Friday, November 17, 2006
A farewell to JNU
My time at Jawaharlal Nehru University is about done. Yesterday the students in my African Nationalism class took their final exam. I headed home and graded the papers and was prepared to leave for the Thar Desert. I will miss JNU. There is a spirit of radicalism that still defines this institution (though I have read some really conservative crap penned by folks in JNU's sociology department). Still, JNU is very different than what I have come to know in academia.
I really like this quote from Nehru. It captures what I believe a university should strive to be. In this age of market capitalism this is refreshing. I hope JNU does not become a Fred Meyer (grocery store in Portland) like PSU. Unfortunately the tendency toward marketing the University is already discernible. The trajectory toward a commercialized institution may already be in place. I have had troubling conversations with folks who want JNU to look a lot like Harvard. Ouch, that would really suck.
These are three of my students who met for class outside the day after I got back from Nepal. They are remarkable young thinkers who I hope will carry the torch of Nehru into the future. I wonder where the hell the rest were! ;)
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this class even though it was somewhat scattered between my travel absences and University events. Sorry ;)
These pictures were taken after the exam. And they are smiling so they must be happy too. Sadly most of the other pictures were blurred. Sorry dudes. Now if you guys can just stop calling me "Sir" :0) Why do I feel like Sidney Poitier?
Ok, so farewell my dear students. Keep in touch and don't lose the radical inspiration that makes JNU India's premier institution. Oh yes, I don't work for Adidas, they just make really biggg tee shirts :)
Peace and Struggle.