#JNUCrackdown: it’s about criminalising dissent

SUDDHABRATA DEB ROY

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Suddhabrata Deb Roy, is a student activist and a writer. He is a regular blogger on different platforms and a leftist, who voices his protest against the unjust social systems and customs.

I have been following the comments on the various evidences and videos and blogs which have been shown the light on the recent JNU string of events. Already a lot has been written by many on many things regarding the incident but 1 important thing has been left untouched, in my opinion. The moment the comments are posted, at first they are in line with the tag of “anti-national” and subsequently after a few comments, the comments evidently take the shape of portraying the students and the general mass of JNU and the leftists at large, as “anti-Hindu”. Now, I would like to mention that, to me, it seems a much planned effort to defame the forces, those which have been fighting for the rights of the people on the various campuses of the country as well as, on the various fronts of the people’s democratic movements. After the incident, the news channels, of course, have been portraying a very detailed analysis of the event but there too, the obvious bias towards the Sangh Parivar has come up front. The rage of painting themselves as ‘nationalists’, has become so large that they are even going to the extent of not allowing a proper dialogue.

Of course, antinational activities should not be tolerated, at any cost, but I question the Sangh, when Mufti Saeed, went on record saying that “Afzal is our hero”, where was there sense of nationalism, where was their nationalism when they alliance with the very man, in forming the alliance government in J&K. You cannot just allow the state to run into an educational institution with all their guns blazing, with one singular agenda of arresting the left leaning and Ambedkarite student activists. If some person has voiced his opinion against the “Criminalisation of Sedition”, he must be heard in the democracy, he must be taken to a debate and he must be defeated then and here, instead of just putting him in jail. The JNUSU Vice president, Vohra of the AISA, has clearly mentioned that the , and as we all leftists know, concept of ‘Azaadi’ in slogans and pamphlets chiefly and very distinctly mean the freedom of expression, the freedom from economic exploitation and the freedom from religious extremism.

That the JNU students have voiced their support for this ‘Azaadi’ is completely justified in the present day circumstances. But, as I have also come to see from the various videos, the authenticity of which, are yet to be put on record, some people have also raised slogans for the ‘Azaadi of Kerala, and Kashmir and all’, now this is where the tag of anti-nationalism truly comes up. I personally, would request the authorities to identify the people, who have voiced such slogans, and only such slogans like “Bharat ki barbaadi” should be booked and punished under the court of law, but voices against the ‘criminalisation of sedition’, I repeat, must be heard. It is, now the duty of the police and the authorities to act accordingly.

Coming to the part of ‘Idealisation of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt”, we must identify two very distinct voices here. One issue is the voice extending support to the cause of stopping the death penalty and the other voice, to the cause of Kashmiri secessionists. If we admixture the two, we would then achieve nothing but anarchy.

The fight against death penalty has been going n for years now, and it will go on, until and u less India is wiped off of humanitarian people, but in that case too, it is very important to separate the sloganeering in groups of two, one which says the hanging was not justified and the ones which say Afzal Guru was a hero. The other, which is the main agenda of the secessionist forces mainly, at work, is that “Tum Kitne Afzal maroge, Ghar Ghar se Afzal Aayenge”(if I get it correct) also has two distinct flavours in it, which surprisingly nobody has pointed out, one, it might have meant in context of the death penalty , that the government cannot kill ‘terrorism’ by capital punishment , two, it also might have meant,” Afzal is our hero”, which the news channels are flashing day and night. We need to take both these points in mind and then settle into solving this matter, which comprises of the country’s best minds.

But, in no way, is the emergency type situation that is being rushed in by the ruling class inside the JNU campus is justified. The students struggle against such blatant force of law must be strictly condemned and we must see to it that no single innocent student gets booked or harassed under this situation inside the JNU campus. While the hero-worship of a terrorist like Afzal Guru cannot be tolerated, the blatant use of force against the students can also not be tolerated. Under no circumstances can the right wing ideology of the Sangh be allowed a free run in the country, forget the JNU campus.