JNU’s campus is one of the most iconic college campuses in India. Spread over 1020 acres in the heart of Delhi, the tastefully designed campus houses hostels, academic buildings, canteens, gardens and decorative statues. The Indian taxpayer pays for nearly all of its upkeep — the Indian government provides nearly Rs. 300 crore a year to JNU, which accounts for 96 percent of its expenses.
All that didn’t matter to JNU’s students when they trashed their own campus last week.
As protests over the fee hike spiraled out of control — JNU had decreed that the fee for hostels would be increased from Rs. 10 per month to Rs. 300 — irate students went on a rampage. They went around with spray paint and painted their own campus with protest signs. This is what the iconic campus looks like now.
And while the rest of the university is currently bathed in expletives and protest signs, what’s possibly caused the most outrage is the vandalization of the statue of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda’s yet-to-be-unveiled statue was also found defaced at JNU with protest signs.
Whatever JNU students’ grievances might be, one wonders how plastering their own campus with protest signs can help them meet their demands. Most JNU students already seem to be behind the protest, and the only people who’ll be able to see the protest signs within the campus are JNU students themselves. All that the “protest” appears to have managed to achieve is deface an iconic campus — and as long as the Indian taxpayer pays for the cleanup, JNU’s students don’t seem to care.