Government should take this opportunity to shut down JNU – Chandan Mitra


Chandan Mitra“Aspirational India, the great contribution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is poised to refashion India’s youth and their dreams, has by-passed JNU. The university’s students are living in a make-believe, retrograde world where everything came free or subsidised, and with heated ideological debates over the finer points of Marx, Lenin, Mao Zedong enjoying the primacy of intellectual space without the realisation that the world has passed them by. In other words, most JNU students and faculty have become ideological vagabonds, virtual flotsam in a stagnant pool of their own digging.” – Dr Chandan Mitra

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) LogoGiven the ongoing battle between the Indian state and a section of JNU students, it is clear that there is a need for a “radical” solution (pun unintended). JNU, the brainchild of India Gandhi and her Sancho Panza Education Minister Syed Nurul Hasan, was floated on the lines of colonial Britain’s Hailesbury College to produce and train, what she believed, would form the core of a “committed bureaucracy”, committed primarily to her persona and idealism with a Leftist hue, not quite Red in thought and belief, but a deep shade of “pink”.

But within a few years of its formation, Mrs Gandhi’s fond dream went horribly wrong. Despite dollops of state subsidy (an estimated  3.5 lakhs is currently paid by the government of India per year for every JNU student), alumni of the institution turned a deep shade of Red thanks to the curricula and faculty carefully chosen by Prof Hasan from his pool of pro-CPI teachers.

For some years, this served Mrs Gandhi’s purpose very well. In the initial years, JNU was peopled mostly by products of “elite” institutions like Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College who volubly mouthed “revolutionary” slogans, but in practice served the Indian state’s objectives with full gusto by joining the civil services in hordes. But the churning of the polity leading to the proclamation of Emergency and Mrs Gandhi’s spectacular defeat in the 1977 elections jolted JNU out of its complacency.

Saiyid Nurul HasanThe Janata Party government led by the arch-conservative Morarji Desai and his equally right-wing Education Minister, Triguna Sen, had no time for long-haired, jhola-carrying agitators that JNU produced aplenty. Janata leaders were aghast to discover that almost each and every member of the university’s faculty was a card-carrying Communist or worse. Professor Hasan’s dominance over the university faculty recruitment system throughout the country, especially in prestige national institutions, ensured that new recruits to the teaching community consisted primarily of those who failed to get selected to the civil services, but made for excellent cannon fodder in the Left’s war against the Janata Party regime.

Since the Jana Sangh was the only ideological component of the Janata Party (the rest being motley woolly-headed socialists), a clash was inevitable between the JNU’s founders and the Janata Party establishment. This clash often spilled over onto the streets, especially over the Desai Government’s determination to revise curricula and replace Marxist historiography with a nationalist variant.

When Mrs Gandhi returned to power in 1980, she assiduously worked to restore JNU’s Leftist DNA. A dissipated and rudderless Opposition collapsed before her aggressive dismantling of the education system that the Janata Party had tried to put together as an alternative to the Congress-Left structure. Although mid-way through the Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi launched a war on the Communists (despite the erstwhile Soviet Union’s mealy-mouthed support to the Congress), the “Lefties” were back in favour after his untimely death. The subsidies returned, and the system of patronage and favours in the education hierarchy was restored. And the system was relatively undisturbed over the next few decades.

This background is important to understand the pathological hatred of the BJP by the JNU establishment. When it realised that old-style Leftism had lost its appeal globally and the Soviet system had crumbled in the 1990s, the malcontents that JNU systematically bred had to look for other issues to oppose. Having been groomed by an atmosphere of anti-statism, JNU products drifted towards anything that smelled of anti-Establishment activity.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad FlagBut it is the rise of the Right in the early 90s, symbolised by the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation and the demolition of Babri Masjid, which disoriented JNU completely. So much so that the ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, began to sprout roots in this “revolutionary” university. The authorities meanwhile tilted JNU’s admission system to excise the “elite” and started inducting students from backward regions with great fervour. The implementation of the Mandal Commission Report and subsequent Mandalisation of the Indian polity further spurred this process. While other universities began to reorient their curricula and teaching methods to cater to the needs of market economics, JNU drifted back to the ideological Stone Age. The futility of raising outdated Marxist slogans was never accepted on its sprawling campus. JNU’s standing among India’s educational institutions fell dramatically; while the IITs, IIMs and even private universities excelled in turning out students who catered to the job bazaar’s needs, JNU relegated itself to a deep crevice of unemployability.

