JNU is in the news again. This time for leftist students heckling & attacking a lady professor who was proposing introduction of short-term courses in Hindu culture and yoga, and for Congress student body NSUI burning a Ravana-like effigy of PM Modi and others on the occasion of Dussehra.
Those who claim to be on the side of free speech, open exchange of ideas, and civilized discourse are repeatedly getting exposed for their utter hypocrisy. The latest incidents again illustrate that leftist-secularist professors and students of JNU will go to any lengths to stifle opposing voices and maintain their hegemony over this premier Government-funded University.
‘No “bhagwakaran”, you “Sanghis”‘, Say Leftist Students and Teachers of JNU
As per this Firspost article by Prakash Nanda ‘JNU hypocrisy: No room for courses on Hinduism at premier university‘ (emphasis added)
“Anita Singh, a JNU professor, has told DNA that she was abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students, instigated by the Left-dominated students union and teachers association, while she stepped out of the meeting of the university’s statutory decision-making body, the academic council (AC), late on 7 October. Abused as a “sanghi”, Singh, who is the dean, School of Law and Governance, told the paper that she earned the students’ ire because, “I had presented the proposal for introducing a disaster research programme in the university for a trans-disciplinary programme, the talks for which have been going on since 2011, and that has already been passed by five standing committees. But the JNUSU thinks that any new innovation is ‘bhagwakaran‘ (saffronisation) and I was attacked as soon as I stepped out.”
The original DNA report provides some more details –
“I stepped out of the academic council meeting late Saturday evening, and was immediately surrounded by around 20 students. They started calling me out, abusing me, calling me “sanghi” and didn’t even let me move. When I, along with the JNU registrar and proctor tried to get into our car, we were stopped and surrounded by the students who started banging on the car. Some of them even laid down in front of the car,” Professor Amita Singh said.
In her complaint, Singh has named three professors from the University – JNUTA President Professor Ajay Patnaik from School for Russian and central Asian studies, Professor Ayesha Kidwai and Ajith Kanna from School of Language, Literature and Culture studies – as those who instigated the students.
The Professor has also named some students as being involved in the act. Manikanta, one of the students told DNA, ” We did raise slogans and surround the professor, but there was no violence involved at any point of time.”
Prakash Nanda then goes deeper into the roots of the leftist angst against Singh –
“Singh has spoken about the events that took place outside the AC meeting. But what happened inside the AC meeting was equally gratuitous. Here, in the name of “secularism”, the majority rejected a proposal of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of introducing three short-term courses in Indian culture and yoga. According to the UGC’s proposed draft, the course on Indian culture aimed at expounding the importance of the country’s culture as well as exploring the etymological, social, spiritual, cultural and mythological aspects and establishing Indian values in the world. “The course will contain the texts, thoughts and traditions of different cultures and include things like religious systems in Indian culture among others. Besides, it will have portions from Vedas and selections from epics and Jatakas and suggestions on readings of Hindu epics like the Ramayana,” the draft read. It was argued in the draft that Indian culture cannot be understood without the help of “Indian literature, which is generally written by sages”.
For the leftist cabal in JNU, a course which remotely approves of anything in Hindu culture is pure evil. To gauge the Hinduphobic mindsets of these so-called academics, one need only view this leaked video of Professor Nivedita Menon (Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory) addressing her students, where she says, “Hindu culture’s only contribution to the world is deep-rooted violence“
Prakash Nanda then questions why JNU, and for that matter all public-funded Universities in Bharat, are so averse to teaching anything related to Hindu Dharma, and how the meaning of secularism has become so distorted (HinduPost comments added in blue font) –
“Now, if JNU, one of India’s foremost universities, refuses to teach Indian culture and yoga with the logic that it would lead to promotion of Hinduism in a secular country, then where else can one study Hinduism in India, where 80 percent of the population (this is debatable, Hindu population is likely well below the 79.8% figure reported in Census 2011) happens to be Hindus? And here, I came across a report in the Hindu, dated 13 July, 2013, that said that one Subadra Muthuswami, who had a Master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, hoped to pursue her interest in Hinduism when she returned to India. “Since I am in India, I decided to do research to understand why we practice rituals and rites in Hinduism. But I understand that no university offers a comprehensive course in Hinduism studies,” she told the paper.
Subadra discovered that the University of Madras had programmes in Vaishnavism and Indian philosophy, but not on “Sanatan Dharma” (Hinduism) as a whole, even though the university “has separate departments for Christian and Islamic studies”. She was told by senior professors that “universities are secular places where Hinduism as a religion cannot be taught. Sources in the university said when the department wanted to offer a paper in yoga (which is also ashastra) last year, the move was opposed on the grounds that it was endorsed by a political party.”
One fails to understand that how a university that has departments on Christian and Islamic Studies considers offering a paper on yoga, let alone Hinduism, will tarnish its secular character. As a result, in India one can study Hinduism — and this was what Subadra discovered — only in private or spiritual organisations like Swami Shivananda Institute, Chinmaya Mission, Iskcon and Vedanta Academy (Mumbai).
