Is the JNU VC still a Swayamsevak Whose Soul Lies With the Sangh?

Written by Teesta Setalvad | Published on: May 8, 2016


Photo credit: Zee News

A vice-chancellor who will not step out of his office, walk down 40 steps to talk to students on an indefinite strike at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) makes clear where his allegiance lies, from whom he draws inspiration (RSS), whose instructions he follows (the BJP-dominated NDA government. For proof, read on.

Kumar was appointed as VC in January 2016 after the Visitor of the University, President Pranab Mukherjee chose Jagadesh Kumar over a panel of four selected for appointment to the prestigious post. On his appointment, the RSS-affiliate, Vijnana Bharati was quick to claim him as their own. The Indian Express has reported that scientists VK Saraswat, Anil Kakodkar and Vijay Bhatkar are patrons of Vijnana Bharati. Around the time of his appointment, Kumar was quoted on his vision for JNU. Barely four months ago, Kumar had said, “JNU is among the best universities in the country and I want to take it further. If selected, I will first interact with students to seek their feedback on improving campus facilities. I also want to ensure that JNU becomes the best centre of scientific research, one which is relevant to the country’s needs”.

The VC's deeds, however, do not seem to match his words. Students have been protesting the report of the 'High Level Committee' meeting out harsh punishments to many students without following due process. The students have resorted to an indefinite hunger strike and the VC who promised to interact with students has yet to step out of his office to meet them.

SabrangIndia has accessed a document which clearly indicates that the VCs soul lies with the Sangh (RSS). The document in question is an article written by HV Sheshadri, former all-India general secretary of the RSS on the 'Relevance of the RSS in our National Life'. Kumar was sufficiently inspired by this RSS self-eulogy to forward it to others for inspiration. Here is the text he circulated.

What is the Relevance of RSS in our National Life? (1)

What exactly is the relevance of RSS for our national life? What is its role? Has it any role at all? Or is the RSS also like many other sects and creeds limited to its  own charmed circle? And as such  being hardly concerned with the many problems and challenges facing our society? In short, what is the RSS perspective vis-a-vis our national life in all its myriad facets?

The answer can indeed be given in one  simple  sentence: The RSS  seeks to play the role of the Life-Force (Prana-Shakti) in the body of the society.

Let us explain: Living bodies live and grow so long as the Life-Force is vibrant. Every single organ and limb - every living cell - carries out its respective function only when that Force pulsates in it. When that throb becomes feeble, the eye sees not, the ears hear not, the hands move  not, the brain thinks not. More potent the Life-Force more dynamic the functions of the organs.

Activating Response to Challenges
How does the Life-Force act? How does it keep the body going on amidst all its adverse challenges? It does so by activating the body to respond to the challenges in an appropriate manner.

If  there is loss of blood in any limb it makes the blood in the rest of the body rush to that spot and make up for the loss.  If there is a cut, all the bodily systems get into action to heal
and cement the shattered veins, nerves, ligaments etc. If  there is a loss of say the eye-sight, it makes the other senses-ear, skin etc., sharper. So also suitable functional changes  of
several organs take place when faced with psychological conditions of fear, anxiety, strain, anger and so on. That is how the body copes with the situation and is able to maintain its vigour and vitality.

This is exactly how the Sangh also seeks to act. It identifies itself with every stratum and section of the society. And also with their joys and sorrows. No problem affecting the health
and happiness of society will go unchallenged by it. It is inconceivable that the Life-Force will keep quiet when the body is challenged. So is it in the case of Sangh vis-a-vis society.  

If the Sangh were to withdraw from the arena of accepting social challenges, its very raison d'etre will end. At best it will remain a sect, with a set of followers carrying out their prescribed rituals.

The Training
This is inconceivable in the the case of Sangh. For, the very structure of shakha [branch] is such as to keep the flame of Life-Force burning bright in the hearts of the swayamsevaks [RSS cadre]. The daily training is solely directed towards that end.

On the one hand, intense devotion to the nation is evoked. And on the other, burning problems affecting the national life are discussed. And every time, the swayamsevaks are made to feel from the depths of  their hearts that it is they who are expected to face them. All the training they receive in the shakha is directed towards making them fit for that task.

Not merely the existence of Sanghs, even its growth depends upon this trait of responding to the challenges. It is well known that unless a talent is constantly put to tests it will stagnate.

A  person may have a golden voice. But hard music practice alone will bring out its virtue. A person may have strength, but unless he accepts the challenges from other wrestlers, his skill and strength will only rust. He will not be even counted as a wrestler. So also any organisation which develops strength but keeps to itself will only rust. And the society too  will  ignore it- as being not in the field of national reconstruction.

[To be concluded]

Presumably it is this very 'Life-Force' that continues to pulsate through every cell of the JNU VC. 

(1). Authored by HV Sheshadri, All India General Secretary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh; Suruchi Prakashan.