Hours before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to unveil the statue of Swami Vivekananda, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) called for a protest at the university gate.
A poster released by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union calls for PM Modi to ‘go back’ and demands ‘answers’ from the MoE (Ministry of Education).
— Apeksha Priyadarshini (@apeksha_9) November 11, 2020
Speaking to Sputnik, a member associated with the union revealed that the protest is against “the anti-education and anti-student Modi government”.
Alleging a waste of funds, several students have attacked the JNU administration over the construction of the statue.
“Finally, PM Modi is going to visit JNU (virtually). The BJP and the RSS hate our university and call it anti-national. In 2016, we burnt PM Modi's effigy. Today, all over the country, the farmers are burning his effigy. It would be the greatest disservice to the soul of Swami Vivekananda if PM Modi fails to address the problems of farmers,” Sunny Dhiman, a JNU student, told Sputnik.
Another student Vishnu Prasad told the media that Modi's government’s priorities were wrong.
“We are not against the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, but the priorities must be noted here. Ever since this government has come, they have been attacking the very idea of JNU. They have consistently increased the cost of academic activities. They have wasted money on unnecessary things,” he said.
Meanwhile, hours ahead of the ceremony, Modi confirmed on Twitter that he will unveil the statue at the JNU and share his thoughts via video conference.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 12, 2020
Vivekananda’s life and works have been one of the greatest sources of inspiration for Modi and millions of people across India for decades. He has often mentioned Vivekanand’s name in his speeches.