Beware: Let The Other Campuses Not Fall Into The JNU Trap

by Benul Tomar - Feb 26, 2017 06:55 PM +05:30 IST
Beware: Let The Other Campuses Not Fall Into The JNU TrapIndian students and activists shout slogans during a protest against an attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University students in New Delhi. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • When the hate for a person, a political party or a government turns into hate for one’s own nation, what happens?

    National emblem, national anthem and national pride become suffocating fascist symbols. Not standing up for national anthem becomes birth right and organising beef parties in the ghettoised hostels becomes symbol of religious harmony!

There are two freedoms the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. - Charles Kingsley

There is something uncannily disturbing about the campus politics business engulfing decorated universities and colleges, lately. The ultra-left inspired anarchy that has been simmering in the boroughs of ‘liberal’ campuses like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for a long time is now flagrantly being exported to other campuses, which are increasingly becoming the flash points of mayhem. While the violence from the both Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Students Association (AISA) in Delhi University recently is condemnable, but the backlash towards the left-wing’s breaking India designs and anarchy of its chai-sutta intellectuals doesn’t go unnoticed.

Anarchy has a very annihilating charm. It gives you a licence to reject anything, without inviting the questions of reason or sensitivity, and to introduce chaos in the social structures, so that finally your own little ‘chaotic order’ could replace it; without having to bear the burden of accommodating common values and decencies. And in that rejection and chaos, lies the romantic halo of a ‘cause’ or a ‘revolution’, where none exist, which gives certain groups and sections this fake sense of intellectual and moral entitlement of being the guardian of freedom and democracy.

JNUisation Of Campuses

When this entitlement is challenged by ordinary folks, who don’t see any merit in such manufactured outrages, they are labelled as sanghis, chaddiwallas, right-wing loonies. This is a patronising depiction, which obliterates the need and tedious route of engaging in a meaningful debate, which is way above the moral paygrade of JNUised bandwagon-jumpers that we see in the campuses today. Sadly, the JNU has become a foul metaphor for ‘breaking India’ chaos.

Today, the same ‘brave hearts’ who supported anti-India sloganeering in the name of freedom of speech in JNU last year, and who have been slandering their own country in every possible way they can, have been going from one TV channel to the other, lecturing people on how to free India from ‘fascists’! The same brave mascots of freedom, who could not stand their ground after the Delhi High Court rapped them on their knuckles in their bail hearing, cowardly started singing a different tune; from Kashmiri freedom to freedom from poverty, etc, etc!

Imagine, these are the kind of weekend heroes that the JNU breed tried to export to Delhi University, this week, purportedly for a seminar on ‘Culture of Protest’, but had an egg on its face after the seminar was cancelled by the Ramjas College, forcing them to sit on a dharna!

Yes ABVP pressurised the Ramjas College authorities against holding a seminar, which would allow venom-spewing against the country, given the backdrop of these usual suspects. Yes, it may well be called presumptuous, but isn’t this what AISA/Students Federation of India (SFI) have been doing in JNU all along? Didn’t they pressurise the university to cancel the invitation to Baba Ramdev and Subramanian Swamy, extended by some student group? Didn’t they try to gherao and show black flags to Dr Manmohan Singh, with whom their Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) comrades, by the way, were in bed with for over four years at the Centre! And one has to say – if freedom of expression is absolute as they want, then why grudge Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Ritambhara? Or is it just for a chosen few, for the people who take obscene number of years in doing a simple PhD from JNU ?

The Myth Of Constitutional Patriotism

One intriguing question lingers – how do you know when the hate for a person or a political party or a government turns into hate for one’s own nation? So much so that things like national emblem, national anthem or national pride become suffocating ‘fascist’ symbols. Not standing up for national anthem becomes birth right and organising beef parties in the ghettoised hostels becomes symbol of religious harmony. And any collective positive identity based on Indian civilisation is considered to be a loathsome idea. It is thus surprising to see eminent people like Javed Akhtar and politicians like Asadduddin Owaisi taking refuge in the reductionist phrase like ‘constitutional patriotism’. Akhtar may be more nuanced and accommodative most of the times, but the syndicate of Islamists and their apologists who in the campuses masquerade as historians, refute any historical, cultural unity and legacy of Indian civilisation, not only as if it doesn’t exist before 26 January, 1950, but also as if it is a stigma.

Words like Fascist, oppressive, bloody, military state, etc are liberally tossed around for India. In the guise of attacking the government, which, much to their chagrin and agony won the popular mandate in May 2014, these syndicates now indulge in shooting from the hip. They support every anti-national movement and activity that seek to break India; whether it is Kashmiri Islamists, Maoists or foreign-funded NGOs and international ‘watchdogs’ like Amnesty International. Does their ‘constitutional patriotism’ give them the licence to denigrate the same constitution, which vows to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country at all times, through its citizens?

Intellectual Kurukshetra

Today, the intellectual one-upmanship of writers enjoying political patronage is facing serious rejoinders from the resurgent alternate thinkers. Their relatively illiterate cousins however, are rampaging through the streets of colleges and universities spreading myths about the nation, in which they live. In the name of saving the oppressed from the ‘fascist’ Indian state, they are selling the state to pernicious secessionists and opportunist politicians.

Every week, there are news reports of laceration and murder of local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians in Kerala by the CPI-M goons. So while the killing of Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi are immediately taken as footprints of right-wing fascism and intolerance, the callous serial murders of Left’s political opponents is not something worthy of the media’s and liberal flag-bearers’ time?

Coming back to Delhi University, ABVP should also understand that this is also an intellectual kurukshetra. Physical violence and abrasion can’t substitute systematic and sustained rebuttal of propaganda, which thrives on emotions. It only allows them to claim victimhood, which gives oxygen to their perennial duplicity. While the liberals world over, gloat in their permanent denial of every cultural identity, it is not a fight between culture and no-culture; it is a fight between one kind of culture versus another kind of culture. Remember.

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