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Battle tank, martyr’s photos at JNU’s ‘Kargil Remembrance Hut’

After Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar’s demand for an ‘tank’ to remind students of the ’army’s sacrifices’, university officials say they will also build a “Kargil remembrance hut” on campus, as part of MHRD’s initiative of Vidya Veerta Abhiyan.

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2017 23:39 IST
A Mariyam Alavi
A Mariyam Alavi
Hindustan Times
JNU,JNU tank,JNU vice chancellor
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and Maj Gen (retd) GD Bakshi at the Tiranga March organised on the JNU campus on Sunday. The JNU VC had demanded that a tank should be installed on the campus to make students learn about the sacrifices made by the soldiers. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

After Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar’s demand for an ‘tank’ to remind students of the ’army’s sacrifices’, university officials say they will also build a “Kargil remembrance hut” on campus.

Buddha Singh, an assistant professor who helped coordinate the Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations on Sunday, said the tank would feature in the hut, which would have an “academic relevance” and help honour army men.

“We plan to build a Kargil remembrance hut on campus, as part of the ministry of human resource development’s initiative of Vidya Veerta Abhiyan. It would also feature a tank from the Kargil war. A decision on the final aspects will be taken within the week, Singh said.

“It will be like a museum. Though the tank would be a real one used during war, we will ensure it is not operational for safety...It will help honour the memory of those who have made the ‘highest sacrifice’ for the country, and send a message to others fighting at our borders that the JNU family is with them,” said Singh.

The hut will feature pictures of martyrs from the Kargil war and ‘key instruments’ used then. “New students will be taken on a tour of the place. NCC cadets will be taught about different weapons used, etc. So it will have academic relevance,” he said.

The university celebrated ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ on Sunday, the first time on campus.

During the programme, the VC, who stood in support of the march, requested Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and VK Singh to give JNU an army tank. “We request you to help us procure an army tank so that it could be put in JNU. The tank will remind students of the great sacrifices and valour of Indian Army,” the VC had said.

The VC’s comments evoked mixed reactions from students.

Students such as Saurabh Sharma, a second-year PhD student and a member of the central working committee of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), welcomed the demand.

“This is to honour the army, which cannot be a bad thing. There are some enemies of the state within JNU, who may be worried that the tank may be used against them and are opposing it. But they need not worry either. It will not be a working tank, it will be just a souvenir,” said Sharma.

The JNU students union (JNUSU) said they would not oppose the tank but “hoped” the VC could have put forth more “useful” demands.

“Shouldn’t (Kumar) as the VC of an intellectual university be demanding more PhD seats, as now almost 800 seats have been cut, or more books for the library, or more fellowships for students. Today he asked for a tank, tomorrow he may ask for an AK-47... We won’t oppose the tank if he wants to get it. We will just continue to fight for the demands of the students. Let him run the university with tanks, if he thinks he can,” said Mohit Pandey, president of the JNUSU.

Singh said the university would not have to spend anything as the tank would be donated by the defence ministry.

HT’s multiple attempts to contact the JNU VC were unanswered.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 23:39 IST