DELHI– A day after faculty rooms and walls at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were painted with slogans such as "Brahmins leave the campus," "Brahmins-Baniya we are coming for you" and "Go back to Shakha", a probe has been ordered. But many of the professors have made up their minds — they believe this was done by left-leaning groups on campus.
Soon after the images of the graffiti were shared on social media platforms, the JNU administration issued a statement, condemned the incident, and initiated a probe into the matter.
The anti-Brahim slogans were painted in the building of the School of International Studies (SIS) at the University. With red and blue colours, the graffiti was spray painted on the doors of four faculty members of the SIS.
The faculty members whose personal chambers were targeted told BOOM that they were suspicious of the left-leaning groups on the campus. One of the faculty members targeted in the incident, Pravesh Kumar, told BOOM that the aim of the anti-Brahmin slogans was to give a message to the new batch of the campus. "They are trying to remind people who is who," he said.
JNU, meanwhile, has asked all its centers to install closed-circuit television cameras in light of the incident.
"Today, they targeted our rooms, tomorrow they can physically attack us. They have created a radical group in the name of progression in order to seek attention," Kumar said.
Some of the other slogans that were painted on JNU walls were, "Stop Brahminazation in JNU" and "There will be blood".
Speaking to BOOM, another faculty member wishing anonymity told BOOM that the action was not surprising to them. "Left groups feel the people who follow other ideologies should be targeted and that is what they want to convey," he said.
Slogans on doors of rooms assigned to faculty members ask them to go back to "shakha", a reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Both the professors told BOOM that they are affiliated with the RSS but that is their ideology that they don't bring into the classrooms. "I am a professor, I don't teach RSS ideologies while teaching. My style of teaching could be different but I am not promoting the RSS in classrooms," Kumar told BOOM.
What Did The JNU Administration Say?
Soon after the incident, the office of the registrar issued a notice stating that "the Vice-Chancellor has taken serious note of the incident of defacement of walls and faculty rooms by some unknown elements in SIS, JNU. The Dean, School of International Studies and Grievances Committee have been asked to inquire and submit a report to VC at the earliest."
The teacher and some student organisations have called for action against those involved in the incident. Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an RSS-affiliated students' union in JNU have accused the left groups for the action.
Union minister Giriraj Singh reacted to the incident and said that JNU was becoming a centre for political parties that run the 'tukde-tukde' gang.
"Today, an alliance of this 'tukde-tukde' gang and 'Ghazwa-e-Hind' is running in the country, trying to break the nation. They will not be successful in India," the minister said at a press conference.
In recent years, the campus has witnessed several instances of violence between the two Left and Right affiliated student outfits.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Forum demanded setting up an independent committee to look into the incident. The incident is akin to "subtle violence to intimidate, threaten, demoralise and degrade the academic space", the forum said.
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