RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha, on NDTV, said that Shehla Rashid should be thrown out of her University. Why? Because, he suggested, that anyone espousing the cause of freedom for the people of Bastar or self determination for the people of Kashmir should not remain a University student. What Rakesh Sinha is saying is plain unconstitutional. But the question goes deeper.
How come BJP or RSS men being arrested for ISI links does not make BJP or RSS anti-national?
How come Mr Sinha is okay with ABVP leader Saurabh Sharma saying JNU is ‘anti-national’ because it is a hurdle to Hindu Rashtra, but objects to Shehla or Umar supporting constitutionally guaranteed liberties? Isn’t that the real rub here – that those JNU and DU students and teachers who are a hurdle to Hindu Rashtra must be punished, punched, kicked, brutalised?
Mr Sinha expressed great umbrage at the slogan ‘Bastar wants freedom (azaadi)’. Well, Mr Sinha, isnt it true that in Bastar, the police sponsors vigilante groups that attack Bela Bhatia or Soni Sori? Isn’t the Modi Govt turning DU into Bastar, where ABVP is the vigilante group being allowed to attack democratic voices? Will Mr Sinha tell us why it is nationalist for Police and paramilitary in Bastar to rape and kill adivasi women – but anti-national for students to speak about this in Delhi? The Chhattisgarh Police claims Bela Bhatia is anti national, but we know otherwise. Similarly, the Delhi Police claims Umar Khalid is anti-national, but they simply don’t have a right to declare this.
If Delhi Police has evidence of Umar Khalid’s seditious acts, why – in the whole year that has passed since Feb 9 2016 – has it failed to file a chargesheet against Umar, Anirban, Kanhaiya or anyone else?
An RSS ideologue and so-called ‘intellectual’ is actually saying – on TV – that Universities should ‘throw out’ a research scholar and student activist because the Government and ruling party don’t like her views! He does not want ABVP members who thrashed Najeeb, tried to strangle a professor, threw bricks and bottles at teachers and students and journalists, thrown out of Universities however.
The Minister for State for Home Kiren Rijiju says “No anti-India slogans will be allowed in the name of freedom of speech. Freedom of expression in the country does not give anyone the right to make college campuses hub of anti-national activity.” Mr Rijiju needs to tell us if freedom of expression gives ABVP the right to strangle and punch professors, and leave students bloodied, bruised and battered by rocks, bricks and bottles. According to India’s Home Ministry the Government’s pet stormtroopers get to decide whether colleges can hold Seminars and what slogans are acceptable to ‘freedom of expression’ – but open, naked violence by ABVP is totally within the bounds of ‘free expression’ as defined by the Ministry.
Join the dots – we must. Last year, Jatin Narwal was the DCP in charge of Patiala Court, he is facing a case in Supreme Court now for having allowed the Sanghi goons to beat up activists, journalists and lawyers inside Court premises – basically to allow and approve of custodial violence. Now the same Jatin Narwal is DCP North in charge of DU North Campus – and the same pattern is played out where the ABVP mob is allowed a free hand to riot but the police indulge in custodial violence against women students, students of all genders and journalists. Suspending 3 constables is simply eyewash. Sack Jatin Narwal for starters – and set up an independent court-monitored probe into the Home Ministry’s communications with Delhi Police during the #Ramjas #ABVP riot. That’s the demand we should be rallying around.