The Institutional murder of Mudassir Kamran, a Kashmiri Muslim, at English and Foreign Languages University in 2013, lit up the issues of minority community in central universities. The movement that arose after Mudassir’s demise instigated how his Kashmiri Muslim identity was haunted by the administration, stating the context where Kashmiri students were facing immense discrimination in all established universities across the nation. There were also different narratives of his sexual identity being spread after Mudassir’s death. The administration was held accountable for dragging a student into conditions that forced him to take his own life.
The Students’ Union of EFLU, last week, conducted a commemoration event of Mudasssir. Since the intersectionality of Mudassir is an unavoidable factor, the program was constructed in such a manner not to state his sexual identity, which remains still ambiguous. As a person who initiated the program, from the council, I understood it as an event to focus on the anti-student attitude of the administration in the primary level. Hence it was prevented when a student was about to write a slogan that could ascribe Mudassir directly with Queer identity near to his portrait. Being part of a legitimate Student Body, it would be unfair to favor a single narrative and allowing to state that particular narrative alone without having any conclusion.
The reasons behind an individual’s death can be contesting. But it is necessary to analyze the campus atmosphere, where even an Eid gathering was denied permission, where police force was appointed because of the presence of Kashmiri Muslims, where Muslim students are specifically targeted for being politically active, including the recent rustication of a Muslim student. At the same time, it is also important to understand how in Mudassir’s case, the administration tried to use the narrative of homosexuality in order to create a division among the protesting students. So, the discussion never prevented students from raising both arguments and narratives. The only concern was in attributing a conclusive idea about a person’s sexual identity when he is no more. The event towards the end raised the question of Institutionalized homophobia and Islamophobia.
There can be two contesting ideas about the same issue. The movement of Queer community has to be strengthened in all manners. Similarly the national context of Muslim community undergoing ethnic cleansing is a serious matter to be concerned as well. Existence of both the communities is equally important. The Anti-CAA/NRC movements in the nation saw the Muslim uprising, at the same time, the Queer movements also stood for their fight in the same issue. Therefore, it cannot be stated that two minority movements are unable to co-exist. But it is the agenda of the Upper Caste left liberals to make one antagonist against the other. There is a partial and sectarian use of Queer movements by these parties in order to portray minority communities as intolerant and non-egalitarian. Especially in the case of Queer and Muslim movements, they always tend to attach a narrative of ‘homophobia’ with the Muslim identity, to distance them from the former. This idea has to be strongly rejected for the peaceful co- existence of minority movements, especially in a national condition where the otherization is at its peak.
Being a Muslim, the question that I constantly faced in campus is my stand on homosexuals. Even after contesting the Union elections, and being part of the council, the question never ended. As a student representative from a minority community, my stand was always clear for the struggles of all minority sections, be it gender, sexual, religious or racial minority. But the constant attempt to seal the Muslim identity and ideology as problematic to that of Queer community is being continuously implemented by the Left parties. In the political context of my campus, this attempt can be analyzed as part of the narcissistic attitude of left towards minority community. They even have a history of negating the boycott of classes for Mudassir’s justice, by calling a “We Want Classes” protest in the weeks following his demise. So, the allegation of homophobia made by this group on religious minorities is a fabricated reason to counter the state of being led by a council that has a Muslim minority woman in it. The continuous mass targeting from this group can again be seen as their disturbance of having an equal voice to counter, from the marginalized section.