NEW DELHI : Most recognisable and eminent figures in the Modi government are from JNU that some of the BJP leaders on Tuesday want shut down as a leftist laboratory promoting terrorism and treason.
BJP president Amit Shah even alleged a “Leftist ideological inspiration” for the anti-India slogans its students allegedly raised last week. Delhi’s BJP MP Maheish Girri tweeted on Saturday to better shut the university where “terrorists, traitors and terrorist sympathisers have been invited on regular intervals to toxify minds.” A Kolkata daily on Tuesday asked whether the prominent JNU alumni in the government have come with the toxified mind like Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Niti Ayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant, one of PM’s favourite bureaucrats, or Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Deputy NSA (National Security Adviser) Arvind Gupta, both handpicked by Modi.
Sitharaman pursued her PhD at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU, Kant is an MA from JNU, Jaishankar MA in Political science and MPhil/PhD in international relations, and Gupta a PhD from JNU. JNU is also alma mater to Syed Asif Ibrahim, former Intelligence Bureau chief last year picked up by Modi as his special envoy on counter-terrorism with a focus on West Asia. At least 15 Indian ambassadors and three divisions in the foreign ministry tasked with protecting India’s strategic interests also studied at JNU. Telegraph listed many current and past bureaucrats among the JNU alumni as the university has been supplying yearly cadets to the civil services since its inception in 1969. The university is, in fact, credited for producing some of the country’s top civil servants, apart from the political leaders of all hues. The BJP President was true about the left’s domination over the students politics in JNU as it is not anything true but the students union has also been led by the RSS student wing ABVP and also by the groups like Free Thinkers who shunned ideological tags.
Minister Sitharaman was with the Free Thinkers group during her time in JNU. In an interview in 2009, she had lavished credit on the university for inspiring “anything I am today.” “JNU most certainly provided me the best opportunity to participate in all sorts of debates and to think in a different way,” Sitharaman told the alumni newsletter. “I must say that JNUites do things differently, wherever they are, and that”s how they stand out.” Senior IAS officer Ali Raza Rizvi, currently a joint secretary in the central ministry of health and family welfare, credited the intellectual atmosphere at JNU with expanding his worldview. He studied history there from 1985 to 1987.