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JNU Row: Discrimination and Suppression?

The Delhi High Court made it clear that Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who have been accused of allegedly raising anti-national slogans, have to surrender and follow the due process of law. During the hearing, Umar Khalid’s lawyer told the court that his client was willing to surrender at a time and location, but the Delhi Police objected to the place. The Delhi Police made strong objection against surrendering on undisclosed location and the time suggested by Umar’s lawyer. Meanwhile, the High Court has also dismissed another plea filed by a lawyer seeking direction to the Delhi Police to enter the JNU campus and arrest the accused students.

Earlier, two more students of the varsity – Rama Naga and Anant Prakash Narayan – filed anticipatory bail plea in the Delhi High Court. The five students Umar Khalid, Anant Prakash Narayan, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anirban Bhattacharya returned to the campus on Sunday night. Delhi High Court directed the city police to file a status report of its investigation in the sedition case in which JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested. The court’s direction came while hearing Kanhaiya’s bail plea which was opposed by Delhi Police. Delhi police claimed that they have enough evidences to prove that JNU students are anti-national. Let’s see, which extra ordinary proofs they have. In the plea, Kumar has also claimed that no case is made out against him because there is no evidence that he had raised any anti-national slogan during the event organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on February 9. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung ordered the removal of Kanhaiya’s counsel Rahul Mehra and appointed four lawyers.

Amid of all these JNU developments, there was protest march in support of Rohit Vemula in Delhi. Mounting a fresh attack, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused Modi government and RSS of crushing voices of dissent of college and university students across the country and pitched for a law to protect them from “discrimination” and “suppression”. He demanded law to ensure that students in colleges and universities do not face discrimination and their voice is not stifled, he said lending his support to hundreds of students who took out a march demanding justice for Hyderabad University research scholar Rohith Vemula, and Kanhaiya Kumar. Gandhi and Kejriwal slammed the government for not including issues like Rohith’s death and difficulties being faced by students of universities in the President’s address to Parliament. Accusing the Centre of muzzling the voice of students across universities in the country if they differ with ideology of RSS, Rahul said Congress will fight for bringing a law to check such “suppression”.

He alleged that government was trying to suppress not only the youths but also the Adivasis, Dalits and other weaker sections.

No one wants the country where an ideology is imposed upon them, everyone is fighting for it. Opposition thinks RSS are imposing their ideology on others, but we want an India of multiple voices and multiple ideologies. Students too want aazadi (freedom) from saffron ideology. Everyone wants to have freedom of expression for them. Anyway, this was the second such protest in less than a week; thousands of students from various universities across the country took to the streets in the capital protesting against the death of the Dalit student Rohith Vemula and the ongoing row at JNU. The protesters included students from various universities including Hyderabad Central University, from where Vemula belongs. On one side, think tanks and students are fighting for liberties and rights and on the other side BJP’s motor mouth leaders don’t want to take a pause.

Amidst the ongoing unrest in JNU, BJP MLA who has gone one step forward in defaming the varsity and its students. According to BJP MLA, those studying in JNU are involved in activities including ‘sex and drugs’ among others. Listing out the statistics over the ‘illicit’ activities been conducted at JNU, he said, more than 10,000 butts of cigarettes and 4,000 pieces of beedis are found. 50,000 big and small pieces of bones are found. 2,000 wrappers of chips and namkeen are found, and so are 3,000 used condoms – the misdeeds they commit with our sisters and daughters there. And 500 used contraceptive injections are also found. I’m wondering, why he came up with this revelation now and why not when he noticed these things there? Why and for what he was waiting? Butts of cigarettes, beedis, chips and namkeen, liquor and other things are common, he should go in flashback during his student’s life. Accusing students to prove them wrong should not be there. Anyway, let’s see when and how this controversy will end and how the students of India will deal with the issue.


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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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