New Delhi, Jan 11: In early 2016, three students – Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya – of Jawaharlal Nehru University were charged with sedition for organising a cultural event in solidarity with Kashmiris.
The event later sparked major controversies all across India. A movement was carried out under the label – ‘Stand with JNU’ and during this, JNU Teacher’s Association initiated lectures on Nationalism to counter the so-called custodians of Nationalism who labelled JNU and its associates as ‘Anti-National’. Through these lectures, they narrated that there are several definitions of Nationalism.
‘What the Nation Really Needs to Know: The JNU Nationalism Lectures’ is the name of the book in which all the lectures given by Nobel professors are compiled. The book is published by the publication of Harper Collins and edited by four teachers representing the JNU Teacher’s Association. The book is now available at Amazon and other offline bookstores for merely around Rs 200. It consists of lectures by 24 academicians and intellectuals who gave lectures out in the open of JNU’s administrative block – now ‘Freedom Square’.
Historians Romila Thapar and Harbans Mukhia, Economists Prabhat Patnaik and Jayati Ghosh, Sociologists Satish Deshpande and Badri Narayan and much more are the donors of the content in the book, their lectures and articles are also compiled in the book.
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, Executive Editor of Harper Collins told the Indian Express before the release of the book that “The book has formally been published in December and the books will start going out into the stores in early January. We’ll even have an event at JNU sometime to release the book. All the authors are stalwarts in their field, and they’ve got varied opinions – not all of them are Left-liberal people. Although everything was available on social media, bringing it all together in a physical document gives it a life of its own.”