JNU row: Surjit S Bhalla’s column “Deconstructing anti-nationalism” (FE, February 19) is very timely and all the players, the government, the JNU and the students have together created a situation which could have been avoided. The university or college is no place for these activities. Most of the faculty is indulging in politics, forgetting their primary duties. Universities have to be held accountable for their output and research, not judged on their political ideology or political activism. The problem started when some students pasted posters across the JNU campus inviting people to a protest against ‘judicial killing of Afzal Guru’, triggering a row. Permission was denied shortly before the event to group of students who called for the meeting to protest against the “judicial killing” of Afzal Guru and in solidarity with “the struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self determination”. Such activities show that the organisers were oblivious of the fact that they are supporting a terrorist who is already dead. Prodded by public opinion, the government’s response has been unduly inept and harsh—slapping sedition charges on students, arresting the student union leader and sending the police into the campus was not the best response. The Congress, the Left and the JD (U) have waded in, clearly showing this as an ideological fight, dividing the faculty and the students.
MM Gurbaxani, Bengaluru
Many lawyers had led our freedom struggle. But now, members of the legal fraternity have now descended several notches—no doubt, influenced by right-wing elements that have managed to undermine Modi’s progressive agenda ever since he assumed office as the PM. If this is a prelude to a polarisation to help win upcoming state polls, the gamble will prove detrimental either way. A loss would put the BJP on the back-foot on development and a win predicated on divisiveness will result in a complete hijack of the national agenda by the ideological camp as it will claim primary relevance. The latter scenario will set us far back precisely when global economy is recovering a bit.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad