JNU: A Hub Of 'Breaking India' Politics

by Gaurav Kumar Jha - Feb 19, 2016 12:24 AM +05:30 IST
JNU: A Hub Of 'Breaking India' Politics

The recent pro-Afzal meeting wasn’t the only time when elements inside the JNU took an openly anti-India stand. Here is a recollection of other such events

  • “Bharat desh ho barbaad, ho barbaad; Afzal Guru amar rahe, amar rahe; 
  • Kashmir ki azadi ki jung jaari rahegi. Bharat ki barbaadi ki jung jaari rahegi
  • Tum kitne Afzal maaroge? Har ghar se hum Afzal nikaalenge
  • Bharat ke tukade honge dus, Insha Allah! Insha Allah!
  • Kashmir ko hum lad ke lenge. Bharat ko jihad se hum khatm karke rahenge
  • India Go back. India Go back
  • Afzal tera karwaan hai adhura. Mil kar hum karenge poora”

These slogans may sound like emanating from across India’s western border: from training camps of the Taliban, ISIS or Lashkar-e-Toiba. Unfortunately, they’re coming from the heart of India in New Delhi where a programme was organised to glorify Afzal Guru, who was convicted through a full judicial process leading up to the Supreme Court for conspiring in the 2001 attack on Parliament House. What do they mean by “Afzal tera sapna hai adhura; mil kar hum karenge poora?Which dream of Guru do they want to accomplish?

Welcome to the Jawaharlal Nehru University! Once a hub of world-class teaching, excellent academic output as well as healthy student politics — that played a crucial role during the Emergency era — JNU has been in news in recent times for many wrong reasons.

Under the garb of expression of free speech, dissent and democratic rights, JNU has become a hub for promoting secessionist tendencies in Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, the Northeast — especially Nagaland and Manipur — encouraging pro-Maoist sentiments as well as organising programmes that aim to foment communal tension primarily between Muslims and Hindus as well within the Hindu fold on caste lines.

Rights come with responsibilities and restrictions; so does the right to freedom of expression. Article 19 (1)(a) of our Constitution guarantees right to free speech, but limits it with reasonable restricting grounds like security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, sovereignty and integrity of India, defamation, incitement to an offence and public order.

A look at JNU’s history over the last six years clearly points to violation of constitutional spirit and a growing nexus of varied forces that seek to break India. In 2010, communists under the banner of ‘JNU Forum Against War on People’ celebrated the Maoist attacks of Dantewada in which 76 Indian soldiers were butchered. In what they called as “cultural programme” — but what actually were programmes to abuse the Indian state — the communists welcomed the killing of soldiers as “victory of the people’s army.”

In 2012, the communists attempted to divide students on religious lines within the campus by trying to organise a “beef and pork festival” in JNU under the name of ‘Democratic Right to Choice of Food’. However, the organisers were forced to cancel it after an order from the Delhi High Court in response to a litigation filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing of the RSS. Not just ABVP, this divisive propaganda was also opposed by several Muslim students of the campus.

The following year (2013), all communist parties of JNU united to pay homage to the 2001 Parliament terror attack convict Afzal Guru and hailed him as ‘martyr’. In the same year, we witnessed the arrest of a JNU student Hem Mishra from the dense forests of Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) on charges of acting as a “prominent Maoist courier” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, a law under which terrorist organisations like the CPI (Maoist), LTTE, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaishe-e-Mohammed, NSCN, etc. are banned.

On 26 January 2014, the communist students of JNU attempted to open a separate Kashmir food stall along with Palestine and Tibet stalls in the annual international food festival and thus wanted to show Kashmir as a disputed international issue on our Republic Day. Later, after ABVP intervened and exerted pressure on the administration, the organisers had to step back.

Again in 2015, when former President APJ Abdul Kalam died in the same week when 1993 Mumbai serial blast terror convict Yakub Memon was hanged, JNU’s communists chose to pay homage to the person who had a role in the bombing rather than a missile man, who chose to defend the Indian nation. What do such so-called secular parties want to prove by this? Do they want to say that Muslims of India empathise more with anti-India terrorists? If yes, all so-called secular parties are taking Indian Muslims for anti-Indians! That’s a horrendous and condemnable charge against the community.

Furthermore, a section of communists launched “backward” student politics by commemorating a “Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas” during the Durga Puja in 2011. Their argument — propagated by the likes of Kancha Illiah — was that all backward communities were descendants of Dalit Dravidian leader Mahishasura, who was seduced and killed by deceit by a ‘prostitute’ called Maa Durga at the behest of Aryan king Indra!

Communists are ignorant of the fact that the Aryan invasion theory — revised to a migration theory by apologetic Marxist historians subsequently — has been discarded by modern scientific anthropologic, genetic as well as geographic studies. Further, it’s shameful that these people who call themselves “progressives” and “feminists” cannot accept a woman (Goddess Durga) as more powerful than a man (Mahishasura). For them women can only kill by deceit and seduction rather than take on the enemy’s might in a battlefield in a fairly conducted war.

Backed by Christian missionaries and their NGOs like Dalit Freedom Network, in just three years in 2014, this illogical and absurd “martyrdom event” was celebrated across India in 78 districts. The message from their pamphlets like Forward Press was clear: “Divide Hindus along their caste lines and generate a momentum for civil war.”

However, such actions of communists have been strongly resisted by common students of JNU in general and the ABVP in particular, even at the expense of fake cases registered in the proctor’s office as well as charges of sexual harassment against the resistors.

Despite growing undercurrents against nationalist sentiments, our protests have resulted in successes like the ban on JNU Forum Against War on People in 2010, prevention of the beef and pork festival in 2012 and Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas in 2015.

The recent attempt to commemorate Afzal Guru’s execution by calling it ‘judicial killing’ and the raising of anti-India slogans have to be seen in the light of breaking India. It is imperative for the university administration and Indian intelligence agencies to handle the affairs sincerely by thoroughly investigating possibilities of a nexus between some JNU students and anti-India forces.

We understand that in the name of dissent — that is opposing government — one shouldn’t cross the lakshmanrekha and engage in sedition – oppose the State. If the nation-state disintegrates, so will be their democratic rights. An Indian must first fulfil the duties towards the nation before clamouring for his/her rights.

The writer is a PhD research scholarat the US Studies Division, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and a member of the ABVP

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