A proctorial inquiry is going on in the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the JNU Forum against War on People.
The university administration has also prohibited the Forum from holding any public meetings or other events on the campus till the inquiry is over.
It has also instructed the JNU printing shops not to photocopy any written material issued by the Forum.
The JNU Forum against War on People was formed two years ago in opposition to the initiation of Operation Green Hunt. The proctorial inquiry was issued following the distribution of a campaign document containing “objectionable material”.
The material is a pictorial description of the Indian State smashing the people under its jackboot, which is widely available in the public domain. According to the university administration it violates sections 3 and 7 of State Emblem Act, 2005.
The Forum used it in the campaign for a public meeting organized on 5 March 2011 opposing Operation Green Hunt and state’s onslaught on the people. The meeting was addressed by noted writer Arundhati Roy and well known economist Prof. Amit Bhaduri, who is also the Emeritus Professor of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU. The meeting saw attended by more than 600 students.
The JNU Forum against War on People has been mobilizing public opinion against the mounting onslaught on the Adivasis and other oppressed and deprived sections of the people in the name of Development by the State, it is imperative that the students and all other sensitised sections discuss the manifold dimensions of Operation Green Hunt.
The gagging of the Forum is a part of the ongoing attempts to clamp down on voices of dissent. The incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen and scores of civil and political rights activists have been going on unabated in urban centres while the resisting Adivasis and other people are repressed by the state in mineral-rich forest areas.
The JNU administration’s interpretation of the Forum’s use of a publicly and widely available image as a supposed violation of legal provisions is uncalled for and unacceptable. A university as acclaimed as JNU must have spaces to discuss, debate and deliberate on all important issues of socio-economic and political significance. The JNU is setting dangerous precedents through the proctorial inquiry and the objectionable circulars.
An online petition has been created for those who oppose the JNU administration’s action to register their protest and demand withdrawal of the circulars issued by the Chief Proctor’s office on 19 May 2011.
It can be accessed at http://www.petitiononline.com/jnufawp0/petition.html