A citadel of free voices or propaganda churning playground for political parties?
Jawahar Lal University or JNU as it is popularly known, has been at the centre of conversations between people of different age groups with an inclination towards various political ideologies. The student politics hierarchy in the institution has helped it to get labeled as a controversial educational centre. The fact that it is probably the most premier university, has taken the back seat with all the drama that has been happening around.
It will be very wrong to say that JNU came into limelight recently as it has been the centre of students politics since the time of Indira Gandhi. The ideology of Left and a group of Marxists have always been dominant in the university and the right-wing have hardly had any chance to rise to any occasion. But with social media reaching corners of the country, it was in 2016 when reports came out that some people in the university campus, celebrated the killing of 76 security personnel by the Maoists in Dantewada. If that was not enough, some students raised slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ and ‘Afzal hum sharminda hain tere katil zinda hain’. The ruling BJP was irked with the developments while the opposition claimed that BJP had orchestrated all the events to help its student wing ABVP. Whatever the truth may be, the image of the university was hampered and it was painted ‘anti-national’.
Years later the university stole the headlines after a rift between the administration and students over fee hike. It led to massive protests which were later curbed by the police. Before the fire of the protests could be doused, another protest broke out in the university against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Political parties have found it easy to propagate their rhetoric for their political gains while the outsiders have been left mulling over the ‘grey’ truth of the university.