With state-sponsorship for JNU products which had earlier enabled them to get employed in the university system gradually receding, its students stared at a bleak future. They had to depend on official doles received by way of UGC scholarships to eke out a marginal subsistence. But the more they became unemployable, the greater their radicalism grew. Fed on the mantra of anti-capitalism, anti-marketism, they continued to spout the same antiquated philosophies while students of other universities shot past them.

Aspirational India, the great contribution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is poised to refashion India’s youth and their dreams, has by-passed JNU. The university’s students are living in a make-believe, retrograde world where everything came free or subsidised, and with heated ideological debates over the finer points of Marx, Lenin, Mao Zedong enjoying the primacy of intellectual space without the realisation that the world has passed them by. In other words, most JNU students and faculty have become ideological vagabonds, virtual flotsam in a stagnant pool of their own digging.

CPI (M) FlagFrustrations emanating from JNU students, once respected for their intellectual caliber, have led them to reside in an unwanted Jurassic Park, housing creatures the world forgot or would at least like to forget. What we are witnessing in Delhi for the last few days is a futile rebellion of the subsidy-deprived. They have been led to believe that only if their tin-pot agitation succeeds in dislodging Modi, everything will be back to being “normal”: Subsidies would return, they can stay on in hostels eating highly-subsidised food till they are old enough to be grandparents, and the Left’s patronage network will eventually get them a job, at least by the time they become pensioners.

The few meritorious students who still slip through the university’s exclusionist, anti-merit admission policy, must be aghast at what the JNU has become. But where mob mentality rides roughshod, logic and reason fall by the wayside.

Is there a solution to this? Of course there is, but a radical one. The self-destructive agitation at JNU has given the government the best opportunity to shut it down for ever, cut its financial losses, and get rid of a factory that produces only spongers and malcontents. But what about the huge campus in the heart of the National Campus? Will it fall to rack and ruin? Not necessarily. The JNU Campus was originally built to be India’s Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Adminstration to train civil service probationers. The Academy can now be relocated from Mussoorie. These will be the best and most productive outcomes of a meaningless agitation born of frustration and anti-BJP vitriol. – NDTV, 17 February 2016

»  Dr Chanda Mitra is a journalist, currently Editor of The Pioneer Group of Publications. He is also BJP MP of the Rajya Sabha. 

Sitaram Yechury at JNU

19 Responses

  1. Clearly public tax money can not be used any more to breed anti national morons who want to live on subsidized daily handouts. The best way out is shut the ****down this nachghar wharehouse. Let the uncle agitators agitate and beg on the streer instead of misusing taxpayers money.


  2. Agreed, this JNU must dismantle and destroy and replace it with some useful Hindu Nationalist school who can truly serve the country.


  3. Rightly pointed out, Sir. But again, if you see, this article has also been written for NDTV.


  4. Chandan Mitra has provided a brilliant panacea to cure a festering sore in the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi! Shutting JNU down and relocating the LBS National Academy of Administration or opening a second IIT or a specialized IT or BIO Engineering School right in the heart of DELHI will put paid all the nautanki of these entitled elitists who in reality are nothing but unwanted refuse!


  5. Of course. They can ‘go without saying’!


  6. A very serious situation created deliberately by the Left in cahoots with the opposition parties who will sell their own grandmother to gain power. However, this will not succeed as the nation in general are getting disgusted with their tactics.

    Both Dr. Swamy and Chandan Mitra have suggested a way out of the impasse and the commentators here have shown how the innocent students can be accommodated in DU and the various departments relocated to better places.

    On a lighter note : there was a poster somewhere in Bangalore which said :

    Modi for Vision, Rahul for Division and Kejriwal for Television !


  7. JNU has been the epicentre of all antinational activities and continues to show to the civilised world how the Islamic invaders for almost a thousand years had subjugated our nation with the active connivance of the Hindu betrayers. The greatest enemies to the concept of a free and truly secular India are the the JNU lot. For them Pakistan is the ideal nation. Enough is enough. Though a whole species of pernicious and imbecile politicians find this time to be ideally suited for their anti modi battle the government at the centre should rightly close this institution far worse than a whole house.


