Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
HVK Archives: Advani's function at JNU cancelled

Advani's function at JNU cancelled - The Hindu

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
19 November 1996

Title : Advani's function at JNU cancelled
Author :
Publication : The Hindu
Date : November 19, 1996

Alarmed by the confrontationist stance adopted by a
united Left and the isolated Right, the Centre for Span-
ish Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of
Languages today decided to cancel the book release func-
tion which was to be attended by the Bharatiya Janata
Party president L. K. Advani.

The Centre's invitation to the BJP Grammatical Structure
of Spanish and Hindi saw the fractured Left students
movement speak in one voice against this attempt by Mr
Advani to gain academic and intellectual legitimacy.

The Left organisations took out a torchlight procession
last night and hung around the School of Social Sciences
building - venue of the function - for a greater part of
the day today painting posters and shouting slogans. When
the cancellation notice was put up, slogans like Bhaga
diya bhai bhaga diya, Advani ko bhaga diya rent the air.

They then took a procession to the School of Languages
building where a delegation of students met Prof. Gadre
to enquire whether the function would be held on a later
date in the campus. After securing an assurance from him
to the contrary, the students left his office and joined
the rest of the community shouting slogans outside. They
also had plans to take out a victory procession later in
the evening.

The decision to cancel the function was announced in to
afternoon, a couple of hours before it was scheduled to
start. Announcing the decision to cancel the function.
Prof. Gadre - who is also the Chairman of the Centre -
released a statement saying: "In view of the unexpected
and undesirable reaction of a section of the JNU communi-
ty, and keeping the academic interests of maintaining of
a harmonious atmosphere in the campus, the Centre una-
nimously decided to reschedule the timing and location of
the book release function.

Continuing the pointed out that the decision has been
taken by the faculty of the Centre in the spirit of
academic accommodation which, in the faculty's view is
primary importance for an academic community. In the
statement, the faculty members have also given voice to
the view that the chain of events leading to this deci-
sion tantamounts to an impingement on the autonomy and
academic freedom of the Centre thereby setting an un-
healthy precedent in the University.

Trouble started brewing on the campus since this past
Friday when the now ousted ultra-Left All-India Student's
Association (AISA) gave a call against Mr. Advani visit
to the University Former president of JNU's Students
Union (JNUSU). Chandra Shekhar argued Advani is not any
individual. He is a man with a political history which
carries the agony of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Also, he is hawala-tainted politician.

According to Chandra Shekhar the other Left organisations
maintained a silence till the president, Battilal Bairwa
- a member of the Students Federation of India - was
attacked by Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
members in a Council meeting. Apparently, the Parishad
workers were incensed by Battilal's refusal to be party
to a statement condemning AISA's decision to protest Mr.
Advani visit.

While the Left organisation claimed that Battilal was
Physically assaulted by ABVP members, the letter in a
statement, denied the charge and insisted that there was
only a heated exchange of words in the meeting when the
president verbally abused Mr. Advani.

As is the tradition in JNU, a public debate was convened
last night in which five faculty members spoke. They were
of the collective view that nobody should be physically
prevented from entering the campus and dissent should be
allowed. One of the teachers, Dr Purushottam Agarwal, did
however point out that the Centre should have invited
someone relevant to the subject instead.

Countering this argument. Prof Gadre said he had invited
someone from the Spanish Embassy also. He is of the view
that JNU - long bombarded with Left ideology and rhetoric
- should get to hear what the Right has to say, Refuting
students allegation that Mr. Advani had been invited by
him to send a political message across the country that
JNU had turned saffron with an ABVP majority in the
Students Union panel, he said "I invited Mr. Advani
before the JNUSU elections and requested him categorical-
ly not to make any political comment".

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements