convocation

JNU’s second convocation for PhD students to be held after 46 years

Forty-six years after its first and only convocation the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is set to hold its second convocation this year. The date is yet to be finalised.

REMEMBERING THE FIRST CONVOCATION

The first convocation was held in 1972 when renowned actor Balraj Sahni delivered the convocation address. However, the then JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president V C Koshy from the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) changed his speech, which had been approved by the then Vice-Chancellor G Parthasarathy, the night before the convocation.

Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy, who had joined JNU in 1972, recalled the first convocation. “The basic debate was with Parthasarathy. He wanted to have a convocation but the students felt that their viewpoint should also be addressed in the convocation. He had called Balraj Sahni as the guest, and at that point, he didn’t want to cancel the convocation so he agreed. But Koshy gave a speech on ‘bourgeoisie-landlord regime’, poverty of the peasant and oppression of the working class — a very Marxist interpretation of the situation in India,” he said.

THE SPEECH AT FIRST CONVOCATION

Chenoy said the media widely reported the convocation, drawing attention to it and the speech. In the 1972 convocation, Balraj Sahni had said, “No country can progress unless it becomes conscious of its being, mind and body. It has to learn to find out and solve its own problems in its own way. But whichever way I turn, I find that even after 25 years of Independence, we are like a bird which has been let out of its cage after a prolonged imprisonment, unable to know what to do with its freedom. It has wings, but is afraid to fly into open air. It longs to remain within defined limits, as in the cage.”

News Source: indianexpress

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