University Does Not Impose Food Choices, Zero Tolerance For Violence: JNU Vice Chancellor


New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor Shantisree Dhulipudi Pandit on Wednesday said the university does not impose food options on students and asserted that they can debate and agitate but should not indulge in violence. Also Read – JNU Recruitment 2022: Apply for 38 Assistant Professor Posts at; Check Eligibility, Salary Here

His remarks came at a time when two groups had reportedly clashed over serving non-vegetarian food at a hostel mess where a puja was organized by some students on the occasion of Ram Navami festival. “It is very unfortunate that the university is being identified because of some fringe groups. I am also a nationalist like other people and they are all nationalists.’ Also Read – Violence on campus will not be tolerated: JNU’s warning after students clash over non-veg food top point

Talking about the violence of April 10, he said that there are 17 hostels in the university and everything is going on peacefully with Iftar and Ram Navami Puja being held simultaneously in 16 of them. The VC said there was objection to only one celebration and that is “where I was told that the whole struggle started”. Also read- Many JNU students injured over non-vegetarian food on Ram Navami, ABVP members fight


“It was sorted out and it was decided that non-vegetarian food would be cooked after the havan. The chicken vendor came to supply and was stopped,” she said. The VC also said that the students from both the sides have submitted mobile videos and there is no CCTV footage.

The students had protested against the installation of CCTV cameras a few years back and even removed the CCTV cameras. She said there was no “independent footage” of the incident. Pandit said the university respects the food choices of the students.

“The university does not impose any food substitute on any student. It is one’s individual right and fundamental right,” she told reporters. “We have zero tolerance for violence. Argue, discuss, agitate but students should not indulge in violence,” the VC said.

Noting that violence affects careers of students as well, he said the fight “should be fought intellectually and not physically”. Pandit also met members of student organizations, including ABVP, on Wednesday.

“At present there is no JNUSU. Elections have not been held for the last two years (due to the pandemic),” she said. Recalling his time as a student in the university, he said that no religious celebrations were allowed at that time.

“But in the last 20 years, it has been allowed. It is very difficult to stop because people are very sensitive to such things. As long as it is done peacefully, we have no problem. This identity has become very strong nowadays,” she insisted.

Asked whether the university plans to impose any restrictions in the light of the current situation, he said his philosophy is the panchamrit of democracy, development, discontent, difference and diversity. The VC also reiterated that the hostel mess is run by the students and the warden and the administration has nothing to do with them.

“Anything by the administration will be seen as an imposition or a violation of their authority,” she said. Pandit, who is the first woman vice-chancellor of the university, said from what she had learned so far, the April 10 incident involved people from outside the Cauvery hostel.

“We have an open campus and guests come. People can enter the premises on the bus and it is difficult to check. There are alumni who come to campus and then there are guests. It is difficult to check and monitor everyone’s ID.

“From what I have learned, it shows that outsiders from other hostels were involved in the attack. It may have been pre-planned. We have started the proctorial probe and when the report comes, we will share the facts.”

The demand for the removal of the existing security agency has also increased in the light of the violence of January 5, 2020, the clashes of April 10 and thefts in the premises. Pandit said they would appoint a new agency. Appealing to the students, he said that they all belong to JNU first. “I don’t see them as being from any ideology. You are the first from JNU.


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