How often do you hear the name of JNU whenever the legislators pass Evolution a bill? It is quite common for us to see reactions coming from the popularly termed student leaders of the university. In the present day, JNU has evolved to play almost the role of opposition for the Right-Wing NDA’s, Narendra Modi led government. The checks it keep on the present government is of paramount importance. But have you ever wondered how an educational institution has evolved EVOLUTION into a hotbed of student politics.

Jawahar Lal University was established in the year 1969 by an act of Parliament. It was named after the first prime minister of independent modern India.

JNU’s spirit is infused with the ideas of Evolution politics and activism and JNU has evolved as a synonym of these terms. The formal political structure of JNU is well structured as it has an official student union, namely, Jawahar Lal University Student’s Union(JNUSU). JNUSU adheres and operates EVOLUTION according to the JNUSU constitution which was drafted by the former students of the university themselves.

The JNUSU is responsible for issuing notifications regarding various events and public meetings through pamphlets and notices. The primary responsibility of organizing various events and inviting public figureheads also lies with the JNUSU.

The political ideologies that have been the Evolution most influential in this campus is that of leftist-centrist driven with Student Unions adhering to these ideologies dominating the JNUSU.

Kanhaiya Kumar, President, JNUSU.
Image Credits – Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Timeline of major political happenings in JNU:
1981- The Indian Government closed the EVOLUTION university for 46 days after there were reports of violence by students union with the alleged involvement of the Communist parties.

2000- During an India-Pakistan mushaira organized at JNU, two Indian army officers got enraged when a Pakistani poetess Fahimda Riaz, quoted, “Tum bhi bilkul hum jaise nikle” (“It turned out you were just like us”). The army officers regarded this verse as an insult of India and in agitation one of them raised EVOLUTION Anti-Pakistani slogans. At this disturbance, the audience tried to make them silent but when they paid no heed to it and continued it, they were beaten by the students and the servicemen were injured. The entire incident was passed on to an independent retired judge to investigate the entire incident.

2008-12- A major break on JNU’s student politics was when the Supreme Court of India banned JNUSU elections for not following the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendation as this committee has made some recommendations on elections to student unions. This gap was lifted after a series of deliberations and negotiations between the students and officials. An interim election was held on 01st March 2012.

2010- In opposition to the Operation Green Hunt, “JNU Forum Against War on People” was organized. Allegedly, this event was hosted to celebrate the death of 76 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh, moreover, there were accusations of anti-India slogans being raised such as ‘India murdabad, Maovad zindabad’.” The meeting was organized by the Democratic Students Union (DSU) and All India Students Association (AISA) according to allegations. These all accusations were made by Shaikh Shahnawaz, the then national general secretary of NSUI. The meeting was followed by protests from NSUI and ABVP. Reportedly, clashes also took place between various political parties. The organizers denied the claims stating that the event had no link to the Naxalites.

2016 This remains one of the most controversial incidents in JNU’s history as students of Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) organized a protest against the execution of terrorist Afzal Guru and raised slogans such as like “Pakistan Zindabad”, “Kashmir ki azadi tak jung chalegi, Bharat ki barbadi tak jung chalegi” (“War will continue till Kashmir’s freedom, war will continue till India’s demolition”) were reportedly raised at the protest meet.” JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and student Umar Khalid was arrested by Delhi police on charges of sedition. The university ordered disciplinary action against the students who were involved as well as organized this event.

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