The Revolution Will be Televised


The Revolution Will be Televised

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza/ Arré


he Jawarharlal Nehru University in Delhi is structured in the mould of Chandigarh, with sprawling gardens surrounding every building, and like some government-built institutions, is almost like a city, with its own transport network and rules. The idea behind the openness perhaps was a metaphor for the  “free-thinking” liberal arts students that flock to its gates.

But these days, most of self-expression happens around the administration building where walls are adorned with messages of justice and freedom. Some students have been sleeping on mattresses in the cloisters of the building since Najeeb Ahmed, an MSc student affiliated with All India Student Association disappeared after an alleged scuffle with an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) member. Things reached a saturation point on October 19, when students “laid siege” to the administrative building and held M Jagadesh Kumar, the university’s vice chancellor, and other senior officials hostage over Ahmed’s disappearance. (The hostages had or didn’t have access to food, depending on what side of the narrative you choose to believe in.)