Ideologies Should Not Oppose National Interest: PM to JNU Students

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the JNU campus, via video conferencing.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the JNU campus, via video conferencing, saying that one does not need to sacrifice one’s ideology to fight for a common, greater cause.

“Placing individual ideologies before national good is wrong,” PM Modi said in his speech to students of JNU, adding that ideology should support and not oppose the nation in matters of national interest.

He recalled, “When we were oppressed during colonialism and there was hopelessness in the entire country, Swami Vivekananda had said in Michigan University in the USA - ‘This decade is yours, but the 21st century would undoubtedly be India's.’”

He said he hoped that the statue will instil courage and compassion in students that Swami Vivekananda wanted to see in everyone. “May it inspire the country for vision of oneness,” he said.

The event was also attended by Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and JNU vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar.

Youth Is the ‘Brand Ambassador’ of ‘Brand India’: Modi

Talking about India's new National Education Policy, Prime Minister Narendra said, “Swami Vivekananda wanted that education in the country should be such that it provides self-confidence to individuals and makes them Aatmanirbhar in every way. New National Education Policy is on the same line and has inclusion at its core."

Addressing the students, he said that India's youth is the 'brand ambassador' of 'brand India' today globally.

“Our country is moving ahead with the resolve of self-reliance. It is now part of the collective consciousness of 130 crore Indians.”
PM Modi

He said that he wished that the country move forward with a vision of youth-led-development.

In his address, PM Modi also said that good reforms were earlier considered bad politics, but said that now they are good politics because his government’s intentions and commitment are correct.

‘Modi Go Back’ Protests on Campus

However, the invitation to Modi created a flutter on campus as just hours ahead of the scheduled unveiling, the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) called for a protest at the university’s North Gate.

A poster was released by the JNUSU asking Modi to ‘go back’ and demanding ‘answers’ from the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The students condemned the Modi government for “openly supporting” the violence on campus, and “attacking universities” with the National Education Policy and fund cuts.

The protest gathering is against “the anti-education and anti-student Modi government”, read the poster.

Disagree with PM’s Idea of India: JNUSU

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the JNU union asked, “Why are students of JNU criminalised and called anti-national while those praising Nathuram Godse find a high place in the Parliament?”

The letter said that the students have profound disagreements with the prime minister’s idea of what India should be in conjunction with the political ideology he represents.

In a series of questions, the union raised issues such as the UGC cutting Non-NET fellowships and whether NEP will aid in helping students in this time of an economic crisis, misleading news articles, mysterious disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, UGC's cutting down of intake for MPhil and PhD courses, dismantling of GSCASH, the first of its kind institution with JNU to adopt the recommendations of the Vishakha guidelines of the Supreme Court, the death of Rohith Vemula and the backlash that followed, recent death of Aishwarya by suicide due to financial distress and 300% fee hike that was proposed.

“Why did your government recommend the appointment of a vice Chancellor who has left no stone unturned in destroying a university that produces Nobel laureates,” the letter read.

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