Efforts are being made to change the country's national anthem and replace 'Jana Gana Mana' with 'Vande Mataram' as has been demanded by the right-wing groups, historian Tanika Sarkar said on Thursday.
"The right-wing groups have been demanding since long to make 'Vande Mataram' the national anthem. So, don't be sure that 'Jana Gana Mana' will remain national anthem forever," Sarkar, a former JNU professor, told students at the varsity.
Sarkar was the fifth lecturer in the series of "nationalism" open-air lectures, organised at the varsity in protest of the branding of the university as "anti-national" in wake of an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The professor who retired from JNU's Centre for Historical Studies to which Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya belonged, made the remarks during a lecture titled 'Gandhi's Nation'. Khalid and Bhattacharya, besides JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, have been arrested on charges of sedition.
Artist from Sangwari Theater Group performs at JNU campus in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh
Member of Parliament and former education minister of Kerala E T Mohammed Basheer, said the agitation in JNU was not just about the particular university but about the nation.
"The government wants to attack the entire country by attacking autonomy of institutions. This agitation is not just for JNU but for the entire nation," he said.
Professors from various universities are taking the nationalism lectures at JNU.