What a Delhi University student thinks about the controversy surrounding JNU ?
I was really shocked when I happened to see the footages of the gatherings and the events that ocurred at JNU.
I heard students screaming slogans like
"desh ke dus tukde honge, inqalab, inqalab"
" Bharat ki barbadi tak, jung rahegi, jung rahegi"
" Tum kitne Afzal maroge, har ghar se Afzal niklega"
MY INITIAL THOUGHTS
Considering I am literate and have common sense, I at once knew that these slogans are not only against the unity and integrity of the nation but also a spit on the faces of millions who are working relentlessly towards making our nation better.
The recent incident at Siachen also accentuated the national sentiment in me and also in Arnab Goswami I suppose.
It was indeed shocking that this happened right in the heart of our national capital and in one of the most prestigious institution. I am aware of the Left ideology that thrives in the campus, however it is not even in the purview of left ideologists to openly attack the unity of Indian federation.
Have these students at JNU lost all sense of morality ?
How can someone be so ungrateful to a nation as generous as ours ?
How can Afzal Guru be a martyr ?
My condition was something like this:
THEN SOME THINKING
I listened to some news debates on this issue, tried to listen to the students who were at the protest. The thought process of such students were utterly different. They are the same students as us, Indian, enjoy the same constitution as we do.
Then what made them so different that I feel for my country, but they don't ?
Then what made them so different that I consider Lance Naik Hanumanthappa as my martyr but they consider Afzal Guru as theirs ?
Well, everybody has the right to have their opinion in our democracy and everybody has the right to criticise the government. Without a healthy opposition and criticism, a country can never grow and prosper.
However the slogan raising at JNU campus and the idea this particular faction of students were carrying were without doubt against the unity and integrity of the nation. No one ranging from the pro-liberals to right wing fascists, from Arnab Goswami to Ravish Kumar, from Arvind Kejriwal to Rajnath Singh can contest this very fact that the slogans that were raised were against the soul and united fabric of our nation.
The students defended it saying that they were protesting against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru. However, amongst all the media footages available and all the slogans that were chanted at the protest, none of the slogans had anything to do with the judicial proceedings or Afzal. All that could be heard was "azaadi", "pakistan" and breaking the nation in various parts. It appeared as a clear mobilisation of a group who were seen inciting and infusing the idea of division and destruction of our state.
These call for divisive and separatist sentiments should be nipped at the bud and that too without any shred of thought as it is dangerous for the nation we are trying to build together. Also such sentiments can not be shrouded under the Article 19 of the constitution that guarantees us our Freedom of Speech.
If you are unhappy with the current state and various policies of the nation, you raise your voice in a constitutional manner by involving yourself in the system. Breeding any sort of separatist sentiments will break the country apart and it can not be tolerated at any cost. India has evolved from dust to one of the fastest growing nation and is adaptive to all sorts of opinions, criticisms and changes. History is the evidence, within the constitutional and union framework, we have achieved things which other countries can not even imagine for in such a short span of time.
THE STATE TOOK ACTION AND ARRESTED THE PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENTS' UNION OF JNU. HAPPY ?
No not at all. The way our government responded to this is one of the most immature way a state could respond. Actually, Delhi Police to be precise.
Home Minister publicly stated that Hafiz Saeed is involved without thinking of the impact of his statement and without any evidence to back it up.
Media trial happened. Students were labelled as terrorists by media and under the shroud of Nationalism, this entire episode was blown out of proportion.
Instead of engaging with the students at the university level, a call out for police action at the very initial stage was unwarranted. Kanhaiya Kumar's arrest under the IPC 124A(Sedition) is a gross misuse of law.
An arrest under this law should be made only after a lot of critical thinking as this law can kill the free spirit of our democracy. Supreme Court (5 judge bench) in its earlier judgement on Kedarnath vs State of Bihar case had clearly declared that any seditious speech or action under IPC 124A is punishable only if it is inciting violence or mobilising violent forces against the state.
The charges of sedition on Kanhaiya Kumar is not justified and no evidences have been found yet against him. The Delhi Police has acted too immaturely and jumped the gun too early by relying on fake tweets and media reporting.
Those certain group of students who were seen shouting anti national slogans are still absconding while someone else has been falsely charged for them.
Any random arrest under the pretext of sedition, has the potential to eliminate the environment of debate and criticism in the country. It should only be used as a matter of last resort.
BUT AS A STATE, THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO TAKE SOME ACTION ?
There must be a reason on as to why such students(who are very much like us) are protesting.The people who are shouting such slogans are also Indians and they enjoy the same constitution as we do. There is a possibility that they aren't happy with the Indian state policy regarding Kashmir. There is a possibility that these people might be the victims of the draconian laws like AFSPA. If despite being a true Indian, they tend to associate more with terrorists like Afzal and Maqbool than our soldiers who have died, then there surely must be strong reasons with them. The government must look into their demands and atrocities faced by Kashmiris and work on improving the situation so that they tend to mix with the rest of the society. We need to make things right that our previous leaders(mainly Nehru on Kashmir issue) happened to do it wrongly. Arresting someone can never be the long term solution.
The action of police force and government has humiliated the entire institution. What about the students of JNU who are not even remotely associated with any political party ? They amount to 80% of the total strength.
They have not yet able to find the individuals who were actually responsible for shouting such anti national slogans as seen in the videos. It is even widely believed that the persons who have shouted such slogans are not even part of the institution and were outsiders.
They have not take action against the lawyers and the so called pro India forces who are spreading hooliganism in the name of nationalism.
SO THE ULTIMATE VERDICT ?
The government should have taken action at university level instead of politicising the whole issue. The media played a major role in inciting the national sentiment and may be the government had to jump the gun to showcase its strength against any sort of anti-nationalism.
However the damage is done and it's time for the damage control. All the hyper nationalist goons who are spreading hooliganism in the name of nationalism must not be spared. The tamasha at the Patiala courtroom and elsewhere is just justifying the fact that the government is helping in orchestrating these event for its political gains.
Kanhaiya Kumar should be released on bail and the government should take mature steps hereon. No government can rule and prosper by suppressing its citizens and inciting fear amongst them. Our past speaks for itself and those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
I may not agree with what you demand, but I will always defend your right to demand.
a 'someone random' from Delhi University