A year after students gheraoed JNU VC, JNU Teachers’ Association holds kangaroo court against him

In January 2016, IIT Delhi professor M Jagadesh Kumar was appointed as Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Now, less than 2 years later, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) has ordered a ‘public trial’ or ‘Jan Adalat’ against him.

The apparent disdain in JNU Students Union (JNUSU) General Secretary, Satarupa Chakraborty, is little baffling. What do they really have against him? Let us go through how last 22 months have been for Kumar.

Soon after his appointment, JNU campus erupted with the alleged anti-India slogans and pro Afzal Guru, the terrorist, slogans. The students showing solidarity with terrorist Afzal Guru had made their affiliations very clear by shouting ‘lal salaam‘, the slogan of Communist and Leftist parties. When JNU VC gave permission to police to enter the campus for investigation as per law of the land, teachers and students of JNU had protested the action.

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Later that year, Kumar had also alleged that he was manhandled by students and teachers when he allegedly refused to discuss a matter that was not on the agenda. He also accused students and teachers of unruly behaviour and heckling him by forming human chain.

Last year after a student, Najeeb Ahmed, went missing from JNU campus, the students and teachers again resorted to violence as a means to protest. They gheraoed college and admin staff and the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other senior officers were kept as hostage in the administrative building of the university.

In February this year, the students again misbehaved and illegally confided the Vice Chancellor to the admin block to oppose the implementation of the May 5, 2016 UGC notification. The JNU proctorial inquiry has recently sent notice to 15 students for the said protest which ‘disrupted the normal functioning’ of the university administration.

It is not that the students have misbehaved only against the VC. In January this year, the ugly face of the left was seen at JNU when students belonging to various left outfits forced the university administration to drop the name of a participant because he had ‘a BJP connection’.

In February this year, Professor Makarand R Paranjape, who has been teaching at the university for 16 years, was one of the professors who had to face the irrational protests. He was not allowed to go into his office. He took to Twitter to show how he was stopped from entering his office.

This year, when JNU celebrated Kargil Diwas, the Leftists were visibly unhappy as they boycotted the event and ridiculed the administration for the same.

The same Leftists had also demanded a ban on Baba Ramdev’s entry into the campus in December 2015, and had protested against the screening of the movie Buddha In A Traffic Jam that talks about ‘Urban Naxals’.

And now, JNU Teacher’s Association, which thinks they are above the law, wants to hold a kangaroo court, a ‘public inquiry’ against the VC charging him with “violations of statutory provisions and harassing teachers and students”. The teachers body, exercising its powers under the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) Constitution, set a three-day deadline for the Vice Chancellor to submit his defence and state if he would appear for hearings in person or through a representative. Earlier, it is also believed that JNUTA pulled their weight behind the Leftist professor Arshad Alam, accused of molestation.

Now, JNUTA is hosting a ‘Jan Adalat’ or a public hearing, against charges filed on the VC, which may be followed by public inquiry.

In an opinion piece written on JNUTA and students, JNU professor Dhananjay Singh, said,

By blackmailing the administration to toe their line or forcing the academic schools to shutdown or invading the administrative block, this small group of teachers and students are going against the very idea of the university they preach — free dialogue and tolerance of differences. When opposition to the administration becomes routine, mechanical and pedestrian, and originates from hatred, malice and prejudice, deliberation gives way to the bigotry of a few obscurantist academicians and students.

He says that the one extreme side is hell bent on on defying all rules and norms, suggesting that this frustration at the weakening of their position is making them disrespectful towards the administration.

In such a scenario, one would wonder if this is the case of personal vendetta against the Vice Chancellor. These incidents have got everyone asking what might be scaring the Leftists thus? It might be them losing their hold over student politics or that perhaps the Vice Chancellor refused to conform to standards set by the leftist students. Unanswered questions remain as JNU, once the bastion of quality education, continues its tailspin.


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