Published: 07th March 2019
JNU's Nehru statue now wears poster for ouster of 'national waste' VC
They've shouted, they've protested and now Nehru's bust is joining in the anti-VC charge, apparently. What went down at the JNU protest on Thursday was
If only statues could speak, they would probably tell a million tales. Except, the one of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, kept at JNU is now saying quite a bit — courtesy the rather artistic (and slanderous) poster draped on it during the protest against the VC organised by the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) and the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU), on Thursday.
The poster, featuring what looks like a caricature of VC Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, carries the line: JNU VC is a National Waste. The number of pop culture references that this could have been derived from are a little too long to delve into. The protest saw more than 150 members from both unions taking part — and it lasted a good two-and-a-half-hours, after it started at 11 am.
Titled a March in Defence of Fundamental Rights, the students and teachers of the protest-ridden university, besides the bevy of issues already dogging the admininistration, this protest was primarily aimed at preserving the spirit to protest and dissent, "In its most recent Executive Council Meeting on February 15, JNU administration debarred 19 faculty members from attending any meetings of the statutory bodies of the University for participating in a public meeting on January 31," explained the JNUTA.
New colours: The poster stuck on the Jawaharlal Nehru statue
With the University enforcing Regulation M7 — that contentious rule that stops JNU students and teachers from protesting within 100 metres of the administration — has apparently been amended and extended, "The new regulation as it appears in the EC minutes not only prohibits any protests within
100 metres of the Academic and Administrative complexes but also in the residential areas of the University. As such, it is a self-contradictory regulation as the only designated area of protest by the JNU administration itself is in the vicinity of the residential area. This also effectively means that protests are now allowed in JNU only in the forested areas – where too human activity may be prohibited for environmental reasons," they added.
This goes against the DNA of the studnets and professors who have always had free charter to protest until the infamous Azaadi protests of 2016, "The JNUTA believes that all spaces inside the University are democratic spaces and the real reason behind this illegal action against teachers by expanding the scope of M7 regulation is to illegally control the statutory bodies of the University. The Vice Chancellor has already been acting in complete violation of the JNU Act and this action is just another addition to his acts of illegalities," they concluded.
The VC and the administration are yet to respond to this march or the demands raised by the protestors.