Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Delhi is divided in political debates. The entire event looks like a great political conspiracy. Anyway, if the students have to be believed, then the people who created chaos, are some unknown student’s group who came there passed slogans and vanished from the event. However, after that ABVP and AISF students got into argument. The entire issue is painted as National vs Anti-national, and then the arrest of JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy has highlighted a grey area lying between the statutory provisions and their enforcement. After Independence, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Section 124-A in the celebrated case of Kedar Nath Singh vs. State of Bihar in 1962, but laid down that a person can be charged with sedition only if there is incitement to violence in his speech, writing or an intention or tendency to create disorder or disturbance of law and order.’
The left parties and Congress both criticised the BJP government, accusing it of “bullying” the prestigious institution which is known as breeding ground for Indian left leaning politics. They believe that the BJP is trying to saffronise all educational institutes. To save the skin, BJP dismissed the charge that education under the present government was being saffronised. To strengthen the point that education was not being discriminated along religious lines, Irani referred to the appointment of Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat, Syed Bari to strengthen her argument.
Whereas, Congress believes that the diffusion of education through malicious controversies hallmark of Modi government, entire education system of India is politicised. If you remember, previously Children in Gujarat were forced with moral prescriptions, some of which advocate against blowing of candles on birthdays. The prescriptions from books authored by Dina Nath Batra, convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti also advises students to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and other countries in India map, calling it Akhand Bharat. The attempt to radicalise young minds in over 42,000 primary and secondary government schools across the state later on triggered a controversy. BJP has started believing that if the education system is saffronised then the ideology from that education will be strong towards Hindurashtra, but they are ignoring the secular fabric of this country and getting attacked from all sides.
On October 5, at National Museum in New Delhi an organisation called the Akhil Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana held a symposium on “Maharaja Hemchandra Vikramaditya”, alias Hemu. The ABISY claims that Hemu established a “Hindu raj” in north India before the second battle of Panipat, albeit for 29 days, until the Mughals ousted him. Reputed historians regard this as Hindutva-inspired mythmaking. No rewards for guessing that the ABISY is sponsored by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. It even functions out of the Sangh’s office at Jhandewalan in Delhi. Among the scheduled speakers were ABISY office-bearers, the Bharatiya Janata Party’ Subramanian Swamy, and the-then Minister for Culture Shripad Naik, who had to suddenly left for Goa. Swamy was the star of the show. He shockingly demanded, to deafening applause, those books written by Romila Thapar, Bipin Chandra and other “Nehruvian” historians must be “burnt”.
Strange as this might seem, but the Modi government is even resisting conservationists’ efforts, underway for five years, to get Delhi declared India’s first heritage city by UNESCO– a status like Rome’s or Cairo’s that is coveted the world over. Why, it is even putting pressure on universities to create chairs in cultural studies to be named after Vivekananda – a figure the RSS has successfully milked through the Vivekananda International Foundation and the rock memorial at Kanyakumari – and, even more controversially, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, whose contribution to culture remains unknown. It is also planning to award National Research Fellowships to three Sangh sympathisers (SL Bhyrappa, Ashok Modak and Suryakant Bali), only one of whom (Bhyrappa) has a distinguished record despite his “fevered hatred of Indian Muslims,” as Sudheendra Kulkarni describes it. These fellowships were earlier held by people like CV Raman, Satyendranath Bose, Mahasweta Devi and Andre Beteille. Let it bringing change in culture or education, BJP has become aggressive with its agenda and ideology.
Recent issues like Rohit Vemula’s suicide and JNU protest, opposition has accused the BJP-led central government of “saffronising” the Delhi Police and university campus. On the other hand, there has been death of a six-year-old student at a private school, but no one has been arrested so far. A teacher of a government school was brutally beaten up. Besides, there have been several crimes of rape and murder, but police is not arresting anyone. Delhi Police is focused on selective issues. In other words, if AAP-Congress and Left is to be believed, Delhi police has become communal and pets of ruling party in centre. They are taking extra interest where it is not needed. AAPs one year saw arrest of six party MLAs in various cases including on charges of rioting, domestic violence and forgery. Deputy CM of Delhi, Manish Sisodia alleged that Khaki is being saffronised so much that it has never been done in any other state before. Delhi Police personnel have earned respect for khaki by sacrificing their lives, but centre is saffronising the Delhi Police.
The entire battle halts at Saffron Vs Green, blue, red and black. God knows, Indian politics may emerge in how many colours with time.
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])