An appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University to stop the victimization of Prof. Nivedita Menon!

An appeal to the Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University to stop the victimization of Professor Nivedita Menon of the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, School of International Studies.

We the undersigned are deeply concerned by the persistent hounding of Nivedita Menon, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of International Studies. She has just been removed as chairperson of her Centre, three months prior to the official end of her term. Most surprisingly, this has been done without informing her of any reason for this decision or even giving her the opportunity to explain her position, as is the convention. This shameful victimization of Professor Menon appears to have been triggered by her dissent on the procedural lapses in the constitution of selection committees to appoint new faculty, something she was morally and duty bound to do so. In contravention of JNU’s statutes and to influence the selection process, the Vice Chancellor has been adding committee members from outside the list of academic experts provided by the various Schools and Centres. This is what Professor Menon objected to. Her sudden removal as Chair of her Centre is an attack on the intellectual and moral freedom to dissent on ideas, procedures, and values.

The University Administration has also constituted a committee to look into the “alleged” role played by Professor Menon in instigating students at an Academic Council meeting held in December 2016. These charges are blatantly false and the only reason she is being persistently hounded is to warn other teachers of what could happen to them if they do not comply. The administration has decided to let the constant threat of disciplinary action become their chosen mode to silence the teaching community and prevent them from asking questions about the gross violation of norms and procedures being followed by the University.

Instead of recognizing Professor Menon for her academic scholarship, her international reputation and her commitment to pedagogy, the JNU Administration has let loose a pattern of vindictiveness to create a poisonous and terrifying environment where our basic rights are being systematically taken away. The repeated and aggressive assault on Professor Menon’s right to speak, question and have opinions is now taking a sinister turn. In light of all the incidents this country has witnessed in the recent past, we have to collectively demand that the University must immediately cease the constant targeting of Professor Menon who has been one of the most committed, popular and dedicated teachers on campus.

We appeal to the Jawaharlal Nehru University Authorities to withdraw the specious charges against Professor Menon and stop this cycle of repeated attacks on her democratic rights. Professor Menon should be reinstated immediately as chairperson of her Centre and allowed to perform her duties until the end of her term in December. We also appeal to the University to withdraw the baseless enquiry set up against her.

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Anhad Film on the 10th Day of the Indefinite Hunger Strike

Resolution passed by Members of the Academic Council, JNU, May 10, 2016

The overwhelming sense expressed in the academic council meeting held on May 10, 2016 was that the whole range of punishments meted out to students is excessive and that the harsher punishments such as rustication, suspension, banishment from campus, and exorbitant fines should be immediately revoked.

We are distressed by the fact that no deference was shown by the Chair to the opinions expressed by AC members, and the Chair adjourned the meeting abruptly and unreasonably.

We, the members of the Academic Council, resolve that all unreasonable punishments arising from the February 9th incident are revoked.

We resolve that the VC immediately implement this resolution.

