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“Did you check facts before making the speech?”

makarand paranjpae Source: Wikimedia (public domain)

Internationally acclaimed JNU professor slams Kanhaiya for misrepresentation gets booed by students!

Professor Makarand Paranjape, an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, theorist, and professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for English Studies slammed JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on his much celebrated ‘Azadi’ speech.

"Kanhaiya said in his celebrated speech Golwalkar met Mussolini. Did you check your facts, it was Moonje who met Mussolini," said Paranjape in his open lecture on the topic "Uncivil wars: Tagore, Gandhi, JNU and What's left of the Nation?" to JNU students.

He further added - "Please let us agree on what is factual and what is not."

"Fascism stands for anti-democratic position and so does Stalinism," said Paranjape.

"I am proud to belong to a country where one so called judicial murder created such a huge ruckus," he added.

Paranjape, was speaking amidst a gathering which was either neutral or pro-Left.

"Do you know how many judicial murders were committed from 1920 to 1950s in Stalin's USSR," he asked the gathered students, adding, "(As many as) 779,553. Almost a million and how many people were executed for criminal and civil charges? Only 34,000."

Why is it so difficult to accept the legitimacy of the Indian state for many people in the established Left? Forget about the Maoists. They believe in armed revolution and we know that DSU (Democratic Students’ Union) is an offshoot of this Maoist party,” he said.

Pointing to the irony of the situation, Paranjape said - “Look at the letter of resignation that Umar Khalid and Anirban wrote from DSU. You know what they said? We are resigning because there is no scope for dissent, there is no democracy in DSU. Look at the irony of these situations.”

However, the well-respected professor was interrupted by sloganeering by none other than Kanhaiya Kumar and towards the end booed by some students in the audience when he asked them to imagine life in Communist dominated India.

Paranjape said: "When we (JNU) consider ourselves to be a democratic space we should also ask ourselves if this is entirely true."

"Isn't it possible that this is a Left hegemonic space, where if you disagree you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are brow beaten, or ... but I love JNU too."

Shehla Rashid, JNUSU Vice President, had to intervene to ask the students to maintain order.