Police raids in India’s prestigious institute Jawahar Lal Nehru University is nothing but terrorizing and a trap to enslave those intellectuals who always stand with the humanity. Some people even claim that the internal modus operandi of the varsity seems to be completely subverted and autonomy of this institution stands totally smashed. This is the ivory tower which has guaranteed India’s pride in all over the world and due to its stunning achievements in the past, social science essentials touched the heights with a stunning esteem. It always stood as an epitome of academics and democratic cultures all over the globe. Not only this, JNU served India by producing a lot of renowned politicians, intellectuals, journalists and social servants, then why to blame it? Why the varsity has been branded as an anti national center? Why the institution passes through an appalling phase which it has never seen before? It is being terrorized and its activities are being subjugated. Its work and conductance fell to prey of barefooted politics which is not less than an embarrassment for the whole nation. Its academic and other curricular activities are being besieged in the name of national integration and national interest which is again a reprehensible act. It is well known fact that the voice of intellectuals can’t be suppressed any more even with the tools of tyranny and terror, here Narendra Modi led BJP govt. overlooks the universal truth that suppressing an intellectual’s voice is like enveloping the lava ready to burst, which smash up the surroundings after it bursts out. Students of a university are not below average humans who lack the knowledge of civic senses but are the real scholars and intellectuals who even shape the internal and foreign policies of a nation. If any state fashioned indecency wraps them they could turn cold hearted and even behave seditious in near future. Amid the fiasco of national integration, applicability of fascist approach is inhumane and undemocratic. University is a place where ideas and thoughts are being produced, it is a place of debate and dissent, the ideas generated should be competed with the counter ones and not with the force and violence because force and violence can not kill or suppress the ideas. So it is too much callous to target its scholars with serious charges like sedition as it may alienate them from the right track.
On 9th February 2013, India hanged the alleged parliament attack convict Muhammad Afzal Guru after a long spell of imprisonment but contrary to the constitutional rights his dead body was buried in the jail campus and still remained imprisoned. And now if someone demands his dead body and other belongings, how can he be convicted under the sedition charges? In past, right from the 1947 to 1950, it was India, who approached United Nations with the newly created Kashmir Conflict and succeeded in getting the Kashmir declared as a conflict. Afterwards late Jawahar Lala Nehru lived in high spirits because the UNO passed several resolutions in order to get the Kashmir conflict resolved. So, anyone who calls Kashmir issue an unresolved one must not be punished or suppressed with unforgiving charges and if the contractors of nationalism move with this then they should charge Jawahar Lala Nehru posthumously with the same. Keeping the Nehruian legacy and nature of Kashmir issue in mind, the Kashmir based prisoners are then political prisoner and sending them to the gallows is totally against international laws. Now, when the second Kashmir based prisoner (after Maqbool Bhat) Afzal Guru was hanged and both the dead bodies were not handed over to their legal heirs, is making debate after debate among the intellectuals of India. If Guru’s execution has served the collective conscience of India, is the incarceration of Afzal Guru’a dead body still serving its collective conscience? Denying ones democratic rights always prove very harmful for the state and even become the menace for generations. Each and every society produces humans and nourishes them to become intellectuals; they can’t act like the mute spectators and will not remain silent over the sadistic approaches. They maintain vigilance and keep saying against any despotism and feel pride in raising the concerns if struggling even alone. Same is the case with JNUSU, whose leader Kanayha Kumar voiced against right wing groups. He fall down and became the prey of politics. Questions are being raised in every nook and corner of India, if Afzal Guru’s execution served the collective conscience of India, is Kumar’s arrest also according to the collective conscience of India? How will it serve, when the larger section of the society stands by him? Indian constitution guarantees its citizens with a fundamental right, ‘freedom to speech’ then isn’t Kanayha Kumar’s detention an un-constitutional one. He has been detained after an unfortunate episode took place in the premises of JNU and without knowing the facts he has been charged with severe acts like “sedition’. Authorities blame him that he raised anti national slogans but his colleagues deny these charges and demand a thorough probe of those videos in which anti India slogans were raised. Eyewitnesses on some television channels said that the cadres of ABVP joined the gathering of JNUSU and raised the anti India slogans. They even said that Kumar’s victory in University Elections over the right wing groups is the main cause behind his detention. Why the battle of ideas under BJP government is becoming an unsympathetic felony, why this fascist approach is being utilized against the disciples of contrasting ideology?
Undoubtedly there occurred changes and the transitional move in Indian society and political spectrum is leaving a big vacuum for intolerance. It must pull the plug on prevailing intolerances in India as it is the mother of diversity. Being the tallest democracy, India should give a free space to those who always talk about the humanity. Intellectuals and the philosophers of the soil should not get any kind of threats because they have to serve the humanity in coming days and any under weather treatment applied to them will definitely cast the bad shadows and it will be disastrous as well as very much difficult to abstain from it. Modi led government has to answer why it detained Kanahiya Kumar and others under sedition charges, if raising questions over Afzal Guru’s execution and demanding his dead body is anti national then how come BJP allied with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir as PDP also demanded dead body of Afzal Guru back to his family in last years. Then there is no constitutional obligation for BJP to ally with self rule seeking political parties of Jammu and Kashmir. Isn’t it BJP who said on hanging day that it is travesty of justice? Why not book Praveen Swami who said, “The supreme court’s word is not and ought not to be the final word.” Here a person negates the verdict of highest seat of justice and there a boy holds a small gathering and faces sedition charges. Alas! The dual attitude of Indian polity of nourishing right wing Hindutva forces and penalizing the intelligentsia might prove fatal for it; of facing if not break down at least disintegration, for intellectuals enslaved, produce any thing they want even behind bars.
Author is Kashmir based political analyst.