Monday, September 20, 2021
HomeEditorialWhy tag JNU students 'Anti-Nationals'?

Why tag JNU students ‘Anti-Nationals’?

The Patiala House Court witnessed violence on Monday, as a mob wearing lawyer’s robe slapped and kicked supporters of JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar. It was very awkward to see, how democracy is being mocked by few and violence is spread. The attacks began when Kanhaiya Kumar was scheduled to appear before metropolitan magistrate Loveleen and continued for about 45 minutes during which whoever ran into the mob looking young and carrying a mobile was slapped, kicked and chased away from the premises. Journalists and students bore the brunt of the violence, while the older men and women were intimidated by the mob. They were seen asking the police to ease out reporters and Kumar’s supporters. First, the mob charged the atmosphere by shouting ‘Pakistan Murdabad, Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The first victim was a clerk of a lawyer whom they assaulted. He escaped, thanks to the intervention of a group of lawyers. Later, the rabble was seen marching around the court premises to thrash any dissenting voices.

Some people were an eyewitness to the slapping and kicking of two print journalists when they were rushing towards the courtroom to cover the case. The most dangerous set of people are now in power. However their true face is showing as the days go by. Now, People should unite to make sure such people never come back to power and their indoctrination shakhas to break the country by hate mongering are closed down forever. Their funding too should be stopped. However, first the lawyers should be arrested and debarred from practicing law at any court those were involved in the violence with the mob as they have broken the sanctity of the courts and hence the country’s constitution.

This is not the first time that JNU students have staged protest. The University is known to have a long tradition of alumni who now occupy important political and bureaucratic positions in the country. This is in part, due to the strong prevalence of Left-Centric student politics and the existence of a written constitution for the university to which noted Communist Party leader Prakash Karat contributed exhaustively during his education at JNU. However, on 24 October 2008 the Supreme Court of India stayed the JNU elections and banned the JNUSU for not complying with the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee. After a prolonged struggle and multi-party negotiations, the ban was lifted on 8 December 2011. After a gap of more than four years, interim elections were scheduled again on 1 March 2012. Following the election results declared on 3 March 2012, AISA candidates won all four central panel seats and Sucheta De, the president of AISA became the president of JNUSU.

In April 2000, JNU organized a cultural programme, where Pakistani poets Ahmed Faraz and Fahmida Riaz were invited. Two army officers present in the function, protested against anti-Indian content in the event. They were assaulted for protesting and managed to escape after one of the officers fired in the air. In 2010 Democratic Students Union (DSU) and All India Students Association (AISA) held a public meeting soon after the April 2010 Maoist attack in Dantewada which led to protests from rival student unions ABVP and NSUI. It was alleged that the organizers were Maoist sympathizers, while they countered the accusation by stating that they were protesting against government’s Operation Green Hunt. NSUI national general secretary stated “Members of Democratic Students Union (DSU) and All India Students Association (AISA) organized a meeting to celebrate the killing of 76 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh. They were even shouting slogans like ‘India murdabad, Maovad zindabad’.

A cultural evening was organised by 10 students, formerly of the Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), at the Sabarmati Dhaba, against the execution of Afzal Guru and separatist leader Maqbool Bhat, and for Kashmir’s right to self-determination. Anti-India slogans like “Kashmir ki azadi tak jung chalegi, Bharat ki barbadi tak jung chalegi” were raised at the protest meet. The students who were organising this event had pasted posters inviting people to gather for a protest march against the “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. Protests by members of ABVP were held at the university demanding expulsion of the student who had organised the event. Some of the students from Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) raised slogans as “Bharat Ki Barbadi”, “Pakistan Zindabad”.

Delhi Police arrested the JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy. The arrest soon snowballed into a major political controversy, with several leaders of opposition parties visiting the JNU campus in solidarity with the students protesting against the police crackdown. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that while the students would not be harassed, the “guilty would not be spared”. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiran Rijiju said the JNU would not be allowed to become a hub for “anti-national” activities. University teachers have criticised the arrest as “excessive police action”. JNU students formed a human chain, demanding that sedition charges against varsity’s students’ union president should be dropped.

JNU administration ordered a “disciplinary” enquiry into holding of an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru despite cancellation of permission saying any talk about country’s disintegration cannot be “national”. The university’s move came in wake of protests by members of ABVP outside the VC office demanding expulsion of students who “misled” the university about nature of the event. Let’s see to what extent of low this matter is going.

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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