The Executive Council of Jawaharlal Nehru University has decided to install a life-sized statue of Swami Vivekananda. The statue is proposed to be set up across Jawaharlal Nehru’s statue on the right side of the administration block. The move, however, has not gone down quite well with the students’ and teachers’ unions.
JNU Students Union (JNUSU) and JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) have both questioned the source of funds for the construction of the statue. They have claimed that if the university does not have money for library funds and for disbursal of merit-cum-mean scholarship to students, how does it have the funds for constructing the statue.
The Executive Council had given its approval for the statue last year in July. A committee was formed after that. “For a more pleasing look, it has been decided by the competent authority that a statue of suitable height and size of a historically important person like Swami Vivekananda — whose contribution to the nation building is universally acknowledged — may be erected with proper elevated platform, stone pathways, benches, lights and interconnected works, including public utilities, etc,” the EC had said in July last year.
The Vivekananda statue reflects a change in the air at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Earlier this year, reputed Hindu ideologue Rajiv Malhotra was appointed as a visiting professor at the university which has long been considered a left bastion.