Monday, September 17, 2007

twice rejected...

third time lucky!

yup...made it to JNU..finally!! am about a little more than a month old...and throughly enjoying every bit this experience.

have already brought out a protest poster(on a rather flippant pun, have been called the "new poster girl of JNU")...have already walked out in protest(against sexual harassment at the freshers)...have already been dubbed the unofficial 'dalit' by my juniors in the centre who refuse to sit next to me in class, thanks to my menon's words, "have already picked up fights!" phew!!

But on a more serious note, the academic environment in JNU is nothing short of invigorating. what adds more vigour to the academic environment here is the heightened level of awareness and political activism amongst the student community. No issue escapes being discussed. Not a single issue is allowed to pass by without a relevant poster and talk on the same.

Of course, sometimes, the debates become sterile, of course, sometimes, party politics takes over and debates are reduced to mud slinging (and if we havent seen enough, am sure there's loads of it coming up in the forthcoming JNU Students' Union elections), of course there are times when posters are reflective of nothing but ideological bankruptcy, but then I believe that this too is a reflection of the times we live in. Also, what compensates for the occassional lapses is the fact that the space for debate is never reduced.

Having always been a left wing bastion, that we live in changed times is well reflected in the space that has been carved out by the Youth for Equality (who i unabashedly detest), a party devoid of any intellectual or ideological base, but still managed to to win a sizeable number of votes on a one point agenda of anti reservations. That we live in changed times is well reflected in the fact that not a single seminar here is organised without Coke or Pepsi being served. And that we live in depressingly changed times is confirmed, when a member and very vocal activist of the ultra left hurriedly makes a move to get a glass of Pepsi.

But, despite these failings and inspite of the failings, JNU is what it is only because of the level of political activism that takes place here and the integration activism with academics that prevents the latter from becoming an ivory tower. And after a very inspiring evening spent watching a film on Comrade Chandrashekhar, a former AISA activist and JNUSU president and listening to Medha Patkar, one would have to definitely and willingly stay blind or deaf to remain untouched by the strength, magnitude and the intensity of the students movement here and various issues outside the pristine walls of this campus.

This post is not meant as a paean to the institute that i feel privileged being a part of, but simply as a reflection of life here which is very different from the academic institutes that i have so far been part of. This is only the beginning for me.


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Ashish said...

Welcome back! And about time too...
Congratulations on getting through to JNU, and kudos on getting right into the groove. In more ways than one. ;-)
Pepsi? Served at JNU meets? Ooh, delicious.
Keep at it, girl, and keep the posts flowing - welcome back again!

At 2:11 AM, Anonymous menon said...

1 month down, two fights already.
am dreading what will happen by the time you finish your phd...

At 6:01 AM, Blogger Chamish Ashman Tamhane said...

Hey, congratulations on getting through to JNU. About the fights, did not expect anything short of that from you. Proud of you... saying that in all earnest.


At 2:06 AM, Blogger V. Krishna Ananth said...

hi chotu, JNU is a lot more than what you have felt in this one month. Here I paste an evidence of that...

These are portions from an exchange of e-mails between old jnuites after a get together in chennai...

Great Pics,

But in true JNU style, i have to put forth my subaltern perspective against the noe-bourgeoise pictographic discrimination in a overtly biased usage of means of production (camera/film) in a post liberalized milieu as an instrument supression based on covert ethno-culturo-genderist motives...

In short, why r some prolitariat underdogs like ME visible in only 2 pics, our non-photogenic faces notwithstanding, (and that too holding an incriminating glass of evidence) while some others r EVERYWHERE??

My Agenda for next JNU Alumni meet- No-confidence motion, democratization of instruments of production and control of the same by the subalterns!!!

Last -hai, Jogira sarraa ra rraaaa


as part of the lumpen element occasionally instrumentalized by the capitalist-fascist forces you are at least visible. imagine my plight - sitting as i am in the academic superstructure - downloading 58 pics and going through them one by one and gradually discovering the complete liquidation/dissolution of the self at the hands of forces you have so ably described in the mail subaltern to this one.

perhaps the liquid in the "incriminating glass of evidence" was responsible for such liquidation/dissolution.
i agree with you more than you yourself would and second the proposed agenda.

march on, march on!

Dear Millu Bhai,

So you too have been erazed and de-humanized from a subaltern to a subterranean level in the hierarchy in the inexorable historical dilalectic where the thesis and the anti-thesis seems to be pathetic rather than synthetic. Dear comrade brother, this is where being and notthingness blend seemlessly because of the hegemonistic and monopolistic control of the propaganda machine (the Camera) by the privileged few. You sense the lumpen elements as the cause, yet lumpens are an indespinsible part of the evolving consciousness to freedom. I rather see a premediated petty burgeoise-feudalistic-neo ethnocentric conspiracy by the hegemonistic few - while i do not wish to name Sam, Sarava, Elango, to name a few, in the larger matrix of things.

Thx for seconding me. We thus r the vanguards of the new Alternative JNU Alumni Association and shall by sheer grit and surprise take over the historically decadent old guard during the next meet.



At 10:32 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

hi sir...

this is just so so glad that you posted it on my still laughing..and real loud at that..

lots and lots of love

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Vibha said...

hello ashish!

thanks for the good wishes..will keep the posts flowing.

my dearest sam!!
thanks a ton di...take care ok!!

dearest menon!!
don't worry ya...picking up fights is my trademark!!

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Sahar said...

I toh didn't even read all that!!! am toh just sooooooooooooo happy you're back baaaaaaabe!!!!!!
welcome backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!! guess what... my budday's coming up, and I don't wanna turn 20!! (randomness #3947567)

please keep up with the posts ab, missed you for toooooooo long!!!

love love love!
Mirchii ;)

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Vibha said...

hellooos mirchi...

am so glad to be back too...dont worry kid..will keep up with the posts...

dont worry about turning sure you will be the prettiest and coolest 20 year old i know till go on and turn 20!!

huge huge hug baby!!

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Padma said...

Hi Vibha, it felt really good reading this post:) I'm really happy for you!
Enjoy your time in JNU! I miss student life! *sob*

At 7:14 AM, Blogger alex said...



Happy to hear that the academic environment is stimulating enough for you to pick up fights! ;)


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Prathamesh said...

Great to see your blog alive.(again!).Hope to hear more from JNU.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger shreya said...

Oye!!! Good luck girl!!! You sound fantastic...maybe I'll come meet you at JNU this gonna be coming to the motherland some time end of November...what say?


Keep writing.

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello! JNU warrior, I never thought you would keep at it all these years. Of course, you were quite earnest abt getting here, but still I thought you would eventually go after a 'career' (read: money).
Anyways, this is Abhilash (Gaur, not Warrier) from Mid Day. remember me? If you're in Delhi, let's meet up some day. (

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Shailendra Kumar said...

Hi, Have a look at This is a wiki website of JNU, New Delhi INDIA. The Best University in India. Anyone can contribute.... Just wish that JNU community makes it a successful website. All existing students and JNU Alumni are invited to join this initiative.... Start putting your thoughts..... whether its LEFT, RIGHT or CENTRE ...


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