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Questioning Liberal Anxieties: Vote For Alternate Political Imaginations


Being an Islamic students’ organization, SIO does take its principles from Islam only and firmly believes and tries to pronounce the liberatory potential underlying in Islam. SIO firstly wishes to denounce the proclaimed definitions given to religion as a regressive tool and wishes to introduce Islam as a potential source carrying lots of inputs and insights regarding contemporary socio-political questions. It is also aware of the counter questions that arise in this regard and wishes to have a democratic engagement and wishes to see the possible ways forward. Of course, since SIO focuses on student issues, it does believe that Islam encourages people to engage with the questions related to democratic rights and with the aspects of the questions of social justice.

An introduction of this kind is needed as SIO firmly recognize Brahmanism as the key source of oppression and violence in contemporary India, and understands the need to have a comprehensive battle against it from all the fronts. Here SIO appeals to the student community to have an engagement with the activities of SIO in this regard rather than blindly following the liberal secular allegations of it being sectarian organization. The organization is even open to have a debate on the very basics of it, and it does believe that a mutual engagement would only strengthen the priorities and approaches it should carry out in contemporary times. Though it has been working in this campus for more than a decade, it wishes to clarify its positions on various allegations which are being poured upon it without having a basic understanding.

Still, despite being a principled organization with its base on Islam, SIO is completely aware of the complexities of being a Muslim subject in this country and it cannot avoid the various rights and alienation related issues, of especially being from a minority community. A typical example of this is the continuing vilification and demonization of Muslims as villains and terrorists, which attains its peak points during the ‘love jihad’ campaigns and also during the time of national security debates. As a community doomed to be the ‘other’ of this nation, Muslim question would always remain blazing, as it touches the very core of this brahminical state.

It is not just with the aforementioned visions that SIO wishes to engage and work among student community, but firmly identifies itself as a strong force in the frontline to fight for not just the democratic rights of students, but also in providing adequate socio-political awareness to the student community. But, the liberal secular anxiety reaches its peak point ,though they might tolerate a Muslim/Islamic organization working among Muslims only, they still find it hard to digest the logic behind an organization like SIO standing up for students’ rights. It shows nothing but the dilemma of the secular modernity, as they are yet to learn to deal with the questions of religion in public space, especially when it comes to a religious minority.

JNU, being known as the left liberal republic, always carries this dilemma in its underbelly and pushes it out whenever the adequate occasion comes, as could be seen in the recent debates regarding raising the ‘In Sha Allah’ slogan in the public space. The left in JNU could easily equate it with the slogans of right wing assertion without even attempting to understand the socio-political location from which it comes. SIO strongly wishes to problematize the secular assumption that religion in its any form in public is regressive, and wants to engage deeply with this problematic assumption. SIO, talking from the platform of Islam wishes to place Islam in this debate with the idea of secular and see how faulty the secular assumption is.

In the contemporary situation, where religious, regional and anti-caste identities attain such a political force, it is sad and unfortunate to see that the left liberals fail to notice it, leave alone the case of right wing forces. This very lack of a political understanding, forces one to deny and avoid the claims of the left unity formed here. If they fail to understand that fascism and Brahmanism cannot be fought with mere rhetoric, they are also at bigger fault in accusing various Muslim,Dalit and Adivasi assertions as ‘sectarian’. SIO along with this larger collective of various socio-political groups, understands this union election as an occasion to raise again the slogans celebrating the significance of such an assertive politics.

SIO understands and acknowledges the strong political presence of BAPSA in this campus. Not just as a political group, but the impact bapsa produced in jnu is to such an extend that even the left is now forced to rethink of their slogans. BAPSA, a key force in the fight for social justice, should be given a strong and relentless support from the student community and BAPSA’s victory should strengthen various alternate political imaginations.

SIO appeals the student community to support, vote and elect BAPSA candidates in the JNUSU Election 2018-19.