Swami Vivekananda
Source: New Indian Express

On November 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will digitally uncover a statue of Swami Vivekananda on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. On Sunday, Rector III RP Singh said that after the unveiling of the statue, a program will be held at Swami Vivekananda from 5.30 pm.

JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadish Kumar tweeted, JNU is happy to announce that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will uncover the life-size statue of Swami Vivekananda on Thursday at 6:30 pm on the university campus. The event will be streamed live on JNU’s Facebook.

He further added, Swami Vivekananda inspired citizens to be proud of Indian civilization, culture, and its industrial spirit.
While the university sustains that the proposition for the statue was “unanimously approved” by Swami of Executive Council in 2017, a column of the JNU society involving students and teachers had generated issues on funding for the statue.

JNU alumni association president N Sai Balaji, who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from the university, had submitted several Right to Information (RTI) applications during his appointment in 2018-2019. exploring details on the funding.

RTI responses reflected that the statue did not have the essential approval from the estate branch or the forest department as many trees were cut down to build the statue. Also, we want money for libraries and books on these managers for academic attention. If the alumni certainly funded the statue, then why is there no clearness on it? The JNU community should be aware of this.

Answering the allegations, Rector RP Singh said, “The statue was proposed by the Engineering Department and was unanimously ratified by the Executive Council in June 2017 after it was discussed.” No JNU funds are being used to establish or construct the statue. JNU alumni came forward and made this amazing contribution to campus.

Singh said referring to the delay in the unveiling of the statue, he said that it has been going on for the last one year.
JNU alumnus Manoj Kumar, a political science teacher at the University of Delhi, is credited with the project.

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The JNU administration only provided space and we took to support and contribution from many people for the statue. Even statue makers offered us a discount, he said.

Without conveying any details on the entire cost of the statue, Kumar said, since 2005, I have been requesting several vice-chancellors to install a monument of Swami Vivekananda on the campus as his ideology has inspired the youth. But things could not happen until 2017.

In 2019, the idol was removed by unknown people amid protests over the fee hike. A first information report was filed in the case and the complaint wrote that offensive messages colored with political comments were written based on the statue.

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