PM Modi Unveiled Swami Vivekanand Statue in Jawaharlal Nehru University

Modi’s maiden speech in JNU

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of Swami Vivekanand through video-conferencing. In his maiden interaction with the JNU students, he laid stress on the supremacy of ‘national interest’ over any ideology. He cited examples of freedom movement and movements during emergency days. These examples showed how different ideologies worked together inspite of their differences, as the larger goal was in nation’s interest. Noting debate and discussion culture of JNU around dhabas (particularly Sabarmati dhaba), he mentioned the statue as an added place for debate. He wished that Vivekanand’s thoughts will inspire the debates in campus and students life in future.

JNUSU Calls for protest for improvement in education

Meanwhile, the JNUSU had a protest demonstration at the main gate of unversity. Speaking to the media, JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh expressed concern over digital divide and problems arising out of online classes. She also expressed concern over the alignment of New Education Policy, 2020 towards privatisation. Rising fees in education will negatively impact the marginalised people. They called the protest to draw attention of PM and HRD Ministry (Education Ministry) to look into these problems. The fact that Noble Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, Modi’s current cabinet ministers (Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar) are JNU alumni, shows important role of JNU in nation building.

Click to watch the event in detail

Saket Moon, JNUSU Vice-President mentioned that it was not the first time that JNU has protested against a PM. In the past, Indira Gandhi was not allowed to enter into the campus; Manmohan Singh was shown black flags; but, Modi took a different way (i.e. videoconferencing) to enter the campus. He termed the ‘naming of roads’, as wastage of energy and resources, which could be diverted towards improving educational facilities.

Satish Chandra Yadav, JNUSU General-Secretary, reiterated that JNUSU called protest to draw the government’s attention towards the Right to Education. It is Education Ministry’s responsibility that the education system should remain and continue in good shape. He also emphasised that administration should call the students in phased manner. The administration should call terminal students on priority basis so that they can complete their course, submit dissertations and thesis. He mentioned that ‘symbolism’ cannot replace the ‘reality’.

VC marked occasion as historic

M Jagadesh Kumar, JNU Vice-Chancellor, marked the event as historic and hoped that students will learn the lessons from Vivekanand’s thoughts. He informed that administration has initiated the return of students in phased manner. Some students have already returned to campus and more students will come after 14th November. Speaking about the library facility, he mentioned that it is accessible trough a VPN or remote access. Renewal of journals and databases is an issue for which work is in process. UGC approval is in waiting. He refuted and denied any cut in library expenditure.

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