By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
JNU one of the most controversial and prestigious academic institutions in the country is once again in the lime light. But it’s a little different this time, on 5th of January, JNU and the whole country saw the mob violence on JNU campus. Broken glasses, furniture, shrieks, cries and images of students beaten and bleeding left many people horrified. I am not a JNU alumnus nor do I agree with most of the things that student union of JNU stand for but I don’t support violence against them, neither against right nor against left. Violence simply nullify any democratic culture and starts a vicious cycle that have every possibility of spiraling out of control.
One may find it surprising but this whole affair was based on differences that could have been resolved with a candid discussion. The left groups wanted to boycott registration because they didn’t wanted to pay the increased fee, which the right wing groups were okay with. Resulting scuffle between the two groups culminated into violence where people from outside campus came and for many hours inflicted senseless violence on campus. I am surprised why JNU administration let the situation escalate, the campus is meant for studies not wrestling but above all I am shocked at the fact that administration let outside elements held University campus hostage without any challenge and that too when Police was standing right at the gates of the institution.
Even if the students and teachers association have differences with the Vice Chancellor and his team, they are living on campus under his (VC) protection. The families of staff and faculty and hundreds of students who have no ideological affiliations were needlessly caught in crossfire. I saw a student on television, who was visually impaired and yet still, badly beaten by the mob. There were faculty members with bandages and fractures who were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. What if someone died in the violence or a girl got raped by the mob? Whose responsibility would it be then? All this could have been stopped. I think authorities should fire JNU administration. I am also surprised why Police let these goons go? Why they weren’t challenged or arrested?
I think it will be for the betterment of the institution if it do away with student politics for good. Most of the students do not come to campus for politics; it’s just too much violence and bitterness. Given such divisions among students, I am more than confident that things will come to blow again and the sad part is that no one wants to sit down and talk which will further corrode the university’s reputation. In fact, I will not be surprised if people start demanding shut down of JNU. Academic institutions should not become political battlegrounds; it’s high time we recognize this fact.