The University of Political Graffiti

“Without Revolutionary Theory, there can be no Revolutionary Movement”—Lenin (At Jadavpur University)

Imagine if the first-noticed aspect of your University, after the entrance gate, was not your science facilities, school logo, or quaint green quads, but large RED and BLACK graffiti extorting students to follow the direction of Lenin, Marx and Engels. Imagine if every academic and administrative building was covered in graffiti.

Never have I seen so much political graffiti on buildings as I have visiting Jadavpur University today.

Some Indian Universities, in my limited knowledge, can become exceedingly political, especially the students. When I studied abroad three years ago at the University of Hyderabad, debate on the issue of creating a new state/province in India, Telangana was raging on campus, (as it had been for over thirty years at Hyderabad’s other university, Osmania, and will likely continue)

Universities can be the hotbed of politics. Indian Universities certainly so.

(Telangana is an exceedingly complex issue, better discussed elsewhere from my blog. It’s an issue that people are incendiary-ly passionate about, to the point of committing suicide over splitting Telangana from Andhra Pradesh)

Jadavpur has a long history of radicalism, and a reputation that proceeds it, according to my facilitator, Desh.

Politics aside, I am excited to meet the Faculty of the University soon as I came by when they were absent today.

I wrote this post because I was struck by how much, outwardly, Jadavpur differed from an American University, and thought to share my observations.

It’s a strange world.