Students’ protests a healthy sign: JNU prof

The ongoing nation-wide debate in the wake of the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and two others Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya on the charges of sedition and the subsequent trial and the final release of the three on interim bail following nation-wide protests is a healthy development as it would spread the Constitutional values across the nation, asserted JNU Kannada Chair Chairman Dr Purushotham Bilimale here on Thursday.

He observed that the incident where the students’ leader arrested under sedition law based on series of seven doctored videos, the JNU received 1,400 letters from universities across the world supporting the student leader in which 35 were from Indian universities.

He was speaking on ‘The Question of Freedom and Nationalism; Contemporary Developments’ at Philosophy Department Hall, organised by the Department of Political Science, University of Mysore.

Denying all the controversial statements given by saffron party leaders on the conducts of students, the professor of JNU explained that JNU was the mouth piece of all backward, depressed class and women as the university encouraged and admitted the highest number of students from rural background, especially girls from across the country, he said.

Even in the agitation during the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, women supporters took active part in large numbers. The questions raised by the students were indeed genuine and in accordance with the principles and aspirations emulated in the Indian Constitution.

“It is unfortunate that their ideological stance was misrepresented and projected as anti national. In fact, those who act against the spirit and principles as enshrined in the Indian Constitution should be termed as anti-national and not those who agitate for the implementation of the Constitutional rights and privileges,” he added.

The whole episode of arrests of the students’ leaders was but politically motivated. It was but the plan of the right-wing backed government to destabilise the left. The remark of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who said that he would shut down the JNU permanently if he were its vice chancellor testifies to the agenda to stifle dissenting voice and the alternative political perspective, he added.

The political developments now posed a serious threat to freedom of expression which would result in civil unrest, the professor stressed.

He further hinted at the double standards of the BJP-led government at the centre.

Professor Muzaffar Assadi, Department of Political Science, UoM, was present.


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