University can't be platform for anti-India baiting: Jitendra Singh
Asserting that a university cannot be used as a platform for anti-India baiting, Union minister Jitendra Singh Friday said free flow of thoughts was welcome in educational institutes but it had to be guided by the bottom-line of patriotic and nationalistic commitment.
Addressing an interactive programme of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here, he said there were certain individuals who, in a haste to prove their false intellectual pretensions, try to sound unorthodox or unconventional and in the process forget to draw the line of their commitment to the nation.
Even in the most advanced democracies of the world, including the UK and the US, Singh said not only the natives but even those from other countries who acquire citizenship were careful not to utter a word, directly or indirectly, which would hurt the pride of the country in which they have settled.
"It is, therefore, a perverted mind which thinks it will be possible to make news and attract attention by abusing 'Mother India' and the people who indulge in such perversion are precisely the ones who otherwise lack the confidence and credentials to make a mark through genuine merit," said Singh, the minister of state in the prime minister's office.
Singh said he was of the view that a university or any other institution of education should provide a fair opportunity for free exchange of ideas, ideologies and thoughts, but the motive behind it was not to pollute young minds, rather to expose them, from left to right, so that they are able to evolve with spontaneity and conviction.
He said for a wider understanding of the worldview, it might be helpful to read all streams, but the ultimate objective had to be to reinforce and reaffirm the commitment to integrity and supremacy of the motherland, according to a statement issued by his office.
"A university cannot be used as a platform for anti-India baiting and that free flow of thoughts is welcome, but it has to be guided by the bottom-line of patriotic and nationalistic commitment," the minister said.
Singh congratulated Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Chander for having started the initiative of interdisciplinary interaction, which would enable harmonious growth of young minds and enable them to decide their priorities and their role in the making of new India.
He said educational degrees are not meant to be imposed or thrust but are meant to be sought by aptitude and diligence.
Singh's address was followed by a question-answer session with the students, during which students engaged in a lively exchange of views.
JNU has been in news since February 2016 when three of its students were arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event on the campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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