Signed by

1.       Ameet Parameswaran      SAA/SAA

2.       Bishnupriya Dutt              SAA/SAA

3.       Jayati Ghosh                      CESP/SSS

4.       Debashis Ghoshal            SPS

5.       Manu Mittal                       CRS/SLL & CS

6.       Kunal Chakrabarti            CHS/SSS

7.       C.P. Chandrasekhar        SESP/SSS

8.       A.M. Chenoy                     SIS

9.       G. Arunima                         CWS/SSS

10.   Amir Ali                                                CPS/SSS

11.   Ajay Gudavarthy              CPS/SSS

12.   Anwar Alam                       CIL/SLL &CS

13.   Manindra Nath Thakur  CPS/SSS

14.   B.S. Butola                          CSRD/SSS

15.   S.K. Pandey                        CRCAS/SIS

16.   Rajesh S. Kharat                               CSAS/SIS

17.   D.K. Lobiyal                         SC & SS

18.   J.M. Moosa                        CAS/SIS

19.   Ritoo M. Jerath                 CRS/SLL & CS

20.   Rekha Vaidyarajan          CGS/SLL&CS

21.   Rajendra Dengle              CGS/SLL & CS

22.   Nivedita Menon               CCPPT/SSS

23.   V. Sujatha                           CSSS/SSS

24.   Rohini Muthuswami       SLS

25.   Urmimala Sarkar Munsi SAA

26.   Monidipa Sen                    CP/SSS

27.   Anupama Roy                    CPS/SSS

28.   Asha Puri                             CF & FS/SLL &CS

29.   Archana Prasad                 CISLS/SSS

30.   Swati Tiwari                        SBT

31.   Rajib Dasgupta                  CSMCH/SSS

32.   Andrew Lynn                     SC & IS

33.   Bhaswati Sarkar                                CES/SIS

34.   Sucharita Sen                     CSRD/SSS

35.   Padmini Pani                      CSRD/SSS

36.   Ritu Agarwal                       CEAS/SIS

37.   Madhulika Srivastava     NII

38.   S. Sreekesh                        CSRD/SSS

39.   Hemant K. Adlakha         CCSEAS/SLL &CS

40.   Rajat Datta                          CHS/SSS

41.   Dayawanti                           CC&SEAS/SLL & CS

42.   Franson Manjali                                CL/SLL & CS

43.   Satya Brata Das                 CES/SLL & CS

44.   Vikas Rawal                        CESP/SSS

45.   Pratiksha Baxi                    CSLG

46.   Saumen Chattopadhyay                               HCES/SSS

47.   Rizwanur Rahman                            CAAS/SLL & CS

48.   CSR Murthy                                        CIPOD/SIS

49.   K S Verma                                           CRS/SLL & CS

50.   Kunal Chakrabarti                            CHS/SSS

51.   R D. Shah                                             SPS

52.   B.C. Tripathy                                      SLS

53.   Bhagat Oinam                                    CMS/ SSS

Report on Proceedings of the Academic Council Meeting, JNU, May 10, 2016

In view of the emergency situation on the campus, faculty members of the Academic Council of JNU demanded that the issue of the hunger strike in response to unjust punishment of students be the first item on the agenda. The Vice Chancellor adamantly refused this. His refusal was met with prolonged opposition by the AC members which eventually compelled him to agree to let the AC discuss the matter.

The overwhelming sense of the house was that the punishments are unjustified and excessive, and must be reconsidered. However, the VC was not willing to concede anything despite the hunger strike of the students entering the 13th day and many students being in serious condition. Instead of trying to resolve the crisis, the VC insisted that the matter could be discussed later.

In view of the emergency situation, the members of the Academic Council deeply concerned and argued that a resolution of the matter could not be postponed any further. However, the VC hastily adjourned the meeting and left.

Therefore, the first Academic Council meeting chaired by the new Vice Chancellor, Professor Jagadeesh Kumar, could not conduct any business. The responsibility for this lies squarely on the shoulders of the Vice Chancellor.

Subsequently, after the VC had left, the AC members passed a resolution regretting the VC’s adjournment of the meeting and stating that “the whole range of punishments meted out to students is excessive and that the harsher punishments such as rustication, suspension, banishment from campus, and exorbitant fines should be immediately revoked”. The AC members further resolved that the VC immediately implement this resolution.

Vijoo Krishnan speaks at the Azadi Chowk in solidarity with students on indefinite hunger strike


Umar Khalid, on hunger strike for past 10 days, speaks at JNU Azadi Chowk

Anant Prakash Narayan speaking at the JNU Azadi Chowk


Rama Naga, General Secretary, JNUSU, on hunger strike for last 10 days, speaking at JNU Azadi Chowk


JNU Alumni’s solidarity relay hunger strike and human chain & JNUTA’s relay hunger strike against the eviction threat by JNU admin | Photographs by V. Arun Kumar



Several generations of JNU alumni and others in solidarity at and with JNU –Saturday, 7th May | Photographs by Indira Chandrasekhar

Shehla Rashid speaking at Azadi Chowk, May 7

Protests by JNU Students, Teachers and Alumni, May 7


DUTA Stands with JNUSU and JNUTA


Syeda Hamid and Rene Singh reciting and singing Faiz at the Azadi Chowk | Video by Samim Asgor Ali

Raghu Ram in solidarity with ongoing indefinite Hunger Strike of JNUSU | Video by Samim Asgor Ali


JNUTA Relay Hunger Strike

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Schedule of Events | May 7th, Saturday

10 am:

There is a call by JNU alumni for day-long hunger strike from 10 a.m. at JNU Ad Block.

4 pm:

JNU alumni and others to assemble at JNU Ad Block

5 pm:

Citizens’ human chain at Ad Block, in solidarity with JNU students.
Please spread the word and join in large numbers..

Poets, musicians keep the hunger for ‘justice’ alive at JNU

While the mood during the day at the Freedom Square, as the space outside the administration block in Jawaharlal Nehru University has been christened, is quite sombre, it comes alive at night with a host of cultural performances and protests.

In solidarity with the students on hunger strike against the report of the high-level enquiry committee set up by the University and to keep the mood positive, poets, musicians, stand-up comedians and actors have been sharing their concern through performance art. The cultural evenings are organised alongside the formal protests marches, slogan shouting and fiery speeches.

Source: Poets, musicians keep the hunger for ‘justice’ alive at JNU

Shabnam Virmani and Vipul Rekhi singing at the Azadi Chowk in Solidarity with JNU Students on Indefinite Hunger Strike


Public Meeting to protest attack on Bipan Chandra

Introduction by Aditya Mukherjee

Prabhat Patnaik

Shanta Sinha

Ajay Patnaik

Kanhaiya Kumar

All videos by Samim Asgor Ali