In contrast, let us see the situation abroad. I just did a Google search to find western universities offering courses on Hinduism and Indian culture. And this was what I found. The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is a recognised “Independent Centre” of Oxford University. The principal aim of the Centre is “the study of Hindu culture, religion, languages, literature, philosophy, history, arts and society, in all periods and in all parts of the world.” Cambridge University teaches Vedanta, Vyakarana and Sanskrit philosophy along with Buddhism. London’s School of Oriental and African Studies offers courses on “Indian philosophy, especially Vyākaraṇa and Mīmāṃsā, Sanskrit philology, Sanskrit scientific literature.” In fact, many British universities such as Sussex, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh have departments on Theology and Religious Studies that teach, among others, “Sāṅkhya and Pātañjala Yoga.” Sweden’s Stockholm university has courses on Indian Philosophy, especially “Nyāya and Buddhism.” In Brussels (Belgium), “Vrije Universiteit” (Antwerp FVG, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions) teaches Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Indian Philosophy, especially “Vedānta schools and Kaśmīr Śaivism.” University of Vienna (Institute of South Asian, Tibetology and Buddhist Studies) has programmes on “Sanskrit philosophy, Āyurveda and Sanskrit philology.” There are many universities and institutes in Germany that give special emphasis to Sanskrit, Indian philosophical texts and Indian religions, including “Veda, Pāli and Epics”.
Coming to the US, Concordia University States has a chair in Hindu Studies that is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Hinduism. There is the J Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University that studies Hinduism. Case Western Reserve University has a department on South Asian religions. So has also Emory University. Then there are famous (infamous) professors like Wendy Doniger at the University of Chicago who has written many books on Hinduism, some of them controversial though. (most of these Indology/Hindu studies departments in Western Universities are filled with Hinduphobic career academics who aim to distort Bharatiya sanskriti and appropriate the right to interpret Hindu traditions for Hindus themselves as Rajiv Malhotra has articulated in his book ‘Academic Hinduphobia’)
The questions that emerge from the illustrated list (not exhaustive) above are this: Are these western educational institutions having departments of theology and offering courses on comparative religions communal? If not, how can the Indian institutions offering courses on Hinduism or related subjects like yoga be branded communal, that too in a country where 80 percent of the people happen to be Hindus? And thirdly, if our “secularists” consider the book on Hinduism (which has shown the religion in negative manner) by American Indologist Wendy Doniger, a Professor of “Religions” in an American university, a great scholarly work, why cannot they promote similar scholarly works in Indian universities? Is it not double standards to applaud work on Hinduism by foreign scholars in foreign universities but deny the Indian scholars to work on the same subject in Indian universities?
In fact, as the recent development in JNU has proved once again, our so-called liberals and seculars, who dominate the country’s education system, will leave no stone unturned to foil any attempt by any university in India to introduce courses on “Religions”. They will have nothing to do with the promotion of a “dead language” such as Sanskrit. Even any elective, repeat elective, course on “Vastu Sashtra” will be dismissed (as it happened in a Madhya Pradesh University some years ago) as attempts towards “saffronisation”. But minorities can pursue studies on their respective religions. As a result, what we see today is that the Muslims children learn about Islam and the Quran in Madrasas and the Christian children learn the essence of Christianity and the Bible in educational institutions founded and managed by them. Under the Indian Constitution, the minorities are allowed to have their own educational institutions and the certificates or degrees thereof are recognised legally.
In contrast, the children of the majority of the Hindu community do not have such facilities. Even at the school-level, whenever there are attempts to teach the children about the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Gita, the “secular brigade” makes a lot of hue and cry. And ironically, all these elements, who dominate the Indian academia and media, will want books critical of Hinduism to flourish in India but they will advise against the circulation of anything that is critical of other religions.
Such are their double standards!”
Modi as Ravana
Secularists and leftists across the country are smarting after the cross-border surgical strike undertaken by our Army post the Uri terror attack. They are dismayed at the surge of patriotism and pride that this action has generated across the nation. Hence, while there were many reports of Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif being burnt in lieu of Ravan in this year’s Dussehra celebration, Congress student body NSUI decided to buck the national mood and burn PM Modi’s Ravana effigy instead. As per this report –
“A group of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief chief Amit Shah, Nathuram Godse, Yoga guru Ramdev, Sadhvi Pragya, Asaram Bapu and JNU vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar to mark the “victory of truth over falsehood” on the occasion of Dussehra.
Members of the Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) on Tuesday night celebrated Dussehra by burning the effigy of Modi and others to protest against the growing interference of the Centre in universities and attacks on Dalits.
“We celebrated the victory of truth over falsehood in a modern and democratic country by burning effigies. For us Modi and RSS are symbol of untruth,” said Sunny Diman, an NSUI member.
The students maintained that the effigies did not symbolise Ravana – known as the demon king. “There are communities who worship Ram and there are Adivasi communities who worship Ravana also. So, for us it was not Ravana or Ram whose effigy needs to be burnt. We just wanted to symbolize the victory of truth over falsehood,” said Diman.”
Here is a partial listing of other incidents which have occurred in JNU that reveal the poisonous, treasonous discourse that dominates student groups in that institution –
- In February 2016, a group of leftist students held an event to commemorate 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru – anti-national slogans like ‘Bharat ke tukde honge’ & ‘Jang rahegi, jang rahegi, Bharat ki barbadi tak’ were raised in this event. Following the event, former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and two other student leaders were arrested in a case of sedition.
- After the JNU controversy erupted, leftist students from JNU and DU had demonstrated in front of RSS, New Delhi office where slogans like ‘Neem ka patta kadwa hai, Narendra Modi b***a hai’were raised.
- On 9 October 2015, clashes erupted in JNU over the Mahishasura Martyrdom Day. The spark was the distribution of the October issue of Forward Press, a Christian evangelical Magazine, which depicted Goddess Durga in a derogatory manner – as a prostitute hired to seduce and kill the native king Mahishasura.
- In 2010, leftist students in JNU held a night-long ‘celebration’ of the slaughter of 76 CRPF personnel by Naxals in an ambush at Dantewada, Chattisgarh.
- In 1999, in the midst of the Kargil war, leftist students in JNU organised a Bharat-Pakistan mushaira (poetic gathering) where Bharat and its defence forces were openly abused.
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