New Delhi: An RSS affiliate has suggested changing the name of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to Jaiprakash Narayan University — so that the renowned institution may keep its well-known initials.
Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and claiming to work with the “objective of national resurgence in the field of education”, has suggested changing the name of the beleaguered university from the nation’s first prime minister to that of the socialist icon.
The Sangh Parivar has a long-standing allergy to Nehru, and to the leftist bastion that JNU has been for decades. This disdain reached a flashpoint in 2016 when JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested for protesting on campus and charged with sedition.
“Jaiprakash Narayan was a great politician,” BSM national organising secretary Mukul Kanitkar Kanitkar said. “He fought against the Emergency and against Indira Gandhi’s fascist approach. He fought for democracy so his values will be acceptable to all.”
The BSM felt there were too many institutions in the first PM’s name. “To avoid confusion the name should be changed but since JNU is known as JNU, the abbreviation can be kept,” he said.
“There are stadiums in Jawaharlal Nehru”s name whereas he made no contribution to the field of sports or to academics. There are six-seven central universities in the name of Jawaharlal Nehru. There is Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture University in Jabalpur, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Hyderabad,” Kanitkar said.
“Even a road is named for Jawaharlal Nehru, thousands of schemes are named after Jawaharlal Nehru, stadia have been named for Jawaharlal Nehru. So if there is a move to change the name of this prestigious university in the capital, we will welcome that.”
Kanitkar conceded that JNU was a remarkable university.
“The academic standards, the rigour and the kind of research that is done in JNU is marvellous and it is one of the best universities in the country,” he said....