In a series of webinars, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) conducted during the nationwide lockdown, one on the leadership lessons through Ramayana has left the Left-led Jawaharlal Nehru Students' Union (JNUSU) see red. The student body has targeted the university administration for its 'priorities' and claimed that the Vice Chancellor has been 'a failure of leadership on issues of a serious nature'.
In a strong worded statement shared by JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh on behalf of the Union, the students' body said, "We definitely hope that wherever the JNU administration and the Vice Chancellor are deriving their 'leadership prowess' from, it helps them to focus on the issues faced by the students and workers employed in JNU."
"Because up till now there has been a failure of leadership on issues of a serious nature. Leadership requires a sense of responsibility and care for the constituents you are assigned to serve," it added.
It claimed that while JNU Vice Chancellor has been focusing on conducting the webinar, he has been ignoring other responsibilities in the campus.
The student body went ahead to suggest JNU administration focus on problems faced by sanitation workers employed on campus on contract basis. The JNUSU also accused administration of drawing up an academic calendar without taking in consideration the views of students.
"Hence, while the admin may invest its time in online seminars based on scriptures, it is found wanting in dealing with issues of importance. We demand that the JNU administration consult the stakeholders regarding issues related to lag in academics and provide relief to workers at the earliest," JNUSU said.
Elaborating on the issues raised by it, JNUSU alleged that sanitation workers, labourers and those employed in various manual jobs based on daily wages, on a contractual basis by the JNU administration through various companies, have not been paid their salaries for extended periods up to three months.
It also targeted the JNU administration for conducting an Academic Council meeting recently in the online mode. "The agenda was the future of the lost academic period. Shamefully, again no suggestions were taken from the elected JNUSU as the representatives of the stakeholders -- the students -- who are going to be most affected," it said.
"The JNU administration released a wishlist of a timetable withdrawn from any reality on the ground. The administration is conjuring up dates in thin air even as the intensity of cases of the pandemic increases," JNUSU said referring to JNU's proposed plans to order back students by June, and in the meanwhile is continuing with the online classes.
The JNUSU and the varsity have earlier been in a long stand-off that resulted into various road marches, vandalism in campus and even the infamous campus violence in January this year, when several students and faculty were left severely injured in violent assault by masked intruders.
The Left-led JNUSU had since then claimed that there were right wing organisations behind the violent attack, while the Delhi Police, which are investigating the case, have booked various students from the campus, including the JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh for allegedly having a hand in the violence.