19/08/2019 9:50 AM IST

BJP's Hans Raj Hans Wants JNU Renamed MNU After Narendra Modi

The BJP MP's comments were criticised by the Congress and the JNU students’ union.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI — Bharatiya Janata Party MP and singer Hans Raj Hans suggested renaming the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His remarks on Saturday drew sharp reactions from some quarters, including the Congress and the JNU students’ union.

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The northwest Delhi MP made the suggestion at an event titled ‘EK Shaam Shaheedon Ke Naam’ organised by the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in respect of the country’s fallen soldiers.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari was the chief guest at the event which was also attended by Bhojpuri singer-actor Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’.

While talking about the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, Hans Raj Hans said, “Kashmir will become a paradise now. Pray that everyone remains peaceful and no bombs are set off. We are bearing the brunt of the mistakes made by our elders.”

He went on to add, “The JNU should be renamed MNU. Something should be named after Modiji.”

Speaking to PTI on Sunday, he said, “It was interaction with students and it was suggested by me that if the university is to be named after a politician why not name it after Modi.”

“Although we respect our elders but if anyone has done some mistakes you need to accept that. Partition of the country, Article 370 were such mistakes by Nehru,” he said.

“I said if it is to be named after a politician why not name it as MNU-Modi Narendrabhai University,” he said on Sunday.

The JNU should be renamed MNU. Something should be named after Modiji.”

Hans said it was not an attempt by him to please Modi or the BJP.

“I said those words as an ordinary man, not as a Member of Parliament or as a politician. I am already well known as a singer so I don’t need to say anything bizarre to gain publicity. It was my conviction that came out spontaneously.”

His remarks elicited sharp reaction from JNU students’ union president N Sai Balaji. “Now, when universities are turning into jumla (rhetoric) manufacturing centres why not rename all universities after Modi?” he said.

 “It is unfortunate that rather than talking about the Rs 515 crore HEFA (Higher Education Financing Agency) loan, massive hostel crisis, 80 per cent budget cut in library and other anti-students policies, this is being talked about,” Sai Balaji said. 

At a time, libraries are empty and without books, walls are barren without posters, minds are rigged with hate, it might sound ideal to name the varsity after Modiji under whom these policies of destruction have been implemented, Balaji alleged.

He alleged that public universities are being shut in India to start foreign universities and students are not being given fellowships.

We are only destroying learning and critical thinking. Teachers and students are being attacked for wanting to teach and learn. What’s in a name when universities are turning into jumla (rhetoric) universities.

It would be ideal to name the varsity after Modi under whose regime only jumlas were delivered for students, he said.

JNUSU general secretary Aejaz Ahmad Rather alleged that it is part of the agenda of BJP and RSS.

“But what is most important is to understand the venom of BJP towards Nehru and his idea of India. While dismantling it, BJP wants to rewrite history by whatever means because in the past they have done nothing, ” he said.

Responding to a question on it, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said he feared the current regime might change the name of the country.

We fear that name of our country would be changed (under the present regime). A person like him cannot be called a mainstream leader whose name you just mentioned, he said.