Bengaluru, Jan 8 : A sizeable number of students from the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) on Wednesday condemned the violent attacks on faculty members and students at Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on January 5 by issuing a statement in solidarity.
“Attack on JNU faculty and students is an attack on the foundation of India. We condemn it in the strongest possible sense and stand in solidarity with JNU,” said a statement signed by 268 students and a few IIM-B faculty members in their personal capacity.
The students said India has always valued discussion and thrived on debate for the millennia, making its subjects open and tolerant.
“Our republic was founded on recognising the fundamental dignity of a human and a grand unity that transcends all differences,” said the management students.
IIM-B students also highlighted that institutions of learning are sacred spaces meant to foster diverse perspectives to encourage independent thinking in a peaceful way.
“The systematic way in which universities have been targeted to silence ideological dissent is not acceptable under any terms,” said the students and faculty members.
Proactive faculty members solicit interested students in the premier management school to sign up for statements, protests and other vocal demonstrations on any particular issue playing out in the country.
A statement from the students and select faculty members is not always the official position of IIM-B, as many students remain neutral or some take the opposite stand.
“We, members of IIM-Bangalore, in our independent capacity, strongly and unreservedly condemn the attack on JNU campus,” said the statement.
Several students and faculty members have already spoken out and demonstrated against the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the recent past.
The students also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pleading him not to trample the democratic rights of citizens to peacefully protest.
According to an IIM-B source, the institution is also planning to encourage a debate culture on issues capturing the imagination of the country, in a bid to deviate students away from protests and other forms of dissent.
Elsewhere, on the day of attack in JNU, National Law School of India University (NLSIU) students took out a candle light vigil on campus.
“We have been going to protests that are happening in Bengaluru city. We went to the Townhall and on Tuesday we conducted an overnight student-led protest at hotel Maurya near Racecourse Road,” Pranav Dhawan, a student from NLSIU, told IANS.
NLSIU students are also organising door-to-door campaign against CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and attacks on universities.
“We are conducing door-to-door campaigns close to our campus. We meet shopkeepers, people on the street and others to explain about CAA and NRC, among others,” said Dhawan.
The varsity students are also conducting interactive discussions on the campus post dinner, roping in eminent speakers to deliberate on burning topics.
On Monday, the students discussed topics such as the CAA and assault on Constitutional values, which was presided over by senior advocate Aditya Sondhi with 200 people in attendance, including outsiders.
Sondhi spoke about Article 14, Article 21 and Constitutional morality, among others, Dhawan said.
Gowtham Bhatia, NLSIU alumna and legal columnist, and activist Yogendra Yadav have also been roped in for such talks.