JNU Administration and its Vivekananda Politics

REPORTAGE
Think of JNU VC Professor Jagadesh Kumar’s yet another move – this time the idea of installing the statue of Swami Vivekananda.

COMMENTARY

Think of JNU VC Professor Jagadesh Kumar‘s yet another move – this time the idea of installing the statue of Swami Vivekananda.

The New Leam Staff


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JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) in New Delhi on March 15, 2017.
Pic: Sanjay Rawat

A street in the name of Vivekananda, and now the proposed idea of installing the statue of the monk – Professor Jagadesh Kumar-the controversial Vice Chancellor of the university, and his team seem to have fallen in love with the charismatic Swami.

Or is it that it is less about Vivekananda, and more about politics – the politics of revenge, the politics that seeks to hurt the team of what this techno-manager would regard as ‘Nehruvians’ and ‘leftists’, and convey a message: ‘Be prepared. Your hegemony is over, and with the symbolism of Vivekananda we will establish the supremacy of ‘Hindu nationalism’, and conquer this ‘leftist’ campus’?

Well, the practices of Professor Jagadesh Kumar hardly indicate that he is spiritually inclined. It is difficult to believe that this notorious VC who is never tired of introducing all sorts of punitive measures against the teachers and students who defy his authoritarian mode of functioning can ever engage with Vivekananda with honesty and seriousness. His psychic meanness would never allow him to come closer to the spiritual ecstasy of Ramakrishna – Vivekananda’s guru. Nor is it possible for him to understand Vivekananda’s passionate zeal for radicalizing Hinduism, rescuing the Vedanta from the caves and the mountains celebrating the arrival of socialism, and filling the mind of the youth with positive life-energy. No, Vivekananda was not the kind of person Professor Kumar or his friends in Nagpur would really like. Vivekananda was not Savarkar, Mr.VC. Yet, the rightist politics characterized by the poverty of philosophy needs ‘icons’ and ‘symbols’ to eliminate what the BJP-RSS nexus hates – Nehru and Gandhi. And Mr. Kumar –this professor of engineering with utterly fragmented thinking from the IIT,Delhi –has been sent to JNU precisely for this purpose.

Yes, playing the politics of symbolism is easy; it demands nothing from you; it demands no self-transformation, no life-transformative practice. Waste money, make noise, advertise yourself, and it is done. In this regard Professor Kumar seems to have learned a great deal from Mr. Narendra Modi. What would be the height of the statue of Vivekananda– Professor Kumar? Certainly taller than that of Jawaharlal Nehru!

 Meanwhile, cut the library budget (students need not read the collected works of Vivekananda; looking at the statue would suffice); spend a hell lot of money for the security (you need ‘efficient’ security guards to take the pictures of the teachers who have not yet lost their conscience), cut the salary of those who say ‘no’ to your dictatorship, and practice your ‘spirituality’ by inviting the much advertized celebrity gurus – Shri Shri Ravishankar and Sadhguru.

Why to blame the VC alone? This is our politics. Practice casteism (and these days, it is no longer the monopoly of the ‘Brahmins’; the OBCs are killing the Dalits; and the ‘Dalit leaders’ are excluding Dait peasants, Dalit artisans, Dalit workers, and producing yet another form of hierarchy); yet, talk about Phule and Ambedkar. These days who is not a ‘follower’ of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar? From Mr. Modi to Madam Mayawati, from Professor Jagadesh Kumar to Colnel Baxi – everybody ‘loves’ Ambedkar.

Ambedkar or Bhagat Singh or Subhas Bose or Vivekananda–it doesn’t matter. Build a statue. Utter a mantra. And you are free from all vices! It is complete freedom from the ‘Nehru-Gandhi nexus’!

Well, Mr. VC celebrate the victory  and look at the statue of Vivekananda!

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