JNU row: Modi bhakts, anti-government does not mean 'anti-national'

The attack by BJP's OP Sharma at Patiala House shows that if you complain, you will be crushed.

 |  3-minute read |   15-02-2016
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Something unprecedented since the Emergency is taking place in India. Debate on almost every subject of significance is being choked off. After the government and Modi bhakts silenced NGOs like Greenpeace for being anti-development and hence "anti-national", it was natural that the next targets will be all that constitutes civil society.

When Padma awards were returned over Akhlaq's lynching in Dadri, they were told to go to Pakistan for being anti-nationals. When Aamir Khan spoke about the climate of fear, he was told the same. Academicians who opposed the government in anyway were told the same. It seems the government is keen to formalise mob violence as a tool to silence its critics.

The blatant attack on JNU students, teachers and even journalists inside Patiala House courts by "lawyers" and a BJP MLA, O P Sharma tell us that now is the time to rise together for saving not just JNU but our democracy itself. 

It is simply unthinkable that goondas of any affiliation can violate the court premises without the prior and silent approval of the Delhi police. This is Delhi police's second public act of omission in less than a month. Not too long ago, it had watched as goons rained blows on peaceful students while protesting Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's death.

If that was an aberration, this cannot be. In fact, the Delhi police, under the home ministry, is a professional force and each act is scrutinised by both the government and the media. It doesn't show such a supine spine towards lumpenism unless it has been told to do so. The charge that Delhi police commissioner is only trying to please his political bosses for post-retirement comforts looks sickeningly real now.

When Daliit scholar Rohith and his friends raised the issue of discrimination, they were illegally suspended and charged by the police and university administration and thrown out of their rooms. The student wing of the BJP, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) led this witch-hunt with at least two central ministers giving them letters of support. It ended with Rohith's death but the so-called ABVP nationalists continued to discredit the Dalit student's movement.

A few days later, a group of students raised slogans, some of them against the Indian state, at JNU, and were labelled "traitors", "anti-nationals" by the hordes of Modi bhakts.

The usually circumspect Rajnath Singh, home minister of the country also fell for the jingoism and announced that the student protests were backed by terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed, based on a fake Twitter account.

That should have given the rabid and violent pro-Modi mobs a cue to control their hounds. Instead of that, we have seen an unprovoked escalation of the conflict between peaceful and democratic students and the violent and fascist "nationalists".

This situation is now so out of hand that even the Delhi police chose to watch as the practised goons beat up students, journalists and teachers alike. Anybody who looked like a JNU student was prey to the blows of these goondas and their leader O P Sharma.

No sedition charge has stuck to any student in the country and it will not stick to Kanhaiya Kumar either. The fact that even the most ardent and articulate supporter of Modi like journalist Tavleen Singh has called it churlish and ridiculous is not lost on the wider common public.

But it hasn't dawned on the power-drunk goons of the present regime. From Hyderabad to Pune, Rohtak to Delhi, the violent suppression of criticism and dissent by Modi bhakts bears an ominous warning for all Indians. You are safe as long as you don't complain. If you complain, you will be crushed.

Writer

Valay Singh Rai Valay Singh Rai @gaonwalah

The author is a Delhi-based writer and photographer.

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