GUWAHATI, March 4 - The Sachetan Nagarik Mancha, Assam while expressing its solidarity with the students of JNU, emphasized the need for independence to discuss any kind of issue in the higher educational institutes like universities.
Addressing mediapersons here today, president of the Mancha Dr Hiren Gohain said that the government should honour the autonomy of the universities and the democratic traditions of the country.
Observing on the JNU incident and the subsequent developments, Dr Gohain said that it would be detrimental to democracy if nationalism and patriotism is forced upon people. Referring to the era of Nazi rule in Germany, Dr Gohain said that the nationalism and patriotism of that age resulted in many evils including genocide. �India is at a crucial juncture now as we feel that a challenge to democracy has surfaced. Democracy is very important for our identity and that is why we cannot overlook the JNU incident,� said Dr Gohain adding that it was really unfortunate that a section has been trying to project the prestigious university as the hub of anti-national activities.
Dr Gohain further said that every topic under the sun can be discussed at the universities including topics such as whether Kashmir should remain in India or not. He pointed out that sentiments of nationalism and patriotism should not be so narrow as to reject deliberations on a wide gamut of subjects.
Dr Gohain also said that the behaviour of a section of legal professionals regarding the issue was deplorable and it signals a danger to the existence of democracy.
On the other hand, another member of the Mancha Dilip Hazarika described the government�s handling of the JNU issue as a dark cloud on the democratic horizon and said that those who fought against emergency rewrote the same chapter at the JNU.