On the background of centenary celebration of the University, Vice-Chancellor Prof GC Tripathi explained the glorious past of BHU and its perseverance of Bharatiya tradition a freewheeling chat with Nishant Kr Azad.
- BHU has completed 100 years. Please share with us the guiding spirit of this University as envisaged by Mahamana Malaviyaji.
BHU’s 100-year journey has been incredible. As a great nationalist thinker, educationist, freedom fighter and social reformer, Poojya Madan Mohan Malaviya ji wanted education to be the tool through which human minds are enlightened along with their hearts. For which he wanted education to be rooted in Bharatiya culture and values. For that purpose he laid down the foundation of this great institution as a centre of holistic education.
During these 100-years, BHU and its alumni have contributed in almost all walks of life. He could visualise that no society, no nation can sustain its independence, freedom and sovereignty over a period of time until it enjoys independence, freedom and sovereignty in respect of education and knowledge. That was the thinking behind formation of BHU.
- Several other Universities also profess similar ideals and objectives. How is BHU different from other universities?
Well, the objective that Mahamana ji had in his mind made BHU distinct from other universities. Mahamana ji wanted education to serve the purpose of nation building. BHU is an association of modern knowledge with classical knowledge. This is the only university that has to its credit six Bharat Ratnas: Malaviya ji, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Bhagwan Das ji, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Bismillah Khan and CN Rao ji.
There is no other university not only in Bharat but in Asia which is comparable to BHU in respect of its size. You think of a discipline and in all probability you will find it in BHU. He had a vision that all students and teachers of Varsity should reside within the campus. Mahamana ji wanted that on one hand there would be Sanskrit and dharm vigyan and on the other hand engineering college, hence first institution to provide degree in technical education.
Most often you would see that other universities are built due to government’s will but BHU was built by nation, with the contribution from all parts of the country. Therefore, everybody has a sense of belongingness with BHU and this is why I feel that BHU is unique.
- One of the major objectives of BHU is to revive the study of Hindu literature and culture. How successful has BHU been on this aspect?
The Bharatiya view of life says that creation is nothing but manifestation of the almighty and this planet is a family. It is the Bharatiya philosophy which says “Let all be happy”. There is need to document, enrich and preserve it. Therefore, BHU decided to have ‘Bharat Adhyayan Kendra’. We are also working with an American university on Ayurveda. We will add intellectuals who will help us take the Bharatiya culture, arts, and philosophy at global stage. Education deprived of values has no meaning, so we are working on it by strengthening Malaviya Mulya Anushilan Kendra to enrich cultural talent among students.
- Tell us something about the Varsity’s initiative on environment-related issues.
Well, there is a need to develop alternative sources of energy and for that BHU has decided to set up a centre for the study of green energy. We have also set up a solar energy farm at the south campus. There are plans to set up a Malaviya Research Centre for Ganga and a River Development & Water Resource Management, dedicated to research and academic programmes to save river and water resources. We have initiated the process to contact BHU’s alumni to strengthen the research quality of BHU.
- What is your opinion on the controversies surrounding the JNU?
When some students of JNU say “Bharat Ki Barbaadi Tak, Jung Rahegi Jung Rahegi”, they are trying to harm the interest of nation. If they attack on inconsistencies and discrepancies within then there are no issues but abusing Maa Durga or glorifying terrorists is not freedom of expression. The whole incident is condemnable. This doesn’t come all of sudden. It has been a long process to pollute their minds and time has come to go to the roots of the problem. It is our collective responsibility to think over it. The role of teachers is to enrich, establish and preserve the principles and values of nation but what they are doing is totally opposite.
- What are BHU’s contributions in the social sector?
The teachings of Mahamana ji are so deeply rooted in each and every brick of this University that serving people of our motherland is its sole purpose. At present BHU has adopted five neighbouring villages. We are also working on developing the talent of children in rural areas by exploring vocational benefits and providing them with every possible need. For the welfare of farmers, BHU organises Kisan melas on regular basis.We are also working to educate people about the flagship programmes of the government.