  8. A great post even by the exalted standards of Bharatabharati. It diagnoses correctly and prescribes the right remedy (pun intended). Since its inception, JNU has been a den of hawkers of a bankrupt ideology and peddlers of separatist poison, which it was meant to be. As Mr. Mitra points out, the university’s students are living in a make-believe, retrograde world where everything comes free or subsidised by the taxpayer. Not just that, they deem it their birthright to abuse and undermine the same state that subsidises their wrteched existence. It it high time to end this charade of an educational institution and close it down for ever. In fact, the government is duty bound to close it down: it cannot waste taxpayers’ money on an institution that breeds separatists and traitors aplenty.


  9. cancerous cells have to be removed not relocated.


  10. To treat cancer, cancerous operation required. Courts will understand the dangerous Anti-National activities and help Govt to undertake operation successfully


  11. Ya. But Department of School of Social Science may be disbanded


  12. Innocent students may be relocated in DU, for now. But a cancerous treatment required for cure.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well analysed and correct solution given. Government should use this opportunity and save country from Anti-Nationals. Dr.Chandan did a good job, he fumbles in Burkha Shows only. He should avoid that NDTV to regain his stature amongst his admirers, like me.


  14. Re: The JNU Campus was originally built to be India’s Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Adminstration

    That is not entirely true, but it is a good idea! Also co-locate the long-overdue National Defence University. The science departments of JNU should be administratively transferred (while still located in the same campus) to another Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), of which there are currently six located at Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram and Tirupati


  15. Very difficult under the circumstances with worldwide attention (undue) and without much (at least not disclosed to us) evidence and with courts usually deciding in the favour of the defendants against Govt. of the day.


  16. Great Post. Not Shut Down as many innocent Students will suffer, Overhaul maybe a better Option. Needs to be revamped for Certain.


  17. Nobody can be above the nation – Rakesh Sinha – Deccan Chronicle – New Delhi – 18 February 2016

    The Jawaharlal Nehru University incident is an eye-opener for more than one reason. Anti-India slogans, with a war cry to continue the struggle till India is broken in 10 or more parts, were raised in a so-called cultural evening organised at JNU by a Left-wing students’ organisation, but was attended by the cadres of all shades of the Left movement.

    The speakers called the hanging of Afzal Guru, the 2001 Parliament attack convict, judicial killing. The agenda of the cultural evening was glorification of Afzal Guru and showing their love and loyalty for Pakistan, which was obvious by their slogan, “Long Live Pakistan”. The slogan reflected the ideology and the force behind the students. Unfortunately, instead of showing solidarity with the Indian state, the Opposition parties — in their paranoia of RSS-BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi — forgot the distinction between nation-state and the government.

    Can any sovereign state allow disruptive groups to campaign for its Balkanisation? For the Indian Left, it is not far fetched. Their history is replete with instances of sabotaging the nation’s unity and integrity, least to say her pride.

    It is the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which legitimised the two-nation theory and gave it its full support, both in theory and practice in the late 1940s. Its resolution in support of Pakistani nationality is known as Gangadhar Adhikari resolution.

    CPI(M) has no regret for its past deeds. The JNU incident gave birth to many trivial incidents and the Leftists, being masters in the art of propaganda, are trying to shift the focus from the seditious acts to law and order and procedural issues. However, they are unlikely to get public sympathy or support. The chorus definitely obstructed investigation and acted as a deterrent in finding out the leaders of the anti-India campaign.

    Another reason for the crackdown given by the Leftists and their ilk was that it was a sinister effort to discredit and defame JNU and kill its critical tradition of debate and discussions. Can Cambridge or Harvard University allow people to glorify Osama bin Laden and raise slogans to split America in 10 parts?

    Who is stopping anyone from debating the nationality question or throwing mud on the RSS and Mr Modi? The Left has been consistently abusing the RSS and Mr Modi by calling him the perpetrator of “genocide in Gujarat” and “Hindu fascist”. Government policies are being opposed. Nobody called that seditious, and no one was censored or threatened. But the same impunity can’t be extended to an attack on the Indian state. It is ironical that JNU claims monopoly on critical traditions, debate and discussions. This is not a trait exclusive to the JNU; it is in the DNA of the nation.

    It is pertinent to quote a Vedic verse — “Vade vade jayate tatv bodha” — that declaims uniformity of thought and reinforces diversities. The Opposition parties betrayed their commitment to nationality for the sake of discrediting the government. This also exposed Leftist elites who are disconnected with the psychology and feelings of the Indian masses.


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