Degree Wapasi storm threatens to hit JNU?

JNU campus has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Last week some Leftist students of JNU called a meet to commemorate the “judicial killing” of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. Slogans like ‘Shaheed Afzal Guru’ were heard on the campus. The protestors also expressed solidarity with “struggle” of Kashmiri migrants and advocated for ‘Azad Kashmir’. A video emerged which showed these students saying: “India go back, Kashmir ki azadi tak jung chalegi. Bharat ki barbaadi tak jung chalegi”

“Bharat ki barbaadi tak, jun rahegi” say JNU Communist studentsWatch: JNU Communist students shouting slogans againts India and praying for “Bharat ki barbaadi”

Posted by OpIndia.com on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In the aftermath, there was huge outcry on social media and among the general masses, denouncing these clearly anti-national forces. JNU on the other hand has put up extremely flimsy defences. A JNU professor tried to plant the theory that the people shouting the above slogans were not even JNU students. And she also urged the police to stay out and let the JNU administration take care of the issue. She perhaps doesn’t realise that while she herself is floating the theory that the miscreants are not JNU students, how does she expect the administration to take any action against people who are not even their students. Is it then a classic case of trying to shield the guilty from the cops?

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Now, news reports are suggesting that JNU might be hit by a ‘Degree Wapasi” onslaught. Ex-servicemen of June, 1978 batch of the National Defence Academy (NDA) have said that they are finding it difficult to be associated to the university and therefore they would return their degrees. In a letter to the vice-chancellor of the university, ex-servicemen of the 54th NDA course said:

“We the proud fraternity of ex-servicemen of the June 1978 Batch of National Defence Academy, who are proud recipient of the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degree from your esteemed University, are today constrained at the ongoing anti national activities on your university campus like celebration of Afzal Guru day, and consider it an affront to be equated with the present student fraternity of the university which is indulging in such anti national activities.

We, the proud, patriotic ex-servicemen of the 54th NDA course find it difficult to be associated to a university which has become a hub of anti national activity, and would therefore be constrained to return our prized and well earned degrees to your esteemed institution if such activities are allowed to be conducted inside the University Campus”

The ex-servicemen say they would be “constrained to return their degrees” if such activities are allowed to be conducted in JNU. This is a very strong step taken by the people who have laid down their lives to serve and defend the nation and should come as a big blow to JNU. Unlike the Award-Wapsi brigade, who had been recipients of political patronage at various stages, these are army-men, hence, attacking them and ascribing motives to them would be harder than usual.

This feeling seems to be present even in serving army-men. If this reporter is to be believed, an Indian Army Jawan in Leh is distraught at the happenings at JNU. He cannot understand why people are glorifying terrorists while brave men like him defend these very people from the terrorists they are glorifying:

It would indeed be a sweet irony that the “Award Wapasi” routine would be re-cycled and used as “Degree Wapasi” against JNU, because the start of the Award Wapasi campaign, began from a JNU product. The first “eminent” person to return his award was author Uday Prakash, who has been a “passionate young member” of the CPI and later the CPM, and has graduated from the JNU. Time will tell if the Degree Wapasi campaign will sustain and grow into something much bigger.


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