Even as the JNU standoff has sharply divided views, even finding resonance inside the Parliament, the Hindu Mahasabha has added another twist to the ongoing controversy. It said that chanting either – ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ or ‘Vande Mataram’ should be a prerequisite to avail reduction in fees at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Calling the majority of students at JNU “anti-India”, Swami Chakrapani, who heads the saffron outfit, reasoned his demand with an unusual example.
Speaking to IANS, he said: “Look, parents feed their children. But does it mean they can’t discipline them if they go astray? These students who have gone astray also need to be disciplined”.
On being asked about the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ being a religious slogan, he said, “Jo Bhagwan Shri Ram ka naam lega wo maryadit rahega (Whoever will take Lord Ram’s name will be regarded)”. Then he added, “If you don’t want to take his name, you must chant ‘Vande Mataram’ or ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Ye to bol sakte ho (at least, you can say this much). It is patriotic to do so.”
Calling the JNU students “pizza-burger wale”, he claimed they lack “sanskar”.
JNU students took to the streets on Monday and marched to the Parliament demanding the Inter-Hall Administration (IHA) meeting be reconvened with JNUSU’s participation, a new hostel draft manual be prepared with consultation of students and more importantly, a complete roll back of fee hike.
Section 144 was imposed around the varsity on Monday which was defied by the students, some of whom were detained by Delhi Police as they marched towards the Parliament which is in session. However they were released later.
The Union Human Resource Ministry earlier announced a partial rollback which they claimed would benefit students from economically weaker sections. But JNUSU’s demand for a complete rollback has been snubbed by the government.
The issue went out of hand when graffitis were sprayed allegedly by students on the Vice Chancellor’s Office, a yet-to-be-unveiled statue of Swami Vivekananda in JNU was vandalised and Dean of the student was allegedly held hostage for more than 24 hours.
Chakrapani raised the issue of Vivekananda’s statue being defaced to allege, “JNU rashtra virodhiyo ka adda ban chuka hai (JNU has become the hub of anti nationals).”