Jawaharlal Nehru University has been in recent times in the news for many wrong reasons. We are witnessing a violent clash of ideologies, a division over the Idea of India, and a battle of one-upmanship over reviving patriotism with deep political and social murmur. What began as a clash of ideology between two students groups has now morphed into a seminal debate on freedom offered in India.JNU has been dominated since Pt.Nehru time by leftists and they believe that they have a right to freedom to raise issue of Afzal Guru but freedom is with certain riders and proclamation in favour of Afzal Guru is in itself ”anti-national”. No doubt India is the largest democracy and we respect freedom of expression but there must be a “laxman rekha”.
We are completely forgetting and making a hero out of Kanhaiya. Shockingly these were the slogans heard not inside an ISIS camp but inside the premises of JNU — ‘Afzal Hum Sharminda Hai Tere Kaatil Zinda Hai’ (Afzal we are ashamed, your killers are still alive) — “Bharat desh ho barbaad, ho barbaad; Afzal Guru amar rahe, amar rahe; (May India be damned; long live Afzal Guru)— Kashmir ki azadi ki jung jaari rahegi. Bharat ki barbaadi tak jung jaari rahegi (Our battle will continue until Kashmir is freed, until India is destroyed)— Tum kitne Afzal maaroge? Har ghar se hum Afzal nikaalenge (How many Afzals will you kill? We will produce one Afzal in every house)— Bharat ke tukade honge dus, Insha Allah! Insha Allah! (India will be broken into 10 pieces, God willing)— Kashmir ko hum lad ke lenge. Bharat ko jihad se hum khatm karke rahenge (We will snatch Kashmir by fighting for it; we will finish India by waging a jihad on it)— India Go back. India Go back— Afzal tera karwaan hai adhura. Mil kar hum karenge poora (Afzal, you left with your journey incomplete; we will fulfil your dream). What can be more depressing and shocking when your judiciary is termed as Killer and few are still making a hero out of him.
JNU has been predominantly left bastion and such anti national events and activities being held and organized in JNU is normal state of affair since Pt.Nehru regime. But was never exposed or even highlighted because the right wing ideology student group had insignificant say in the campus. Now, a right wing nationalist organization Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad(ABVP) has become rugged in the campus and now someone is there to question and oppose the predominant ideology and therefore the usual state of affair is now being questioned and exposed which is hard to digest for some. Rights come with restrictions and responsibilities so does right to freedom of expression as constituted under the constitution. Article 19 (1)(a) of our Constitution guarantees right to free speech but contains restriction on grounds like public order and security.
JNU’s history points out the violations and misuse of constitutional rights and growing axis of islamic and naxal groups. In 2010, left groups celebrated the Dantewada attack where more than five dozens soldiers were martyred. In 2012, in order to attract minorities and dalit’s to split the country by trying to organize “beef festival”. Left has a long history of divisive politics and what was more sad was the “Mahishasur Shahdat Diwas” organized during Durga puja in the campus where Maa Durga was called a prostitute.A new axis of Islamic forces and naxal groups is emerging and left are trying to attract dalits and other marginalized groups of Hindu society to split the country on caste lines which is perilous.
While lessons of emancipation, prerogative of speech and tolerance are preached to certain sections, some other sections are considered as divine than thou. One has to follow the leftist ideology to grow inside the system and there are sturdy chances that if one questions the leftist ideology, he/she may not get into masters. It is modish in JNU to call Indian army as “rapists”. Irony is, JNU has the most number of sexual abuse cases. Now with a battle over sedition and right to dissent a new debate on nationalism divides India.
Intolerance became the word of the year in 2015. No one heard about the term “tolerance” or “Intolerance” before 2015 because it was marketed because of the thrashing loss in the general elections of the opposition. Power hollow opposition are finding hard to digest how a common man can become the Prime Minister of the country with a decisive mandate. We have a presidential candidate in USA given a call to “Ban all Muslims from emigrating to the United States”, this is frightening and this is real intolerance. In his recent address to the parliament Prime Minister Modi quoted “ Parties aate rahengi , parties jaate rahengi, lekin desh rehna chahiye”. If the country itself will not exist so how will some who have opened stores of politics will function. India is ‘Vasudev Kutumbkam’. It’s a home and home is not a building. It’s a feeling and we run by understanding and integration. That’s the Idea of India.
*Writer is the Media President of Delhi University Students Union