The Way Umar Khalid Is Being Singled Out Proves Him Right

Hisham Ul Wahab P

The ongoing events that caught our eyes have been made up of a color of silent emergency in India. The intrinsic cooperation of the power and media in our country has strengthened by recent issues over nationalism discourses. Such bonds mainly relied upon profit-based corporate agendas and mutual collaboration, which hugely culminated in to the creation of a vociferous exclusive collective conscience on the basis of production of mythical narrations. This propaganda makes a large chunk of population victims of the system and alienates them from social and political mainstreams, which includes Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Moreover this particular conscience targets the one who speaks on behalf of them – the voices of silenced – and attempts to get rid of them with heinous propaganda machineries, which apparently manifest in the recent governmental moves on student activists in JNU, arrest of former Delhi University Professor S.A.R Geelani, and the Acid attack on tribal activist Soni Sori.

The clamorous bond of the power and media has been made clear now, while they have engaged in the making of myths about the cultural program at JNU. As per student activism in the campus, these kinds of program have been organizing for a long. The question rises here is that what is special in this year?. Why much media attention has been given to this year’s program? How some slogans can made a country at standstill?…while we analyze these issues carefully in a big picture, we can realize some new kinds of moves and struggles are happening in the country, which are capable to nail the ruling party on harsh realities. The anti-student attitude of current NDA government strongly resisted by these student activists through Occupy UGC movement, and they have made the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula as a big blow on the survival of power. The people in power were eagerly waiting for a chance to cover up their inability in making an “Incredible India”, total failure of “Achche Din” prospects and increasing economic crisis of “development”.

In this critical juncture, the state initiated these discourses on “nationalism” and “who is more nationalist than others” with tremendous enthusiasm to divert attention of the mass from crucial hazards. They could attain this propaganda of “kill two birds with one bullet” in an unanticipated vigor with collaboration of mainstream media, which trembled a whole parliament session. The have made this issue to the extend of a permeative global threat, with some slogans. The media worked hard to get evidences of Anti-national elements even more active than investigation agencies. They were in forefront to prove some allegations trough media trials, which largely culminated in the making of terror in the minds of masses. The barking sounds of channel discussions, fabricated video tapes, aired media myths, “Trends” setters in social media..etc bestowed huge efforts to make collective conscience against this state-proclaimed menace in india.

The whole investigation agencies made their way in the direction of media-produced scripts to collect apt evidences. Its immediate proof can be seen in the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, within two days on the grounds of sedition charges. The real scrutiny more focused on Umar Khalid, an ex-DSU activist, whose name itself denotes some unusual elements of “The Other”. The “exact proofs” raised by union minister Rajnath Singh himself on Pak-links of Umar, based on a fake twitter account of Hafiz Saeed. Then media made a wider picture with more hints of Umar’s journeys to Pakistan without even a passpor and his hold in various universities. Then after came the statements of Yogi Adityanath MP, alleging the students of JNU celebrate Mahishasura Puja and interested to eat beef in campus. He also urged an immediate shut down of JNU. These accusations can be seen in the special report of Delhi Police. Most recently the statistical data delivered by Gyandev Ahuja, MLA from Rajastan clearly shows the sexual-anarchic situations in the campus, anti-national beef bones and the challenges raised by JNU on Indian culture.

These over-emphasized media-trial and terror mostly contributed to a selective version of nationalism discourses and marginalized a vast majority of issues from its domain. They have promoted simple matters to an exaggerated form and attempted to deviate real people’s affairs, which are very critical to the interests of people in power. Their brutal victory of this vicious propaganda can be analyzed somehow in the minimal media coverage of Chalo Delhi march, pleading for enactment of Rohith Act to stop institutional discrimination against Dalits. It is also can be seen as a blatant fear in the minds of students to come forth for critical assessment of realities out of myths. As Umar Khalid rightly observed in his speech at Admin block of JNU “If anyone speaks up against something in this country, then, If someone is an Adivasi, they call him a Maoist, if someone is a Muslim, they call him a terrorist. There has been a whole process like this (in the media) with the backing of the entire state apparatus, behind this kind of media trial.” This strident collaboration of the power and media must be challenged by the popular public conscience which mostly relied upon the open minded intelligentsia and insightful populace in our country.

Hisham Ul Wahab P.

Hisham Ul Wahab PA student in the Centre for West Asian Studies in JNU’s School of International Studies, Hisham Ul Wahab P can be contacted at [email protected]