First the Tricolour. Now a battle tank.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) may display a battle tank on its campus to instil nationalism among students of the institution, at the centre of a controversy over an event that allegedly glorified a terrorist hanged for the 2001 Parliament attack.
A JNU official said on Thursday, the administration is “actively considering showcasing a tank” on its campus following a suggestion by a group of ex-servicemen who met vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar this week.
If implemented, the tank will become the second symbol of nationalism to find a place on its campus after the Centre’s decision to fly the national flag “prominently and proudly” in all central universities to instill a sense of patriotism among students.
The first Tricolour will be flown atop a 207-feet mast at the JNU, the scene of the face-off between the government and students over the arrest of its students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition.
JNU registrar Bupinder Zutshi said besides the tank, the delegation of retired soldiers also suggested a ‘wall of fame’ displaying the names of martyred soldiers who graduated from the university.
“These are good suggestions and we welcome them. We will consider these suggestions to give students feelings of nationalism and patriotism,” he said.
JNU students have been at the centre of a nationwide debate after anti-national slogans were allegedly shouted during the event on February 9 to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Three students including Kanhaiya Kumar were arrested in the sedition case filed by Delhi police.
The group of Army personnel said after the meeting with the V-C that they will not return their degrees as was being reported in a section of the media.
“Why should we return our degrees? It is our alma mater. We came to meet the V-C to express our concerns over the controversy. We have not raised any demands. Armed forces are not the people who do such things,” retd lt general Niranjan Malik told reporters.