American campuses going our JJJ ways

Reputations make you see one thing, and blind to another. For yet-to-viksit Indians, no matter how well-versed with the world they are, proper nouns like JNU, Jamia Millia and Jadavpur University conjure up only visions of student protests, clashes, sloganeering, and what selectively genteel sensibilities process as ‘radical’, or even ‘anti-national‘. It is keeping this anarchic vision of non-IIT, non-IIM higher education in mind that they do everything within their powers and pelf to pack their precious kids off abroad so that they can study, and not get caught up in this kind of ‘only-in-India’ bakwaas. Well, here goes your bubble.

Over the last few weeks, campuses in ‘First World’ America – not in ‘ghettoes’ or boondocks, mind you – have been out-JNU-Jamia-Jadavpuring themselves. On Wednesday, ABVP… oops, anti-pro-Palestinian groups clashed with protesters at UCLA. Eyewitnesses claim that campus security personnel looked on while attackers and protesters thrashed it out. Familiar, eh? Places like University of Austin in Texas have resorted to online classes as a result. For those here who think that institutions with protesting students only have students protesting and no academic activities, comparisons from America are showing that students can be politically active and pursue studies. Yes, even in our anarchic JJJs.


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