'Unfriended' students face cold stares

'Unfriended' students face cold stares

Many JNU students are now finding themselves ‘unfriended’ on social media sites or being asked to vacate rented accommodation. They even think twice before sporting the university T-shirt in public.

Students this reporter spoke to on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on Thursday refused to be identified.
Students scared
“Speaking out” as a student is not the same at the university anymore.
“Kuch bhi ho sakta hai (Anything can happen). People are so violent these days. Please do not write my name,” said a student from the Languages Department.

“Three days ago I went to the market wearing a JNU T-shirt and people stared at me. This has never happened in the past,” she added.

Days after the JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on sedition charges, students are still grappling to understand what really happened.
Students fear the entire university is now being painted with the same brush.

“Some people wrote on my friend’s timeline ‘You are good, but you are anti-national’ and unfriended her. Just because we are from JNU, we are being labelled as anti-national. What is our fault? I have nothing to do with the controversy,” said a student from the Arts and Aesthetics department.

Account blocked
Her friend’s Instagram account was blocked after she shared posters from the campus on it.

“People are angry at JNU and we do not know why. They are so many students who are neutral in their stand in the recent controversy but everyone is being seen as an anti-nationalist. If anti-slogans were chanted, I am definitely against it,” said a student from the Sanskrit department.

Another student narrated how someone who works at one of the dhabas on the campus was gheraoed in a market two days back.

His fault: his scooter sported a JNU sticker.

Several other students have been asked to vacate rooms at nearby Munirka area after Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest, according to students.

Other students spoke about being ‘unfriended’ on Facebook and their other social media accounts getting blocked since Kumar’s arrest.