Students clash in JNU at Article 370 event Left Students’ Group, ABVP Members Involved In Scuffle Over Central Minister’s Remarks
New Delhi: A lecture, titled “Article 370: Peace, Stability and Development in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh”, organised by JNU administration on Thursday saw yet another clash of ideologies on the campus.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, the chief guest at the event, claimed that there were no instances of violence in Kashmir in the last six weeks and, therefore, there was no curfew there. He said that state political leaders placed under house arrest were being given all benefits, adding that Amit Shah was the “most soft-hearted home minister”.
The minister’s presence in the university invited protests from a number of student groups. The BJP-affiliated ABVP held a counter-protest and there were minor scuffles. Even before Singh’s arrival, there were protests and sloganeering on the campus. Some students held banners claiming that human development indices in J&K were better than in a number of other states. The ABVP members, in turn, came up with posters to reinforce their point that most people in India were happy with the decision to abrogate Article 370 in J&K.
The sloganeering by the two opposing groups prompted Singh to comment that he was unlucky not to be an alumnus of JNU as these protests showed that the values of free speech and free ideas were taught in the university. Training his guns at the Opposition, Singh reminded the gathering that “the Congress party had been constantly diluting Article 370 and initially brought it as a temporary provision”.
He said that since August 6 — when the BJP-led central government abrogated Article 370 in J&K — it had been “our endeavour to visit different places of the country, including educational institutions, and tell the people about the historic decision”.
Singh also took potshots at India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru and claimed that “Partition was a grave mistake”. He claimed that development couldn’t happen in J&K because of Article 370, which according to him, proved to be an impediment to private sector investment. “The Northeast did well because of investment, all because of the work done by Modi government,” he said.
As Singh was about to leave, the protesting students ran towards his car to gherao it. They were stopped by ABVP members who formed a human chain outside the convention centre, and a scuffle ensued.
In a statement, JNUSU later dubbed Singh’s statements as lies. “We oppose the devious agenda being promoted on our campus and will organise a protest meeting with the members of the fact-finding teams and activists from J&K,” it said.
ABVP, on the other hand, condemned “this attitude of continued shaming of the university through such incidents and indecent behaviour”. JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar tweeted that the minister’'s speech got “overwhelming response” and it was “a clear indication that the JNU community supports one nation, one Constitution in one voice”. He claimed that “protests by a handful are a clear indication that freedom of expression is valued in our country”. New Delhi: A gripping tale of love and friendship, betrayal and redemption, good and evil, juxtaposed against the turbulent backdrop of wartime Afghanistan — Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner — will be the second Aadyam play this season in Delhi.
Aadyam, the Aditya Birla Group-helmed theatre initiative in association with The Times of India, has already staged A Few Good Men this season. The new play will be staged on Saturday and Sunday.
Directed by Akarsh Khurana — who dons multiple hats as a writer, producer, director and an actor — the play captures the emotional story of Amir and Hassan, two friends, almost brothers and kite-flying experts, in Kabul. This soul-stirring story about friendship, abandonment and a lifetime of seeking redemption for the mistakes committed at a young age was adapted for the screen in 2007. | 7.30pm | 4pm, 7.30pm
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ON WAR PATH: ABVP members protest against Left groups