Just as a wave of unrest hits the Jawaharlal Nehru University, ‘the JNU crisis’ becomes one of the most talked about topics in the nation. A problem for the nation, by the nation and to the nation. Every office, street corner, adda corner, colleges and stations has this discussion as prime past time.
“Is she Ayushi or Aishe? She can act well, isn’t it ? Have they come here to study or do politics? All bakwaas, no Taxpayers money is wasted on these tukde-tukde gangs. Have they got azadi or not?” Many questions and similar statements straight out of various news rooms are placed before common people for the second time.
Luckily, news channels ask these questions to viewers but common people pose these questions to listeners, serious listeners. Sudangshu Trivedi, Sanjay Singh and Randeep Singh Surjewala kind of response comes out. In this verbal duel, three teams emerge – for, against and “time will tell.”
JNU, no doubt, has kept its flag flying high with two current Union ministers under the Modi Government and a Nobel laureate as alumni. The best part of it is that it is primarily meant for Masters, MPhil and PhD programmes through its schools. The catchment area is whole of country and after tough entrance exam, cheap (heavily subsidised) and proper education is bestowed.
The sure shot success factor keeps the aspirants trying hard. Other universities do the opposite, limit catchment area to few districts by imposing same university quota, keeping the date of entrance exam, result publication and admission date with relevant papers so that many miss the opportunity of getting admitted. They also do everything under the sun to have a system so as to distribute the marks of qualifying exam and entrance exam to create hindrances to outsiders.
Their universities always have students union of locals only, with an eye for the state’s political situation and career in state politics. JNUSU had Bengali, Bihari ,UP wallahs, Punjabi, Kashmiri or Andrite people as office bearers. This kind of mix has brought cross ventilation and cross fertilisation of ideas, forming a vibrant and open society that emphasises on JNU’s true spirit.
There are hard fought battles in all universities in every academic year. State universities mostly follow state governments and union consists of state students’ unions, be it West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, UP or Haryana, but JNU has its agenda set in different mode by students.
This is the bone of contention for political parties which want its ideologies to flourish and have a say on university matters through students. Prakash Javadekar has rightly said that dhakka-mukki (synonymous with shoulder pushes in football) is part and parcel of students politics.
Colleges fight with colleges, hostels with hostels, and even groups with groups during college fests. Life goes on, academics move on, examinations are held as usual, admission are time bound.
But, the JNU problem started with a fee hike and registration, which shifted to an ideological fight between groups. Now, it is showing the VC the exit door, who actually mishandled his responsibilities during his initial maun vrat period, which eventually led to man handling.
Different aspects of this crisis has popped up in the form of:
(1) Media houses want to keep it live with updates , linking this issue with CAB, CAA, Jamia, and other universities.
(2) The Delhi Police trying to hush up the matter, seeing less and showing less, discerning the short term memory of Indians.
(3) Stalwarts of mainstream political parties giving view points to stay in close confines of its political masters.
(4) Celebrity Deepika Padukone quite knowingly stirring the hornet’s nest and witnessing a splashing “chhapaak.”
“Time is a great healer,” they say. JNU is indeed our pride and we hope its keeps producing gems for the society, regardless of what goes on.