With the latest developments in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sparking off a debate in the entire country on nationalism, the intellectual fraternity of Assam has come forward to criticize the Central government’s handling of the entire issue and the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar after he was slapped with charges of sedition.
Eminent scholar-educationist Hiren Gohain said, ‘I think this is an excessive use of state power in such a way as to imperil some of our basic constitutional rights. The fact that many members of the faculty have come out in a demonstration of solidarity with the protesting students confirms that it is not a mere case of youthful adventurism.’ Reiterating this notion, renowned poet and retired Pro- Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University, Amar Jyoti Choudhury hoped that ‘sanity and congeniality’ returns to the campus so the process of nation building continues.
‘What is RSS and BJP’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle? They never took part in it. What is the national work they have done so far? They are just taking mileage of the incident, which would have died down slowly,’ questioned Gauhati University Professor Emeritus Khanindra Chowdhury.
Leading theater personality and former principal of Cotton College, Sitanath Lahkar stated in a Facebook post, ‘It is to be noted that democracy becomes stronger when it allows space to dissent and the world will laugh at us if my country lacks tolerance to opposition.’