Towards an Understanding of the University

Towards an Understanding of the University

    Though at different historical periods dominant political hegemonies have sought to appropriate the University, recent years have witnessed this appropriation to an unsurpassed degree with a qualitatively greater intensity. It can only be compared to the ‘nationalisation’ of the University-structure during the Nazi regime and during the historical epoch of Stalin. Here is…

Roundtable with Romila Thapar

Roundtable with Romila Thapar

We spoke to historian Romila Thapar in an attempt to uncover the historical background of dissent and debate in India, and how today, this tradition is aggressively being erased. The space for dialogue and discussion is shrinking in an ideological environment that increasingly shuns the practice of fundamental rationality. Watch it here:

What the Nation Really Needs to Know: Extracts from JNU’s Nationalism Lectures

What the Nation Really Needs to Know: Extracts from JNU’s Nationalism Lectures

The massive outbreak of protests in February 2016, in the wake of sedition charges being filed against some students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, took the form not only of sloganeering, human chains and streetplays, but also a lecture series on nationalism, attended by thousands of students, every day for almost a month. To mark the first anniversary of the attack, the…

“The Ambedkarite movement in India is about the power of articulation”

“The Ambedkarite movement in India is about the power of articulation”

Professor Y. S. Alone, along with four other teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has been served a legal notice from the administration. He has been persuaded to not address students at the Administrative Block in JNU. ICF's Anubha Rana recently interviewed Professor Alone on the possible ways of creating alternative politico-cultural spaces in academic institutions. Watch the video…

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

“BSP is the only alternative at the moment to defeat the forces of Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh”

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is an incisive and forthright contemporary voice of the progressive Dalit movement in Rajasthan.  He has untiringly participated in campaigns and movements across the country, creating awareness on communalism, casteism, gender violence, globalisation, displacement and so on. Born on February 25, 1975 in village Siridiyas in Bhilwara district into a Dalit weaver family,…

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

“No Hindu Rashtra”: Nayantara Sahgal

The following statement from Nayantara Sahgal was read out at the programme "Hastakshep: Jantantrik Aur Sanskritik Bahulata Ke Paksh Mein" in Gandhi Bhavan, Lucknow, December 28, 2016: The dangers we face today come from the fact that this Government is destroying the meaning of India, and step by step, stealthily and openly, is converting our secular…

Missing Student

Missing Student

Missing Student A student missing  in the university  doesn't matter; the classes will continue,  and the student  missing  will rue many  a time that  the classes  were not missing, the university  grounded in dust   in New Delhi. There is campus  rumpus, a student is missing,  students protest –  where is he?  And the Vice Chancellor …

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

A Nation Filled with Anti-Nationals!

I thought the Muslims were the only anti-nationals in this country. But I was mistaken. Earlier, thousands of people including even women and children who were questioning the Koodankulam nuclear plant were declared as anti-nationals. They are not the only ones outside the community of Muslims, though. Over 11,000 NGOs in India are restricted from the…

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Assaults on Reason and Institutions

Idea of India Conclave During the two years of the Narendra Modi government, there has been an all-round attack on various established institutions in the country, whether educational or cultural. There have been attempts to interfere with curricula, the way these institutions are run, as well as their mandate and autonomy. The Idea of India…

JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent

JNU and Its Tradition(s) of Dissent

Café Dissensus, Issue 24 Photo courtesy Haneefa Muhammed, via Café Dissensus Linked below are the contents of an issue of Café Dissensus from 2016, on the culture of dissent and protest politics in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Guest-Editorial: JNU and Its Traditions of Dissent by Malavika Binny Sedition in a Democracy by Meera Gopakumar Capitalising…

Freedom of Speech in the University

Freedom of Speech in the University

Partha Chatterjee Image courtesy https://medium.com/@montouche/a-collection-of-thoughts-on-the-perils-of-nationalism-816981f0b75f#.sxagk2mj4 "Even though from childhood I had been taught that the idolatry of the nation is almost better than reverence for God and humanity, I believe I have outgrown the teaching, and it is my conviction that my countrymen will truly gain their India by fighting against that education which teaches…

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

Anand Teltumbde on Current Student Struggles

The Malayalam weekly Madhyamam asked Anand Teltumbde, a writer, scholar of peoples’ movements, civil rights activist with CPDR Mumbai, inter alia, two questions relating to student movements. Here are his answers: Your article in the Economic & Political Weekly in October 2015 has succinctly captured the perils of raising memorials of Dr B.R. Ambedkar while…

JNU Students on Indefinite Hunger Strike

JNU Students on Indefinite Hunger Strike

Photographs: V. Arun Kumar Twenty students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, including students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, have sat on an indefinite hunger strike starting April 27, in protest against the actions of the High-Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC), and demanding that punitive action be revoked. The enquiry committee on April 25 fined Kumar Rs. 10,000…

Ambedkar and Freedom

Ambedkar and Freedom

Professor Sukhadeo Thorat—economist, former head of the University Grants Commission and chair of the Thorat Committee, constituted in 2006, which found evidence (pdf) of widespread harassment of students from the scheduled castes and tribes at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi—spoke recently at JNU’s Freedom Square on Ambedkar’s ‘nationalism’, his concerns about…

On the Liberal Indian Academic Living in Fear Today

On the Liberal Indian Academic Living in Fear Today

 Gayathri Sreedharan It’s hard to steal focus from the student community these days. Especially on a day like today, when the names Anirban, Umar and Kanhaiya continue to dominate headlines. Before a JNU students’ protest march demanding the release of Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, JNU Student’s Union Vice President Shehla Rashid described the student…

The Indian Cultural Forum Salutes Our Students

The Indian Cultural Forum Salutes Our Students

​The Indian Cultural Forum congratulate​s​ K​anhaiya Kumar​ on his speech at JNU after his release on bail​. We are proud to stand in solidarity with him​,​ as also with the ​thousands of JNU students and faculty who have ​supported him, and with the ​thousands of students from universities across the country who have demonstrated their…

JNU and our democracy

JNU and our democracy

Romila Thapar Image: Ishan Anand Recent events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University raise many questions pertinent to us as citizens of India. The questions have become imperative because it is apparent that many who govern us have little sensitivity to understanding the fundamental issues crucial to governance. For example, what are the necessary aspects of…