Not anti-India: JNU teachers join strike, to take nationalism classes

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2016 14:45 IST
Indian activists of the DISHA Students Organistion hold placards against the February 15, 2016 attack on JNU students and teachers at Patiala House court, during a protest in New Delhi on February 16, 2016. (AFP)

JNU teachers on Tuesday joined the students in boycotting classes in protest against arrest of its student union leader in a sedition case and said they would take classes on “nationalism” in the varsity lawns.

The students had on Monday gone on an indefinite strike till JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar is released and the sedition case against him dropped.

Read more: JNU protesters ‘have a sadistic mindset and an anti-India agenda’

After 10 teachers and a group of students were attacked in Patiala House court complex where Kanhaiya was produced on Monday, the teachers association decided to join the students in boycotting classes.

Read more: What really happened on the night of Feb 9: A JNU student recounts

“The administration is not only acting against students but also teachers and we are being openly attacked while the VC stays mum over it. The entire world is now referring to JNU as a hub of anti-nationals on basis of propaganda of few people in power. It is time we teach our students what nationalism is,” said Rohith Azad, a faculty member, who was among those who were attacked yesterday.

The one-and-half-hour long lecture on “nationalism “ will be held every evening at 5 in front of the administration block.

Read more: Why DU lecturer Geelani was arrested in JNU row

JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested last week in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over holding of the event at the varsity during which anti-India slogans were alleged to have been raised. His arrest has triggered widespread outrage among students and teachers and drawn severe criticism from non-BJP political parties.

The university teachers had earlier rallied behind its protesting students and questioned the administration’s decision to allow the police crackdown on the campus even as they appealed to the public not to “brand” the institution as “anti-national” but they had not joined the strike earlier.

Read more: ‘Kick them out’: HT journalist recounts mob attack in a Delhi court

Teachers’ bodies of 40 central universities and Pune-based FTII had also come out in support of the agitating students, saying it is an issue of “indiscipline” and not “sedition”. Over 400 academicians from international varsities, including Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, SOAS, University of Toronto, McGill, King’s College, University of California, Berkeley and New York University have also expressed solidarity with JNU students condemning the “illegal” detention and “autocratic” suspension of students.

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