should get a taste of what lies ahead. When they are eligible to vote for the election of government, it is assumed that they are mature enough to understand their good or bad. There are so many other bad influences too that they have to tackle. We can not ban everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s also true Ma’am, agree with you, every time ban is not the solution, but in the name of politics(that uses religious sentiment also now a days highly) violence happens more and the influences is higher in academic fields coz others classmates and friends learn from the students are already in politics..a mass effect. i agree people should have their own consciousness but during college days our consciousness does not grow so much….which distracts many good students also.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I strongly believe that politics and elections have no place in an educational institute. If an education in politics is required, there’s plenty of other avenues to get an initiation into it. Why sully the reputations of premier institutes like JNU and the peace of a student life?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “The events at JNU also raises serious questions as to whether student politics should be allowed across educational institutes in India”
    It is best that students focus only on studies when a student, But vested interests of politicians would not want that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The word infamous goes well with JNU as far as the recent incidents are concerned. I never support ( I know many will strongly disagree) the invasion of politics and political parties in college/university campuses. It’s so easy to influence teenage minds, a few heated discussion, a handful of books on some lofty, useless, impractical ideology, and you are in…the students start supporting and propagating the notions of specific political parties thinking they are doing a great favour to the nation!

    It’s education which is of real importance. Proper education can help them to decide on their own.


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