A coterie of students has decided to oppose an invitation extended by the prestigious Vedanta. The students have termed the invite as an incitement to a silent right wing onslaught. By calling for a bar on Ramdev the Jawaharlal Nehru University has done itself no favours.
Firstly, temples of learning are supposed to embrace difference not discriminate against it. In fact these students should ask themselves whether the spirit of intellectual inquiry would be better suited by inviting Ramdev and challenging his stand. If a centre of learning is intolerant to views & thoughts that may not necessarily complement its outlook, it risks intellectual stagnation.
Aside from this, secondly, the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University can’t cherry pick. Routinely these very students have invited Maoists, separatists and Pak sympathisers to speak even though they are despised by a vast majority of Indians only because the outlook of some of the odd balls fits in with their ideological framework. This is plain intellectual sophistry. We’re debating this diktat today and starting with a basic question how is calling for a ban on Ramdev not an instance of intolerance?