Unperturbed by criticism, Kumar has quoted Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s speech, in which the Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder criticised former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to highlight issues that today's India is facing.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has always been in news for wrong reasons more than the positive ones. His recent run-ins with academics and students within the premier institution have become a fodder for media. Unperturbed by criticism, Kumar has quoted Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s speech, in which the Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder criticised former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to highlight issues that today’s India is facing. Mookerjee speech attacked Nehru or raising the “cry of communalism” to divert attention from bigger issues. Kumar said the country was facing a similar situation toda, according to Indian Express report.
The JNU V-C said this while presiding over an event on the campus organised by the Centre for Media Studies, on the ‘Contribution of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee to Higher Education, National Integration & National Security’.
“In his speech on June 2, 1951 as a Member of Parliament, Mookerjee said, ‘The cry of communalism is being raised by Pandit Nehru just to divert the attention of the country when we are facing great challenges to overcome poverty, hunger, maladministration, corruption and complete surrender to Pakistan.’ Today, we are in the same situation. While we are fighting to build an inclusive, integrated and strong India, there are inimical forces both within and outside India who are trying to divert our attention from building a strong, unified nation,” he said in the valedictory speech of the event. MoS, PMO, Jitendra Singh, former BJP MP Tarun Vijay and Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retd) were present at the event.
Kumar also announced that Special Centre for National Security Studies will come up at JNU. “JNU is equally concerned about our national security. After detailed discussion in the Academic Council, we unanimously — barring a few dissents — decided to pass it. When I proposed this to UGC, they readily agreed,” he said.
In May, JNU Academic Council “passed” a proposal to set up a Centre for National Security Studies under which there would be a course on “Islamic Terrorism”. Many members of the Academic Council opposed the proposal to impart courses on ‘Islamic Terrorism’, arguing that it was communal in nature, Sudhir K Suthar, a special invitee to the 145th meeting of the Council, had said.
Talking about the infamous incident that took place February 9, 2016 during which anti-India slogans were raised, MoS Jitendra Singh said those “bothering” the JNU Vice-Chancellor should “take away” from words of Mookerjee. Quoting him, Singh said, “Generally speaking, an Indian university must regard itself as one of the living organs of national integration.”
Earlier in April, the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) had said it would write to the prime minister and the president, seeking their intervention to stop the alleged violation of the reservation policy by the varsity administration. JNUTA president Sonajharia Minz had alleged that the JNU has “slipped into a state of administrative authoritarianism” under Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.
Earlier, Kumar ahd stoked a controversy saying that the presence of an Army tank in the varsity will remind the students of sacrifices and valor of the defence forces. Kumar called on Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K. Singh to help the University procure a tank.