State should not dictate meaning of nationalism: IIT-B faculty

Mumbai: Condemning the “overreach” of the State in various educational institutions and alleged attempts to stifle dissent and suppress differences, IIT Bombay faculty has come out in support of agitating JNU students, saying the State should not dictate meaning of “nationalism”.

“The State cannot dictate on the many meanings of what it is to be ‘Indian’ or mandate the meaning of ‘nationalism’. Rather, the State should be the one that makes sure that multiple ways of imagining one’s relationship with the nation are allowed to flourish especially when it might contradict dominant ways of thinking,” the faculty members said in a joint statement.


“We are deeply concerned with the recent events that have undermined the autonomy of institutions of higher education in this country. We believe that these institutions are spaces of critical thinking and expression. Matters of contention that might arise in the conduct of intellectual and social engagements need to be addressed democratically and rationally,” it said.

The statement, signed by 42 teachers of the premier institute, said, “These methods in turn should be within the purview of institutional procedures that are responsible and accountable. We condemn the overreach of the State in the recent incidents in a number of institutions and the attempts of the right-wing to stifle dissent and suppress differences.” It reflects the stand of the signatory teachers and not the institution, it said.

Students and teachers of various educational institutions have been demanding release of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested last week in a sedition case that was registered following an event on the varsity campus to protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.


  1. Hats off to all the Lawyers who attacked Anti-Nationals at JNU. I am very proud of them and after this particular incident, I find no difference between them and soldiers who are guarding our nation.

    • Mr. Deepak Shetty,

      I quote what you have mentioned, before I deliberate on it:

      “Hats off to all the lawyers who attacked anti-nationals at JNU. I am very proud of them and after this particular incidence I find no difference between them and soldiers who are guarding our nation.”

      Your utterances can be attributed to a person who is an oaf, immature, naive, fanatical and a rabble rouser. Characters like you need to be marginalized and boycotted. I have observed your comments and you apearing to be a …… man.

      Do you know the complete background of the case/ Yes, slogans against sedition have been raised by probably some students or, it is alleged that some anti-social and/or elements linked to some political party were involved. The police, lead by a Commissioner, who is a total flunkey of the government of the day, lost no time in arresting Kannaiya Kumar (and others) so that by their subserviency their boss maybe rewarded with some plum assignment when he retires end of this month.

  2. When the electorate of India will be realizing the underlying motive of the current BJP Government which came into power through promising economic prosperity and paradise on India; but masking the underlying intention of transforming India into a theocratic autocracy using the Hindu religious card; exclusively controlled from the center of operation located at the State of Gujarat. When we study the history of the autocrats of the world, the march of the nation is advancing in the same identical pattern.

  3. I do not understand the nationalism purported by ABVP. Wherever they are they play politics and try to enforce their version of nationalism and silence dissent by mis-information and propaganda.

    For me nationalism involves acceptance of diversity and standing for honesty and justice. A country without Vyapam , a country that fights against the systematic ingrained bias against dalits.

    A country where religion takes back seat in public life and unity based not on religion or caste. For every 100 rupee spent for progress – 90 percent or more is wasted due to elected representative that are on higher pedestal and ignorant ( except for speeches and ribbon cutting).

  4. I am concerned about these activists protesting in the name of democracy. These bunch of students and some of the teachers are frustrated people. To progress, we need to move on. The views expressed by the students are a small proportion of dissatisfied students and it does not represent majority of our students. We have more important issues to be sorted out: unemployment, poverty, basic facilities for common people, foot etc. There are element in our country try to destroy India and its progress. It is not about religion. Arnab’s debate needs to be watched by every Indians before blaming a religion or political party.

  5. When students use academic institutions for political purpose and conduct or instigate activities that are harmful to national security, the Government has no other alternative but to take action against such thugs, whether they are proven traitors or aspiring to become one. That is not playing Hindu religious card; that is taking precautionary measure to ensure the safety and freedom of India given the historical background and current political situation where our prominent leaders don’t hesitate to mortgage the country for their personal and political gains. The motive of BJP is diametrically opposite to that of congress party and the present unrest is fueled by disgruntled and desperate Congress leaders whose aim in only to disrupt the progress of the country at any cost regardless of whether their action benefits the country or our foes. That is called anti-national, and the action taken by the Government is more practical instead of the stand taken by the academic nerds.

  6. I am of the firm opinion that in colleges and universities, students should not be allowed to protest and the administration should come down heavily on them and nip such sactivities in the bud. Students have to concentrate on their studies and prepare for careers and not end up in anti-social and anti-national activities.

    Students should have associations just to proect themselves from the high-handedness of the colleges’/universities’ managements and some government or their ideological mentors’ diktats that have religious/fanatical connotations, including doctoring of history books (rather than portraying them in an unprejudiced way), replacing popular languages taught to students (or widely spoken) like German, French, Spanish, Chinese, etc. with Sanskrit Sanskrit can be taught to students, who are willing to learn it and cannot be thrust on others.

  7. Dear readers,
    The young voters have played an important role in Indian elections in the past and they have been instrumental in bringing about important changes in Indian politics.India is a young country and with the average age of its citizens at only 25 years, the young voters are undoubtedly in sizeable numbers.With just over 10 percentage points separating the vote shares of the BJP and the incumbent Congress, the youth vote could have made a big part of the difference in this election.

    As a complement to the young youth voters now BJP MLA from Haryana has again stirred up another controversy.

    JNU campus row: Even prostitutes better than female protesters, says Haryana CM’s ex-OSD Jawahar Yadav

    In a tweet, Jawahar Yadav wrote “For the girls who are protesting in JNU, I only have one thing to say that prostitutes who sell their body are better than them because they at least don’t sell their country”.

    It seem ‘minimum governance,maximum government’ of BJP is more frequent to brothels and have all data available. It is unfortunate that those who politicize using ‘Love Jihad’ to protect ‘Beti Bachao Bahu Bachao mahapanchayat’ now forced to learn nationalism from ‘prostitute’. It won’t surprise if our Defence Minister seeking Andhra chilis taunts Pakistan with Andhra chillies and using terrorists to neutralise terrorists.

    Jai Hind

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