JNU to shut down history centre library, allege students

JNU to shut down history centre library, allege students

The students of Centre for Historical Studies (CHS) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have alleged that the administration is shutting down the centre’s library that houses important books and documents.

The students raised these concerns after the administration put a board for the Special Centre for Tamil Students outside the CHS library.

In December 2022, JNU received a grant money of about Rs 5 crore from the Tamil Nadu government to set up a separate department of Tamil and literary studies, and a cheque was handed over to the Vice Chancellor, Shantishree Dhulipudi.

Taking to social media, Saib Bilwal, one of the students, tweeted: “The JNU admin has decided to shut down the History department library & turn it into a special centre for Tamil studies. DESPITE having received 5 (delivered)/10 crore rupees from Tamil Nadu Govt to establish & construct mentioned centres somewhere on campus. #SaveCHSLibrary.”

“The students of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) strongly denounce the shut-down of the CHS library building and the merging of CHS library with the EXIM Bank library. There has been no prior consultation or discussion with the student community, who are the most important stakeholders, regarding the matter,” said a statement issued by the students of CESP.

It further said “The CHS Library is not merely a collection of History books; it also serves as a Documentation centre. The library houses over 18,000 books, hundreds of phD Theses, and rare journals. Preserving books as old as 150 years, it stands as a valuable resource for future generations of scholars.”

On the other hand, the ABVP issued a statement saying, “What gives more importance to establishment of the Tamil Centre, especially in JNU is that the communists have kept Tamil out of research purview. When communists were at hegemonic position in JNU and in History writing in India, they didn’t give due consideration to Tamil language, culture and history which it deserves, both at the university and national level.”

It further said, “ABVP demands that if 5 crores has been sanctioned for this purpose, then JNU should erect a new building for it.”