In pictures: protest at Jantar Mantar in support of JNU students

“Never does land/ Mean clay and sand
The people, the people! They are the Land”

Photos: Joe Athilay

The arrest of the JNUSU President, suspension of 8 students and detention of 7 students is the latest in the series of witch-hunt against students in universities across the country. The ongoing crackdown and militarization in JNU bears testimony loss of autonomy of institutions of learning which owes its reason to the ideology and acts of the present ruling dispensation. The JNU community is resisting this daylight onslaught of their democratic rights and the attempt to silence them through extreme measures by the administration backed by the MHRD.

The media’s role especially during the prime time to spin the whole event into a one of anti nationalists is a completely fabricated one, which is not at all based on facts. It is deplorable that media that should be ideally objective and responsible in their reportage played the fiddle of the establishment by manufacturing their analysis.

The events in JNU forcefully remind everyone of the trail that lead to the death of a bright, young Dalit Research Scholar Rohith Vemula in the Hyderabad Central University who was suspended and thrown out of Hostel for organizing an event against the hanging of Yakub Memon. Under these conditions, we request everyone to consider the below mentioned points.

1. Even if we agree that few students have raised so-called incendiary slogans, we need to follow the rule of the law which had made it clear ample of times the difference between ‘advocacy” and “incitement”.
2. The case, which was filed against JNUSU president and seven other students, is a vestige of colonial archaic repressive measures, which was introduced after the “First War of Independence”.
3. The ruling classes have no right to define and impose their version of nationalism and harass those who don’t subscribe to their version of Nationalism and engage in intellectual debates about the same.
4. Educational institutions are meant to be political spaces where diverse, conflicting opinions are discussed, debated and analyzed to expand the ambit of Rights and discourse around Rights.
5. It is an attempt by the present ruling dispensation to divert the attention of the people from the widespread protest and agitation against the recent gruesome murder of Rohith Vemula and the embedded castesim in our society. It is an extreme terrorizing measure taken by the present ruling dispensation to deter students from learnings of Babasahesb Ambedkar to Educate, Agitate and Organize.

We unequivocally condemn the attack on the autonomy of the institute, the arrest of Kanhaiya and seven other students, suspension of 8 students and charging them with archaic cases.We demand that the police force be removed from the campus immediately, drop the charge filed against students, revoke the suspension of students and protect the autonomy of the institute.