Three Assamese students at JNU — Shaheen Ahmed, Shanghamitra Das, Tonmoyee Rani Neog — pen down their views in first person on the present turmoil at the premier institute.
From Ground Zero
In the past week, one of the country's premier institutes, Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been under constant attack in the media as the hub of anti-tiol activities. All its students and faculty members are now being labeled as anti-tiols and traitors. We, the present students of JNU from Assam are alarmed at the kind of media trial the entire university community is being subjected to, including faculty members.
In an event organized in the premises of the university, some slogans were raised. We unequivocally and strongly condemn these slogans, if they are found to be unconstitutiol. However, many things about the JNU and the event need a clarification.
* On 9th February, 2016, an event called 'The Country Without a Post Office' was organized in the premises of JNU. This event was not organized under the banner of the JNU Students Union, neither was it organized under the banner of any progressive political party active in the campus.
o Videos have been going around in social media and even on mainstream media purportedly showing people raising anti-India slogans. While we strongly condemn these slogans, yet there is no proof until now that the slogans were raised by JNU students themselves. We urge the lawmakers to take appropriate action, but also urge to stop this needless media trial, demonizing the entire 8,000 strong JNU students community as well as faculty members.
* Our JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was not an organizer of this event. The JNUSU president went to the spot to diffuse a potentially violent situation between participants of this event and those opposing it. He went there as it was his duty as the president of the university students union to maintain peace on campus. Yet, on 12th February 2016, he was picked up from the JNU campus by plain clothes policemen without an arrest warrant. He has been booked under serious sedition charges by the Delhi Police. We strongly condemn this wrongful detention of our president on unfounded charges and demand his immediate release unconditiolly.
* The constant media trial as being put out in many news channels and the broadcast of videos without any proof that they are JNU students is harming this world famous university greatly. On 15th February 2016, students, faculty members, including female faculty members, as well as media personnel were beaten up brutally inside the Patiala Court of Delhi by certain people claiming to be lawyers without any provocation. It was an open court and the faculty and students were well within their constitutiol rights to attend the hearing of the JNUSU president. We condemn this obfuscation of justice and lumpenism in full display in the heart of the country's capital city.
* The university VC has erred on his part to allow the Delhi Police to come inside the autonomous space of the university. The university should follow the protocols which call for an institutiol enquiry first. Delhi police has raided hostels including girls' hostels without any warrant. There is a constant presence of the police on campus. We demand that the police be withdrawn from the campus immediately to maintain sanctity of the university space.
JNU has had a glorious tradition of debate and discussion. The university has produced many famous alumni who have gone on to make India proud. We are very proud and privileged to study in the best university of the country. This is a university which allows for a holistic growth of intellectual traditions and we want to uphold these traditions. JNU was at the forefront of the struggle and protests during the Emergency from 1975-77. This is the only time after the Emergency when a JNUSU president has been arrested. It is worth noting here that JNU has received the support from over 455 renowned academicians from around the world in its fight to reclaim its glory. Intertiol media has also come out to cover the reality of the situation denying the baseless allegations against the university. We want the people of the country to understand our situation right now and reject the propaganda being floated against JNU.