Published: 15th November 2019
JNU students have crossed every line of civil behaviour: VC Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar writes to staff
JNU administration would always like to engage in a dialogue, but the process and form of any such interaction cannot be dictated through coercion and illegal methods, wrote the university's VC
Following the protests and agitations by the students at Jawaharlal Nehru University against the Draft Hostel Manual and fee hike for over two weeks now, the Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar on Friday has put out an appeal to the staff at the varsity asking for their cooperation in maintaining a "academic atmosphere in JNU campus", despite the students having 'crossed every line of civil behaviour'. In the two page-long statement posted on his official Twitter account, the VC has stated that "the persistent agitations and protests by a section of students have adversely affected the university's normal academic and research activities. All of us should make efforts at our individual levels as well as at the level of our positions of responsibility where possible to establish normalcy."
Pointing towards the protests that took place inside the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) office and on campus a few days ago, the VC said, "On November 11, and then, again, on November 13, the agitating students have crossed every line of civil behaviour. First, they tried to storm the University's 3rd Convocation ceremony organised in the auditorium of a neighbouring institution, AICTE. While the Convocation went off peacefully, uninterrupted, hundreds of students gathered at the main gate of AICTE, breaking the police barricades and preventing people from coming out, including the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhariyal 'Nishank' and the Chancellor of JNU, Dr V K Saraswat. They were confined in the building by these protestors for over six hours. And, on November 13, these students entered the Administration Building and vandalised badly the offices of the Vice-Chancellor and other officials. This vandalism of government property is going to cost lakhs of rupees in repair."
The VC added that such persistent protests have not only created a ruckus on campus but has maligned the image of the university. "Such persistent protests involving occupation of the Administration Building, defacing of walls and floors and indulging in brawls with security guards and breaking open doors have maligned the image of JNU seriously," he wrote.
In what has been one of the largest student demonstrations seen by the varsity in it five decades of existence, the VC has said that the protesting students continued to press their demand for complete withdrawal of the Hostel Manual. "Despite concessions given by the EC, students on strike have continued to press their demand for complete withdrawal of the Hostel Manual. Some of them have turned violent causing intimidation and physical insecurity to some JNU teachers and officials in the campus. Even lady guards are not spared. Such methods of protest can never be condoned," Mamidala stated.
Condemning the acts by the students during the continuous protests, the VC has said, "No civilised society, let alone a higher academic institution of the stature of JNU, would bear such abominable activities and behaviour by its members. The administration has taken an extremely grim view of this condemnable and reprehensible behaviour of the agitating students and their mentors."
Finally, the vice-chancellor appealed to the varsity staff at the end of his statement urging them to request the agitating students, "once again, to stop their protests, which have been hampering studies of thousands of students on the campus who are preparing for their end-semester examinations and trying to write their term papers. JNU administration would always like to engage in a dialogue and discussion, but the process and form of any such interaction cannot be dictated through coercion and illegal methods."
"I therefore request you all, that we should make extra effort to convince the students that the changes in hostel charges are not only reasonable but vital for the financial viability of our hostels. It is our duty and responsibility to keep JNU on the path of becoming a globally renowned university for which peace and normalcy have to be restored in the campus," he concluded.