The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association has organised a four-day festival to thwart the “willful attempts to misrepresent the varsity” and exhibit the “real face and values” of the institution.
The aim of the four-day festival, MOSAIC: Judte-Judte (unite) JNU! is to counter the ‘Tukde-Tukde’ narrative, JNUTA Secretary Suchairta Sen told PTI. The festival that began on Thursday will have a campus walk, theatre performances, open mic, academic discussion and a food festival, she said.
“The name itself gives out the message. Mosaic means a collection of images made up of small regular or irregular pieces. A narrative was set for several years about the image of JNU as — Tukde Tukde gang. That is why we have used this name,” Sen explained.
“JNU has been going through challenging times for the past few years. There have been willful attempts to misrepresent JNU, and the values the university community stands for have been tarnished in the public domain, ironically at a time when the university has continued to top the list of higher educational institutions in the country by its outstanding performance in teaching and research,” she noted.
The depletion in JNU’s vibrant campus life was exacerbated by the pandemic, which led to a very long lockdown of the campus, JNUTA Secretary highlighted.
“As the campus is now slowly returning to its full strength with the admission of students to various programmes this year, it’s time to restore its vibrant energies. The festival will show the real face of the university,” she remarked.
A plethora of events have been planned over the four-day period where prominent personalities will deliver the message of diversity, solidarity and empathy, which are the foundation of the university, informed Sen.
“This festival celebrates the spirit of this university with qualities of diversity, solidarity, empathy being foundational in making the university community exist within and outside the campus,” she said.
Informing about the festival events, Sen said that JNUTA has planned many programmes involving topics like gender, the evolution of JNU, diversification and inclusivity. As per the itinerary shared by JNUTA, a discussion on feminist perspectives titled ‘Home, Work, Law’ was held on Thursday. Economist Jayati Ghosh, professor and writer Nivedita Menon and lawyer Vrinda Grover shared their views on the issue at the event.
“We will have academic sessions each morning with eminent scholars who have played a crucial role in creating the academic environment of this university, followed by cultural activities in the evening,” Sen informed.
“Each day, we will have activities that celebrate the cherished spaces of the JNU campus – the walks through its uniquely beautiful nature scape, the Dhaba culture, a Food Festival on Jhelum Lawns, film shows and discussions, concerts and performances,” she added.
Over the period of four days, there will be discussions led by author Zoya Hasan, historian Romila Thapar, scientist Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, and journalist Ravish Kumar.