Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU, which was at the centre of a controversy for alleged anti-India slogans last year, was filled with a patriotic spirit on Sunday as the varsity observed 'Kargil Vijay Diwas' to mark the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in the 1999 war.
It started with the JNU faculty and students along with the kin of Kargil martyrs and members of Veterans India, a body of ex-servicemen, holding a march with a 2,200-feet-long tricolour and paying tributes at the Wall of Heroes - located in JNU's convention centre where 21 portraits of Param Vir Chakra awardees are exhibited.
The programme also witnessed a performance by the army band. At the event, women family members of soldiers who died fighting in the Kargil war were felicitated.
JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar termed the programme as "historic", and said it was an important day to remember the sacrifices made by the Army and other security forces for the country.
The Vice Chancellor also said the varsity has asked union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and VK Singh, who were present at the function, to help them (JNU) procure an army tank which can be put up on display in the campus so that students can be reminded of the sacrifices and valour of the soldiers.
"I request General VK singh to help us procure an army tank so that we can place it at a prominent place in JNU. The presence of the tank will remind thousands of students about the great sacrifices & valour of our Indian Army," Mr Jagadesh Kumar said.
Lauding the 'Kargil Vijay Diwas' initiative taken by JNU, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, said JNU created history on Sunday by organising a 'Tiranga March', setting up Wall of Heroes and by raising slogans of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and "Vande Mataram".
He further said "In no other country, is the Army being questioned. As India is a democracy, some powers dare to show India in poor light. May God give such people better sense".
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh was also present at the event. "The outside forces never succeeded with their powers. They became successful only when an insider helped them out. The Indian veterans have been trying to instill the spirit of unity in every Indian heart," the former Army chief said.
While some lauded the proposal, others questioned it:
Can understand if they want to plant more trees in #JNU. A tank is so hare brained. What's the Sarkar trying to convey a campus under siege?— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) July 24, 2017
Now this is a manly and patriotic act! Jai Hind!— Rajesh Bhatia (@drrajeshbhatia) July 24, 2017
This is THE NEW NORMAL. Do they even understand what they are doing?— aayeff (@aayeff1) July 24, 2017
Look at this V-C, he wants an army tank in the campus to instill nationalism, incapable of thinking beyond that https://t.co/VxKUv9PD79— S l Habib (@irfhabib) July 24, 2017
And point it towards Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid 's hostel.— Hindu Push (@Vi_LI_In) July 24, 2017
Things that instill Deshbhakti:Social justice ✅Culture ✅Vision for future ✅Constitutional rights ✅Army tank in a University 🤔— Aisi Taisi Democracy (@AisiTaisiDemo) July 24, 2017
Do u need any ROCKET from @isro also so that it reminds ur student the way ISRO is acknowledged at International platform also?— SHASHANK BARANWAL (@followshashank1) July 24, 2017
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: Reuters)