It is unprecedented. The organised brutality unleashed by the Delhi police on young girls and boys, the future of hope and the hope and the hope of future, perhaps some of the most sensitive, brilliant and hardworking students in a campus in terms of intellectual and academic rigour, has shocked the nation. Consider the irrefutable fact that the Delhi Police operates under the direct patronage of the Union home ministry, in this case led by Amit Shah, the PM’s best buddy, who, himself, does not really have an impeccable reputation, having gone through the ordeal and punishment of both prison and externment (taripaar) ordered by various courts, and has been accused of alleged ‘fake encounters’ etc., in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state.
Will the police behave in the same manner with students of ABVP? Indeed, will the police ever dare to do what they did with the JNU students, if it had been aggressive men wearing black coats –the lawyers of Delhi?
Consider the fact that muscle-flexing and brutish machismo is the ritualistic post-normal scenario for the current regime ruling in Delhi, as has been witnessed in the ruthless and nasty suppression of human rights in Kashmir for more than three months now and continuing ad infinitum, the atrocities on girls and boys of JNU, including on a blind revolutionary singer who is an elected member of the JNU Students’ Union, seems to be in perfect synthesis with the perverse phenomena of a dictatorial dispensation operating in the camouflage of a largest democracy. In the ongoing and revengeful siege of JNU by the repressive state apparatus, and the RSS-led Sangh Parivar, since the inglorious days of 2016, the mindless crackdown on a peaceful march to Parliament by students, the forcible detention of students, the manhandling of women students, and the assault on students in the dark after the lights were switched off, allegedly intentionally, is truly unprecedented and unacceptable by any prevailing or historical norm in a country which claims to be a democracy. In a context when the tyranny of mediocrity has been best exemplified by a totally mediocre and compromised vice-chancellor in JNU, who does not seem to have an iota of understanding or seems capable of appreciating the great intellectual and academic inheritance of JNU, who is clearly an RSS stooge hell-bent on ravaging and damaging this great, progressive and brilliant institution, the police assault on peaceful students as a public spectacle must be condemned by the entire political class and civil society. If JNU has stood with all university and civil society struggles, from HCU, FTII, Jadavpur University, to the Narmada Bachao Andolan, the farmers’s long marches and the Right to Information, then all concerned must join hands with its students in steadfast solidarity. Often, JNU students are left alone to fight their relentless and infinite battles, with political parties and society watching from a distance. This will not do. India should learn a lesson from the massive and sustained protests and resistance struggles in Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon and Iraq, where the entire spectrum of society, from shopkeepers to mothers and workers have joined hands with the young rebels.
In the revengeful siege of JNU, since the inglorious days of 2016, the crackdown on a peaceful march to Parliament by students, the manhandling of women students, and the assault in the dark after the lights are switched off, is truly unprecedented and unacceptable.
This kind of perverse brutality unleashed on our young minds reflects of a degeneration in the ruling political party, many of whom would be actually of the grandfathers’ age of these students. Will they behave with their own grandchildren in their own backyard if they peacefully protest or seek answers regarding the right to universal education? Will the police behave in the same manner with students of ABVP, the youth wing of the BJP, some of whom too faced police violence? Indeed, will the police ever dare to do what they did with the JNU students, if it had been aggressive and violent men wearing black coats –the lawyers of Delhi? JNU students are demanding the scrapping of exorbitant hostel fees and advance security. For a central university which prides on representation of marginalized classes and castes from the poorest and most backward communities, with no earning or purchasing power, this sudden and undemocratic hostel hike, without any debate, discussion or consensus, so predictable and inevitable when it comes to the current VC, will obviously lead to sustained protests.
For a central university which prides on representation of marginalized classes and castes from the poorest communities, this undemocratic hostel hike, without any discussion or consensus, so predictable when it comes to the current VC, will obviously lead to sustained protests.
A government which prides itself on promising the mythical figure of a five trillion economy, it will be worthwhile to not only count the correct zeroes in the trillion, but also to prove that it really cares for a future political economy which will have the brightest and best talent serving the country, including the countless voiceless youngsters in the margin of a so-called globalization, so heavily loaded in favour of the rich, the powerful and the privileged, and their extended families born with a lollypop in their mouths. That is why, the struggle in JNU is a test case for all universities in the country which will face the sword of privatisation in the near future whereby only the inheritors of the rich will have a chance to get quality education. Obviously, this sinister and diabolical move has to be defied and defeated. There is no other option. That is why, ‘I Stand with JNU’ is trending. Indeed, as the slogan in Chile reverberates, it comes back again and again: The People United Shall Always Be Victorious.