JNUTA Appeal to The Vice Chancellor | May 7




7th May 2016


Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar
Vice Chancellor,
Jawaharlal Nehru University


Dear Professor Kumar,

The JNUTA Extended EC met on 6th May 2016 to consider (a) your written response to JNUTA demands; (2) Your statement on the student fast issued via the JNU web site (3) Appeal of Rector to JNUTA members dated 5th May. You have appealed for dialogue and the Rector has appealed for JNUTA’s indulgence to encourage students to avoid hunger strike. JNUTA completely concurs with the need for dialogue and appreciates Rector’s appeal. However, on one hand you have not given us a single time bound assurance on any of our demands. To utter shock, in the midst of meetings with JNUTA, a letter was given to its President by the Registrar dated 6th May that was couched in the language of threat.

(1) We had brought up a number of specific instances of threats, harassments, vilification, victimization, and intimidation of teachers including the Feb 12th incident at Paschimabad. However, we deeply regret that you have not offered any firm time- bound substantive assurance to act on these.

(2) On the issue of appointment of Heads and Deans, the administration has still not confirmed that its circular through the OSD will stand withdrawn.

(3) On the issue of reconsideration of punishment of students on the basis of the extremely flawed enquiry committee report, denying natural justice, you are unwilling to discuss the issues involved. Much like the administration of the University of Hyderabad, you are also unwilling to take the moral responsibility for the safety of the students.

(4) In your statement dated 4th May, you have astonishingly called the student fast “unlawful” and “against the Constitution”. JNUTA wants the fasts and the protest to end as soon as possible, but please do inform us, since when, in Gandhi’s India, protest through a fast became unlawful and against the constitution?

(5) The Registrar’s publicized “appeal” without verifying facts holds JNUTA responsible for the solidarity hunger strike, human chain etc. planned by JNU alumni and other civil society persons. The letter also pontificates on how these solidarity expressions will disturb students during examinations. JNU Security has already started monitoring and preventing the entry of alumni and citizens into the campus.

(6) As a matter of fact, it has been the administration’s draconian and ill-timed move to mete out harsh punishments to 21 students, against the appeals of JNUTA to allow academic normalcy to be restored on campus, which has deeply disturbed the academic environment and which unsettled the student community on the eve of and during examinations.

We appeal to you to please not to turn JNU into a UoH like campus, and to please not issue threats to students, teachers, and alumni, who are the principal stakeholders in JNU’s development and growth. Please do not curb the entry of alumni and others to enter the campus, and do not term peaceful protests by JNU’s elected bodies and stakeholders as coercion to conceal the administration’s coercive measures. We register our strong protests to all such moves.

As you will eventually realize, our hundred thousand plus alumni are the strongest ambassadors of JNU, worldwide. We appeal to you to please respect JNU’s democratic norms and practices; not to get swayed by false perceptions; and to respect established disciplinary norms in dealing with situations. We appeal to you to kindly allow academic normalcy to prevail on the campus and show administrative objectivity and magnanimity. We are always willing and available to dialogue with you on all issues, and indeed also with students, to ensure that this impasse ends, and normalcy prevails as soon as possible.

Warm Regards,

(Ajay Patnaik)


(Bikramaditya Choudhary)


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