New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Professor Nivedita Menon said that she had to pull out of the Kappen Memorial Lecture in Bengaluru that she had to deliver on November 30 after the university administration decided not to process any application of the faculty. These applications range from leave to medical bills, and the administration wouldn’t approve them unless they comply with an order to sign a register for attendance every day.

Menon had refused to accept the new rule of the university that mandates a minimum percentage of attendance of students and faculty members. The JNU management would process leave applications only of such teachers who have consented to the new rule. 

In a letter to the organisers, Menon wrote, “As we know the current regime since 2014 has sharply targeted universities as spaces that produce critical thinking. In JNU, the initial attack in 2016 was on grounds of supposed anti-nationalism, but since then the administration has used innumerable bureaucratic methods to sabotage and destroy every democratic decision-making process, and all possibility of serious academic work, both of which JNU was noted for.”

Menon is infamous for going around the country telling people India is an illegal occupant of Kashmir. In a much circulated YouTube video, the professor, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, School of International Studies, JNU, is heard saying, “Hum jaante hain ki duniya bhar men yeh maana jaata hai ki (we know that it is believed the world over that) India is illegally occupying Kashmir…”

In another lecture, Menon said, “India is an imperialist country. Here 30-40% of the country is under control of the Army in the name of Special Forces laws, which are used to crush the people.”

During a classroom lecture session, the professor who also bears contempt for Hinduism had said, “Hindu society must be one of the most violent—to the roots violent—societies in the world. Surely, nothing in the world can compare to the deep-rooted violence, and somehow almost the intransigence of the caste system. Surely, that is something we can proudly claim India has contributed to the world culture. And that…if that is what they (the nationalists) are saying is the Indian culture, then that makes sense.”

With inputs from Surajit Dasgupta