Feminist scholar, writer and professor Nivedita Menon found herself at the centre of yet another controversy on Friday as a Jodhpur university filed a police complaint against her. According to a report on The Indian Express, the registrar of Jai Narain University has filed a complaint with the police, who are now in the process of deciding whether to lodge an FIR or not.
The university's vice-chancellor RP Singh told The Indian Express that while addressing students on the campus, Menon had said that Kashmir was not an integral part of India and soldiers serving at the border are making a living, not serving the country. Following her speech, BJP's student wing, ABVP forced the university to stay shut and its operations to remain suspended. Menon dismissed the allegations saying they were just based on rumours.
"The university has lodged a complaint against Nivedita Menon and one of the organisers, Rajshree Ranavat, who also announced while introducing Menon that she is famous for her views on Kashmir. Today, some children from the ABVP and some faculty members shut down the university in protest. I have set up a three-member committee to look into the matter," Singh told The Indian Express.
This is not the first time in the recent past that Menon seems to have riled right wing organisations and student bodies. The ABVP took up cudgels against her in early 2016, right after Jawaharlal Nehru University found itself in the midst of protests following Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya's arrest. Menon, like several other professors had held free-for-all lectures on issues of nationalism.
Clips from her lectures were reportedly being circulated on social media by supporters of right wing organisations who called her 'anti-national'. Consequently, two police complaints were filed against her in Delhi, and one at a Kanpur court.
JNU, where Menon teaches, hasn't itself been exactly charitable towards her. In December last year, the university administration issued a 'warning' to the professor for addressing students in front of the administrative block of the university, and speaking about the suspension of 12 students.
Hindustan Reports that the 'warning' letter said the following: "You addressed a group of students on 28th December at about 4.15pm near the administrative building. This is a clear violation of the university rules."