At the outset, we are optimistic in the growing support in favor of the struggles for justice and democracy throughout the country. In the recent days, it started from Hyderabad University through the sacrifice of Rohit Vemula. The allegation of anti-nationalism on the students in JNU reflects that the storm triggered by Rohith has reached Delhi. It was just before few months, Rohit along with other four suspended research scholars and Ambedkar Students Association were branded as anti-nationals by cabinet minister Bandaru Dattatreya. University of Hyderabad was referred as a den of anti-national elements. So, it is not a surprise or accidental coincidence that the students in JNU who conducted programs against judicial killings are branded as anti-national.
We appreciate the stance taken by the students of JNU and other activists, organizations and concerned people on the issue of arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. We hope that this collective resistance against the hindutva vendetta will act as a first step in bringing a conscience rooted in democracy and justice. At the same time, such a collective which pathetically fails to resist the demonizing and terrorizing a section of Kashmiri students and the organizers of the program will not yield any result in deciphering the fruits of justice and democracy to all. We are saddened to see the posters and pamphlets of the major student organizations in JNU, who disowned and distanced from the event titled ‘The Country without Post Office’ (sadly, those organizations were not even ready to name the program and instead called it ‘February 9th event’) as soon as the sangh parivar brigade started making issue out of it.
We are saddened to see the posters and pamphlets of the major student organizations in JNU, who disowned and distanced from the event titled ‘The Country without Post Office’ (sadly, those organizations were not even ready to name the program and instead called it ‘February 9th event’)
How can a group claiming democracy and justice distance itself away from the struggles of the Kashmiri people for their democratic rights to self-determination, which was granted by Indian nation state? What is the message given by these so called progressive (and mostly leftist) organizations by distancing from the democratic protest against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru? Without taking up these bitter questions into the forefront, any struggle for social justice and democracy will end up in blowing the air bubble. Any effort towards social justice should stem from questioning the very essence of Indian nationalism, which is brahmanical in its core. In the overwhelming jingoism of brahmanical nationalism, we declare our solidarity with the spirit and demands of the program titled ‘The Country without Post Office’, which was branded anti-national.
We have seen desperate attempts by some groups and individuals to prove the degree of their nationalism when they were accused of anti-nationalism. It went to such a dirty amount where they are competing with sangh parivar brigade on who owns higher degree of nationalism, by disowning the right to dissent. It is a cruel paradox to see that the stakeholder of freedom of expression are actually condemning the critical engagement with the idea of India rooted in the brahmanical structure. If there is no right to dissent and protest against the injustice perpetuated in the name of nationalism, what is the democracy and freedom we are talking about?
Islamophobia and brahmanical nationalism are the social reasons for the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, SAR Geelani and media trials on Umar Khalid. JNU is also not outside this brahmanical social order. Without touching the root of the present issue, any slogans and hashtags like “Save JNU” will end up only in re-instating the very brahmanical social structure. “Save JNU” campaign has to be taken further to “Re-build JNU”, like any other institutions, in the clay of democracy and social justice. Reverberations from the echoes of social justice raised by the struggles for Justice for Rohit Vemula can inspire the rebuild JNU movement. Judicial discriminations against people from the margins of the nation can teach us about the brahmanic public conscience, that gets satisfied only through the blood of Muslims and other backward communities.
As long as the rode to measure nationalism is in their hands, the pertinent question is how much anti national you are.!!!
(The above is the collective opinion held by SIO UoH. It has been conveyed to The Companion by UoH campus journo)