“Daily 50,000 pieces of bones, 3,000 used condoms, 500 used abortion injections, 10,000 cigarette “pieces”, among other things, are found at JNU, where girls and boys dance naked at cultural programmes.” – Gyandev Ahuja, BJP MLA from Ramgarh in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
This December, at Delhi Photo Expedition we decided to visit Jawaharlal Nehru University campus to find out ourselves the truth of the obnoxious statement above. The photo documentary ‘India’s Most ‘Notorious’ Campus‘ curated by Vishal Arora is published on The Diplomat in which two of the following photos by me have appeared.
Established in 1969 JNU is one of India’s strongest intellectual hub. Some of the country’s greatest thinkers in the fields of art, history, cultural studies, development studies, and economics and politics are JNU alumni.
The rainbow, symbol of solidarity with LGBTQ rights movement are found in plenty in JNU but reportedly these symbols and flags are often secretly removed by students of right wing parties in attempt of cultural cleansing.
The stairs leading to JNU’s admin block, the area students claim as Freedom Square. JNU has been continuously in the news through 2016 due to growing internal tension. Starting with Phd student Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest over sedition charges to the disappearance of biotechnology student Najeeb Ahmed to show cause notice issued to Professor Nivedita Menon JNU is witnessing unprecedented clashes involving government, University administration, students and teachers.
The public perceptions of JNU created by right wing is full of lies and manipulations. Careless defamatory statements like “JNU trains terrorists and Maoists are heard everyday on social media. In this photo, a young student walks to his hostel with what appears to be a deadly weapon in his hand.
One of the many girls hostels
JNU is perhaps the best university in India for higher studies for the marginalized community students from North East India to the religious community students across India. This makes JNU a diverse, multicultural, liberal, secular and free thinking campus.
The gated campus is spread over 1019 acres if forest and hilly land in the Aravalli Range of which 5,22,688.45 sq mts is vacant green land making it a pollution free zone. Women students feel largely safe inside the campus even at late nights.
The Parthasarathy Rocks inside the campus is considered Delhi’s highest natural point.
A statue of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister whose vision is at the base of JNU, stands tall near the admin block. “The University shall endeavor to promote the study of the principles for which Jawaharlal Nehru worked during his life-time, National integration, social justice, secularism, democratic way of life, International understanding and scientific approach to the problems of society,” states Act 53 of 1966 as vision and mission of the university. A legacy the Sangh parivar is desperate to destroy.