By: Vijay Kumar Verma, Group Editor-ICN World
SHIMLA: JNU may be a renowned educational institution but not only for the quality of education it has been imparting but for the infamous activities that have been going around in the campus since decades. May it be the infamous news on discovery of mounds of used condoms in the campus, or for students raising families in these very hostels, or for the day to day strikes to seek unchecked movement of students round the clock or for the anti national voices raised and also for the political support the student unions have since been getting to toe their line.
Not long ago the anti India slogans raised on 9th February 2016 against the capital punishment meted out to the 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Kasmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat brought the university to the fore of criticism. Four days after the incident JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by the Delhi police and charged with sedition.
But the Delhi government still fails to permit leveling of charges against him. And this very student leader Kanhaiya Kumar has now become a popular leader of CPM who is often given media platform to voice against the ruling government. Not only that he is invited in Literature Fests around the country as if he is a National Scholar. Though the sedition case is still pending against him, he was made to contest Lok Sabha elections from his home constituency which he eventually lost by over 4 lac votes.
The very journalistic reference to Tukde Tukde gang also appear to have been born in this campus.
May it be opposing the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir or the recent Constitutional Amendment Act, or the agitation against the JNU fee hike, the orchestered fire is ignited in such campuses and then flared to like minded other universities.
Let us try to delve a bit deeper into the JNU state of affairs.JNU offers a number of courses in its 20 schools and centers like Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Computer Applications, Master of Technology, Master of Philosophy, PhD etc as well as simple graduate courses.
Now coming to the education fee and hostel charges the increase of which the students have long been protesting.For a PhD course the fee applicable is only Rs.240 per annum, Rs.216 per annum for MA, MSC, MCA, Rs.384 per annum for M.Tech etc.
Now coming to the hostel fees:
Room rent (single) Rs.20 and Rs.10 (sharing) per month which was proposed to be increased to Rs.600 and Rs.300 a month from General candidates while no increase was proposed from BPL students.
Refundable mess security was proposed to be increased from Rs.5500 to Rs.12000. Utility charges, from Nil to as per use. Newspaper Rs.50 per annum remains the same, Mess bill remains the same.
On a visit to the University one may come across students whom one may take as senior teachers. Some are old enough to be professors. Obviously at this cost of education fee, almost free stay in Delhi, negligible mess charges, total freedom of cursing any government, why any one should attempt to pass out?
On the revision of hostel fees a lot many pseudo sympathisers and political leaders as also Bollywood personalities are seen upping their voices. It may not be surprising that many of them may not be aware of the university fee structures which may not have been revised since inception. The impression made out is about the 300% increase.
Many have been seen raising their voice against the financial strain to the poor families without knowing that the fee for BPL students have remained untouched since decades. Their opposition is just for the sake of opposition.
The fee structures in JNU may be the lowest in the country. Even a primary class student is paying times higher school fees. It is unimaginable that a post graduate student is paying a fee of just Rs.20 per month. And still the whole world is made to stand against any revision. The same students must have been paying much higher fees before reaching the university.
Affluence of the students can be gauged by the number of high end bikes and four wheelers used by them. They are seen wearing top branded clothes and carrying high end mobile phones. They have money to recharge the phone @Rs.200 a month, but not for paying education fees @Rs 20 a month. Such is the pseudo opposition that the students are allowed to take the national capital to ransom. A lot of hue and cry is made if they are stopped from blocking roads, marching to President house, or the Parliament to oppose the fee hike.
And in the name of political science education one may be pursuing an education in real time Politics. The student leaders are seen agitating for changing the Vice Chancellor. If in the current scenario the JNUSU leaders are demanding the removal of VC, it may not be a big news as long back in 1977 the Left lead union had succeeded in seeking removal of Mrs Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, from holding the office of VC. The students were then lead by Left front leader Sita Ram Yechuri. JNU has long remained the citadel of Left front parties whose very existence in the country is threatened.
It may therefore not be wrong to call JNU as the political battlefield for raising and grooming political activists. Creating a breeding ground for future leaders. And an appropriate place to ignite nationwide unrest.