JNU: Statue Of Educator Swami Vivekananda Vandalised With 'Objectionable Messages'
A statue of Swami Vivekananda which was soon to be unveiled in the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus was vandalised on Thursday as student protests continued over the hostel fee hike, despite a partial rollback.
Swami Vivekananda, an icon of Hindu philosophy, social reformer and educator, stressed on the education which helps in character formation, increases the strength of mind, expands intellect. However, the pedestal of Vivekananda’s statue was littered with “objectionable messages”.
JNU Students’ Union representatives have denied their involvement in the incident.
“The VC (vice-chancellor), the ruling regime and their lackeys on campus, which is the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), want to divert the issue from the fee hike to pointless and polarising debates,” JNU Student Union members said in a statement.
The JNUSU claimed that the student community does not endorse acts of vandalism and those doing it should not use the movement’s name to justify such acts. “We condemn unequivocally the attempts to malign the JNU student movement through acts which do not represent the JNU student movement,” it said in the statement.
“Students with their future at stake due to the hostel fee hike can never be perpetrators of any violence or undemocratic action,” the student’s union added.
“At a time when the common student of JNU is fighting for his rights, the Left is unsuccessfully trying to revive its flop agenda,” ABVP’s JNU unit president Durgesh Kumar and secretary Manish Jangid said.
On Wednesday, students wrote various messages for vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar as they barged inside the administrative block of the university to talk to him about the hostel fee hike.
“You are not our VC. Go back to your Sangh,” students wrote on one of the doors of the VC’s office. Another message written on the floor outside the office read, “Mamidala, Bye, Bye Forever.”
The varsity administration, after two weeks of protests, rolled back the hostel fee hike partially for BPL students not availing any scholarship. The clauses in the Draft Hostel Manual regarding the dress code and curfew timings were also removed. However, students dubbed the move an “eyewash”.
Earlier on Monday, November 11, thousands of JNU students clashed with the police as their protests escalated. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was confined for over five hours at the convocation venue.