As the new semester begins, JNU experiences turmoil and anger.
The New Leam Staff
Yet another semester has begun at JNU. However, as one moves around the campus one notices a sense of despair, sadness and anger. For instance, a university that is known for its culture of protest and radical movements is experiencing the tyranny of an administration that with its characteristic sadism and revenge mentality is imposing hefty fines – amounting to nearly 4 lakh – on 29 students.
In fact, the four JNUSU office-bearers have to pay a total fine of Rs 1.6 lakh to the university. What is their fault? They protest; they raise their voice against the administration-the arbitrary rules it imposes, the institutional norms it destroys, and the organized effort to destroy the liberal character of this iconic university.
There is no dialogue. There is no willingness to listen to the community. One has hardly seen the Vice-Chancellor coming out of the caged administrative building, and talking to students and teachers.
In fact, these days JNU is known for court cases, general unhappiness, and a sense of despair: a feeling that the administration backed by the ruling Establishment is determined to destroy the university.
Recently, the administration has come forward with yet another strange proposal–the introduction of the bio-metric system for monitoring and recording the attendance of the teaching community. A university known for its rigorous teaching-learning culture and intense interaction between the faculty and the students has to face this situation. This is like humiliating the faculty–reducing them into objects of perpetual surveillance.
In other words, none seems to be happy at JNU. It is like feeling the sadism of the JNU administration amidst tortured students and humiliated teachers.
The semester has just begun. In the process of registration the students are required to give an undertaking that they are bound by the rule of mandatory attendance. Even at the time of submitting their dissertations, the students have to undergo a highly complicated bureaucratic process.
Moreover, many teachers are complaining that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get even ‘duty’ leaves for attending seminars and conferences. As the JNUTA plans to organize a GBM today, one is eager to see whether the teachers can come forward with a concrete action plan for resisting the prevailing state of affairs.