Student Movement at Jawaharlal J^ehru University
THE REGENT closure of Jawaharlal Nehru University, followed by the determined and successful bid by students to keep it open has. attracted comment in newspaper? and journals unifornily hostile to the students' union and its leaders who belong to the Students' Federation of India (SFIJ. This is a report on the ^aclcground to recent developniejits ^nd tKe role of the students' union,
In Social Scientist 14 (September 1973) VC Koshy wrojte an expose on the 'JNU model' which the Government of India exhibits as an example for higher education to emulate and the totally erroneous concept that such ^odel centres' can baring about change in the educational system. The campus unit of the SFI since 1971 has been concentrating on breaking down the elitist structure of the university and on foiling the designs of the official planners. Rather than allow the university to become a privileged preserve of upper class students behind the facade of promoting "national integration,secularism, democracy and social justice^', the S"FX started with the founding of a democratic students' union in 1971; since then all the struggles launched by the union (the SFI having been its dominant section from the beginning) were principally directed at thwarting the ruling class attempts to fashion JNU into an ideological centre for propagation of the Congress brand of pseudo-radicalism.
From the general nature of the teaching staff and personnel chosen to man JNU, the tasks of the university become all too clear:, to provide the faculty a radical facade, there is a liberal sprinkling of Right Communist (CPI) and Congress 'Left' brand of academics;l a substantial number of faculty members, the conservative and careerist types, arc willing to undertake anything required of them by the government and the ruling party in order to maintain their privileges. Three of them willingly undertook the Task Force study for the Home Ministry on how to 'modernize' the police forces in the country.2 Many arc regular purveyors of government propaganda through radio, television and the press.8 It is therefore not surprising that some JNU academics and senior government officials have come to