A file picture of the JNU campus. Photo: Mint
A file picture of the JNU campus. Photo: Mint

Students, politicians condemn RSS mouthpiece comments on JNU

RSS mouthpiece alleges JNU of being anti-national, while students and politicians vehemently object

New Delhi/Ranchi: The allegation by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mouthpiece ‘Panchjanya’, that the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is home to “a huge anti- national block" which has an aim of “disintegrating India", created a furore on Tuesday.

In its cover article on Monday, Panchjanya charged that “JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities."

“In 2010 when Naxals in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, killed 75 paramilitary personnel, pro-Naxal students’ unions of the university celebrated openly and hailed the act. And all this happened under the nose of the JNU administration."

Another article in it alleged that “JNU is one such institute where nationalism is considered an offence... The removal of Army from Kashmir is supported here."

The RSS organ said that JNU’s tendency of relying on the state for resources “is nothing but capitalism masquerading as socialism and even Maoism," connecting this attitude to Nehru’s proximity to the Soviet block.

The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) condemned the comments by the RSS mouthpiece as “highly regressive".

“We condemn the highly regressive comments by RSS made against JNU students at a time when the students are at the forefront of a national movement against government’s decision to scrap non-NET fellowships."

The culture inside the JNU campus goes against the way RSS imagines Indian society, that is, as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, a statement by the JNUSU said.

The CPI-M slammed the RSS organ for use of “absurd, ridiculous and derogatory language" and reminded that JNU has a high reputation both in the country and abroad.

“What ‘Panchajanya’ says can only be taken as a badge of honour for the JNU as it shows the institution of learning must be doing something right when anti-national magazine like ‘Panchajanya’ speaks about them in an absurd, ridiculous and derogatory language," CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat said in a press conference in Ranchi.

Congress leader Manish Tewari came down heavily on the RSS organ, saying the university should sue it on defamation charges.

“The Jawaharlal Nehru University should sue ‘Panchjanya’ for defamation... Does the ‘ Panchjanya’ want to say that those students, who are affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) are also a part of the den of whatever terminology they have used," Tewari said.