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India: Left parties flag rising attacks on campuses

Sunday 12 March 2017, by siawi3


11 March 2017, 00:00 IST, New Delhi

‘Who has given them power to decide who is patriotic?’

Members of the CPI(M) and the CPI raised the issue of “attacks on the freedom of expression and thought†on prime campuses like JNU and University of Delhi, during the zero hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“All these universities have been established by law enacted by us, by this august House. So, we have a direct bearing on what is happening in these universities. In the name of Hindutva nationalism, they are decrying Indian nationalism, and that is something we cannot allow,†CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said amid interruptions. “Organisations are taking upon themselves the right to decide who is wrong and who is right and who has violated the law.â€

CPI leader D. Raja also noted the “increasing attack on academic freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of creation†in universities.

“Who has given them the authority to decide you are nationalist or I am nationalist, you are unpatriotic or I am unpatriotic? This is a dangerous trend,†he said.

Admission policy

Hitting out at a new JNU admission policy, Mr. Raja said: “JNU is tense and students are fighting against the new admission policy. It will adversely impact the entry of students from Scheduled Castes, STs, OBCs and minority communities.†He was referring to reports that marks of the viva would count in drawing merit lists for M.Phil entrance exams, with written exam marks being just qualifying in nature.