A day after a masked and armed mob attacked students and teachers of JNU in Delhi, Nobel laureate and JNU alumnus Abhijit Banerjee voiced his concern about the brutal and violent attack.
Speaking to News18, he said:
I think any Indian who cares about the nation’s image in the world should worry. This has too many echoes of the years when Germany was moving towards Nazi rule.
When asked to comment on JNU Registrar’s statement blaming students for protesting against hostel fee hike for the violence, he urged the government to conduct a fair investigation.
The government needs to actually establish the truth of what happened and not let it get drowned in the chorus of counter accusations.
Banerjee had himself faced police action and was jailed for a week during student protests at JNU in 1983. Writing for Hindustan Times in 2016, Banerjee explained the situation when he was a student of MA (Economics) at the university.
It was the summer of ’83 and we, the students of JNU, had gheraoed the vice-chancellor in his house for the umpteenth time. The pretext was the expulsion of the president of the student union, the Kanhaiya Kumar of the day, for reasons that escape me now.
He further added:
I was thrown into Tihar jail, charged not quite with sedition, but attempt to murder and the rest. The charges were eventually dropped — thank god — but not before we spent ten days or so in Tihar.
Banerjee and his wife Esther shared the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2019.