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Tuesday 28 January 2020

JNU students desecrate Swami Vivekananda statue

While the students' union head has denied the role of JNU students in the act of vandalism, the messages scribbled around are a giveaway

Students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a day after the government’s partial acceptance of their demands and rollback of fees, will now find it hard to garner public sympathy as some of them were found to have vandalised a statue of Swami Vivekananda on the campus. While no specific details are so far available about the miscreants, strong condemnation of the incident followed.

University sources said that the statue of Swami Vivekananda was supposed to be unveiled shortly on the JNU campus. But before that, it stands desecrated with obscene messages scribbled on the platform where the statue stands.

The desecrated statue of Swami Vivekananda seen from another angle

The statue is still covered in a linen cloth.

Oishi Ghosh, president of JNU students’ union, suspects conspiracy in the incident. She claimed there were various conspiracies being hatched to “disrupt our movement”. “We do not endorse the vandalism of Vivekananda’s statue. We are convinced that the success of our movement will be through dialogue. This was not done by any university student. We do not support any form of bullying,” she said.

JNU students are, in the meantime, continuing with their agitation albeit in a milder manner as they describe the fee rollback as a “fraud”. Already, the Human Resource Development Ministry’s superintendent R Subrahmanyam has said that the university authorities are sincerely concerned about meeting the other demands of students. He said further that special projects will be launched for the students who are financially backward.

The students are reluctant to stop the movement now. They have warned that the movement would continue until the entire fee was waived. They also demand to meet the vice-chancellor of the university. The protesters also demand the release of detailed information about the special project the university is talking about.

Meanwhile, outraged social media users poured their hearts out on Twitter. Other than the rant of shutting down JNU, there were legitimate questions on the idea behind sustaining the lumpen elements with taxpayers’ money.

Some users were upset with the government for conceding the demands of JNU students.

Others were simply pained by the JNU incident.

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