BJP MP supports JNU VC's demand for on-campus tank
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday supported JNU Vice Chancellor's demand for placing an artillery tank on the university's campus to instil a sentiment of nationalism among students.
Lekhi even proposed that students should be made to take oath of nationalism in institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Lekhi rued the fact that the Vice Chancellor's demand was turned into a controversy.
She said: "Yesterday was Kargil Divas, and we remember our martyrs on this day. In a university like JNU, where the Vice Chancellor asked for a tank to be put on display, that was made into a controversy by some people."
She said JNU students should take the following oath: "Whether we are alive or not, Mother, your glory shall live... the glory of Bharat Mata and our nationalism should always live."
She said there were old aircraft on display in the school where her children studied, and they loved playing around them.
"Even after growing up, they would go to see the aircraft on display at the Air Force bases... The sentiment of nationalism is gained only by understanding the nation," the MP said.
"These institutions are run on government money and if there are separatist sloganeering, or slogans like 'India will be broken' are raised, I think somewhere there is a problem with the administration and ideology."
"If someone tries to change that, which is the Vice Chancellor (in this case), it is converted into an issue of nationalism," she said.
Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar has proposed installing an old army tank for display on the varsity campus so that students can be reminded of the sacrifices and valour of soldiers.
Lekhi said students should remember the "culture and civilisation of this country" and the soldiers "who keep the borders safe for the universities to function".
"Disrespect of martyrs will not be tolerated by Parliament and government of this country... The symbol of nation's unity, harmony and power -- our soldiers -- whatever can be done in their honour should be done," she said.