Amidst the Nationalism Debate
It has been a rough 15 days in the capital as students of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jadavpur University protest against the Afzal Guru verdict. On one hand where Journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai have supported the students, on the other many have labelled the slogans as anti-national including ace journalist, Arnab Goswami. Amidst all the chaos, the Ministry of Human Resource development (HRD) has issued a notice to all Central Universities compelling them to hoist the flag at 207 feet within the University campus. It is evident that the Smriti Irani-lead HRD Ministry has come up with the decision after the anti-India slogans that was promoted by the students and faculty of JNU.
The Ministry has also specified the weight of the flag to be 135 kilograms. The logic behind the same as specified by the Ministry is this would be the identity of a strong and united nation. As much as the Ministry is trying, with the current scheme of things all around the country, it looks anything but united.
It is more like a chaotic episode in fact. The HRD Ministry though also clarified that this wasn’t their original idea. An official from within the Ministry stated that they were looking at implementing a new law in order to revitalise the lost unity within the nation when this idea came up as a suggestion. That is when the Ministry discussed the idea and passed a bill in order to implement it.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani has faced extreme wrath from the students after her views on the JNU students which were termed as anti-national leading to the arrest of more than 8 students by the Delhi Police on charges of sedition. The acting VC of the Hyderabad University, M. Periaswamy who was in news due to the recent suicide of research scholar, Rohith Vemula also expressed his views regarding the current turbulence in the country.
In an exclusive interview with a leading daily he stated that, “It (hoisting the tricolour) was the outcome of an informal resolution stemming from a concern for the reasons for which the JNU campus was in the news. He further added that, “Most of us present felt the flag was a good way of instilling the spirit of nationalism. Hyderabad University already has a flag flying on its administrative building.”