NEW DELHI, Aug 18: Bharatiya Janata Party MP and singer Hans Raj Hans suggested renaming the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
His remarks on Saturday drew sharp reaction from some quarters including the JNU students’ union.
The northwest Delhi MP made the suggestion at an event titled ‘EK Shaam Shaheedon Ke Naam’ organised by the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in respect of the country’s fallen soldiers.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari was the chief guest at the event which was also attended by Bhojpuri singer-actor Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’.
While talking about the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, Hans Raj Hans said, “Kashmir will become a paradise now. Pray that everyone remains peaceful and no bombs are set off. We are bearing the brunt of the mistakes made by our elders.”
He went on to add, “The JNU should be renamed MNU. Something should be named after Modiji.”
His remarks elicited sharp reaction from JNU students’ union president N Sai Balaji. “Now, when universities are turning into jumla (rhetoric) manufacturing centres why not rename all universities after Modi?” he said.
“It is unfortunate that rather than talking about the Rs 515 cr HEFA (Higher Education Financing Agency) loan, massive hostel crisis, 80 per cent budget cut in library and other anti-students policies, this is being talked about.
“At a time, libraries are empty and without books, walls are barren without posters, minds are rigged with hate, it might sound ideal to name the varsity after Modiji under whom these policies of destruction have been implemented,” Balaji alleged.
He alleged that public universities are being shut in India to start foreign universities and students are not being given fellowships.
“We are only destroying learning and critical thinking. Teachers and students are being attacked for wanting to teach and learn. What’s in a name when universities are turning into jumla (rhetoric) universities.
“It would be ideal to name the varsity after Modi under whose regime only jumlas were delivered for students,” he said.
Former JNUSU general secretary Rama Naga latched onto the remarks to take a dig at vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.
“When Hans Raj proposes to rename JNU as MNU, our vice-chancellor thought that it would be Mamidala Nehru University. But ABVP clarified that it is Modi Nehru University. Something should also happen in the name of Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar for his non-stop chamchagiri (flattery),” he posted on Twitter.
Responding to a question on it, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said he feared the current regime might change the name of the country.
“We fear that name of our country would be changed (under the present regime). A person like him cannot be called a mainstream leader whose name you just mentioned,” he said. (PTI)