PM to Unveil Vivekananda Statue; JNU Union Questions Fund Source
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank would also be present at the event.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil a life-size statue of Swami Vivekananda at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) through video-conferencing on 12 November, said the university’s Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, reported news agency ANI.
According to an official statement by VC Kumar, the unveiling of the statue will be preceded by a programme on Swami Vivekananda.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil (through video-conference) the life-size statue of Swami Vivekananda installed in the university campus on 12 November, at 6:30 p.m. The unveiling of the statue will be preceded by a programme on Swami Vivekananda,” the VC said on Sunday, 8 November.
VC Kumar further stated: “Swami Vivekananda is one of the most beloved intellectuals and spiritual leaders India has been fortunate to produce... Swami Vivekananda always spoke for the education and the well-being of Indians, especially of the less privileged and strongly celebrated the idea of India where the industry will meet the national pride.”
The statue of Swami Vivekananda has been installed at the JNU campus with the support of its alumni. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal would also be present at the event.
JNU Students Question Source of Fund for Statue
Former JNU Students’ Union President N Sai Balaji told The Quint that he submitted several Right to Information (RTI) applications regarding the funding in 2018-19.
“JNU students have been facing financial hardships, at a time when students need funding for fellowships, they have been told by the administration that the university does not have enough funds, the administration has also decreased funding of the library over the past two years, students want to come back to the hostels; during such times funds should be utilised for the betterment of students, but where are the funds?” Balaji questioned.
According to the RTI filed by Balaji, the JNU administration passed the resolution for the construction of the Vivekananda Statue at the Ad Bloc in June 2017, which had led to illegal felling of trees.
As per the RTI responses, the administration did not have necessary permission from the forest department, as many trees were cut for erecting the statue, said Balaji.
“When the JNU admin was asked through an RTI reply if any permission was taken to fell trees, JNU Admin said no,” Balaji added.
“The administration has diverted university funds for the statue,” Balaji claims.
In 2019, during the protests against hostel fee hike at JNU, objectionable messages directed towards “right-wing” were found written on the pedestal of Swami Vivekananda statue.
Kumar had said a complaint would be filed against those behind “vandalising” the statue.
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