An university in Jodhpur on Friday lodged a police complaint against Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Nivedita Menon for allegedly making “anti-national” remarks, reported PTI. In the complaint, Jai Narain Vyas University alleged that Menon disrespected the national flag and the national anthem and made “objectionable” comments about Kashmir and Indian soldiers during a seminar on Thursday. However, she rejected the allegations, calling them baseless rumours.
The varsity has also set up a three-member panel to conduct an internal inquiry into the episode. The actions were initiated after students and Akhil Bharatiya Vishwa Parishad activists protested against the political science professor’s lecture and forced the varsity to shut down, reported The Indian Express.
According to Vice Chancellor RP Singh, the JNU professor allegedly said that Kashmir was not an integral part of India and that soldiers worked for their livelihood and not the nation. “We have filed a complaint with police against Menon and the organising secretary of the seminar, Assistant Professor Raj Shree Ranawat. We have also set up an inquiry team, which will look into the entire episode,” he told PTI.
The police have not yet filed an FIR in the matter. “The university registrar filed a complaint, along with a report of what happened. We will be conducting an inquiry based on which we will decide whether to file an FIR or not,” Jodhpur Police Commissioner Ashok Rathore told The Indian Express.
Menon was invited by the English department as one of the speakers on “History reinterpreted: nation, individual and culture”. Menon told The Indian Express that the “entire controversy has been kicked up based on the account of one former professor… who is an RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] supporter”. The professor clarified that her remarks were in no way anti-national. “I did make a distinction between Hinduism and Hindutva, saying the latter is a political ideology that I am opposed to. What I basically said was not anti-national but anti-RSS and Hindutva and if that is a crime today then I don’t know what to say,” Menon told the daily.