JNU profs to start fresh lecture series at ‘Freedom Square’, admin says lay off
Jan 18, 2017 13:09 IST
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) teachers will start a lecture series on Wednesday with professors and activists addressing students at administrative block, popularly known as “Freedom Square”.
This is the second lecture series that the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) is organizing ever since the university came under attack for various reasons, including an event in which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised by some students.
The move comes after a spate of notices sent to teachers over their address to students at the spot. At least five teachers have received notices asking them to “follow the rules” and not address students at administration building. Recently, the administration put up a notice banning all protest within 20 metres of the building and asked students to do democratic protest beyond that area. Recently, the administration blocked parts of the “Freedom Square” with grilles to keep protesters at bay.
The lecture series titled “Democracy and Social Justice- Access and Equality” will last five days and has at least fourteen speakers, including Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, historian Sohail Hashmi, Anita Ghai, and YS Alone.
The first speaker of the series is Ramon Magsaysay award winner Bezwada Wilson. He is likely to start the lecture on ‘Crisis of democracy and the question of rights’ around 4.30 pm followed by Delhi University professor Ashwini Despande, who will talk on ‘The new grammar of caste’, and JNU professor Archana Prasad slated to speak on ‘Adivasis and the politics of the Right.
The lecture series will conclude on next Monday with a book release by JNUTA. The previous lecture series which was held in the wake of debate on nationalism and sedition, has been complied in a book titled ‘What the Nation Really Needs to Know: JNU Nationalism Lectures’.
The university’s move to send notices to teachers has been termed as an attack on free speech by JNUTA, which decided to start a public lecture series at the same spot.
“In this hour of all out attack on “free speech” by JNU administration, JNUTA would like to reassert its privilege to call upon a public lecture series at the Administrative Block in JNU as it is well within its democratic rights,” Bikramaditya Choudhary, secretary JNUTA had said.