The RSS affiliated weekly Panchjanya has triggered another row with the cover story of its latest edition, which questions the nationalist credentials of the teachers and students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
“Jawaharlal Nehru University is different from other universities. Why is it? Actually, JNU is the only institution where talking about nationalism is a crime. This is citadel of communists. Presenting a distorted picture of Indian culture is common here,” read the opening paragraph of the cover story.
Claiming that pro-Maoist students’ unions of JNU had openly celebrated the killing of 75 CRPF personnel in an ambush at Dantewada in 2010, the weekly claimed that JNU routinely hosts anti-national activities.
Accusing JNU of providing “legitimacy to anti-India forces”, the weekly said, “Jawaharlal Nehru promoted higher educational and research institutions as factories of socialist ideology which could provide the intellectual input for his and later Indira Gandhi’s socio- economic agenda.”
A guest column by a former JNU student also alleged that JNU was home to “a huge anti-national block which has the aim of disintegrating India.”
Panchjanya editor Hitesh Shankar told HT that the story reflected the views of the weekly while the views of the guest column were that of the writer, who has just reproduced what he experienced while studying there.
Arun Kumar, professor of economics at JNU, however disagreed. “Viewing JNU as a centre for Left is an overstatement, those who know JNU from outside are bound to make such statements.”