Despite the controversies of demonetization, the central government has again succeeded in deftly hijacking the minds of Indian citizens through a riveting speech made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The budget seemed to be especially important given third quarter statistics which are filled with drawbacks of the demonetization policy. Thus we had a budget speech completely focused on digitalization of a country where the ‘digital divide’ stubbornly persists. As the budget theme (Transform, Energize, and Clean) attempted to glorify existing conditions, there were unsurprisingly no transformations in the overall economic framework except the expected tax reduction. In the zeal for “energizing”, the budget had clean forgotten the needs of the informal sector including agricultural sector. Even though the government provocatively claimed that it had cleaned up black money, it revealed no data regarding the amount of black money actually mopped up from the market.
For the second successive day, goons affiliated to the RSS-BJP backed right wing student mafia gang called ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) pelted stones and violently attacked peaceful assemblies of students and teachers in Delhi University. Journalists who were present were also beaten up. Phones and cameras and filming equipment were destroyed. An attempt was made to strangle a professor with his own scarf. He, and some other students who were injured had to be hospitalized. Luckily, they are shaken, but out of immediate danger. The incidents have been characterized as ‘clashes’ between right wing and left wing student groups by some sections of the media. Nothing can be further from the truth. These were not ‘clashes’. They were straight-forward one sided attacks by a mob intent on violence. A riot is not a clash. Continue reading “ABVP Riots in Delhi University with Police Protection”
Story, Video and Photographs: PIYUSH NAGPAL AND DEBALIN ROY.
As is well known by now, a seminar organised by the English literary society of Ramjas College, Delhi University titled “Cultures of Protest” on Tuesday the 21st of February was disrupted by a huge mob of ABVP students. They threw stones/bricks into the seminar hall, shattering windows and injuring students, and in full view of Delhi Police, manhandled and beat up student participants. Delhi Police was barely able to control the situation and refused to offer protection to the invited speakers who were told by ABVP members,”We will disfigure your face in a way that you will be unrecognisable”. Mainstream news media has added little to our understanding of the harrowing day-long siege of a college campus space by bloodthirsty goons by presenting it as a “clash” that “broke out” (like a case of hives?!) between two student groups. Thereby implying that left hooligans and right hooligans engaged in their hoologanism while we as neutral public can sigh at the declining public behaviour of students and get back to our lives. Thankfully there are eyewitness accounts and videos that counter this ridiculous and dangerous false equivalence and drive home the point that once again, the opportunity to engage in speech, reason and words was violently cut short by those who wanted to hurt and maim.
STOP HARASSMENT OF DR RAJSHREE RANAWAT, STOP MEDIA CAMPAIGN AGAINST HER AND REVOKE HER SUSPENSION
It is extremely disturbing that Dr. Rajashree Ranawat, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, has been suspended by her university for having supposedly “disobeyed” the orders of the university. The suspension letter does not mention which orders she has not obeyed.
It can therefore be concluded that Dr. Ranawat is being punished for having invited Prof. Nivedita Menon as a speaker in an academic conference which had academics and civil society workers from different disciplinary and ideological backgrounds participating in it. The conference was very successful with students and teachers interacting with outstation scholars in a free atmosphere. After its conclusion, a nasty campaign was launched by some newspapers that Prof Ranawat as organiser had provided a platform to a “controversial” person like Prof. Menon who used the occasion to malign the image of Indian soldiers, questioned the accession of Kashmir to India and insulted the integrity of India by inverting its map. Continue reading “Statement Against the Harassment of Dr Rajshree Ranawat”
Guest post by PRATIKSHA BAXI
The growing global mistrust and derision of the intellect and all that is the intellectual, is a political trd that displaces reason, method, contemplation, experiment, reflexivity and critique as valued traits in education. This politics colonises the University Grants Commission (UGC) in specific ways. Unlike 2008-9 when the UGC was mindful of the autonomy of the University, the UGC now is made to mandate every University to follow its anti-intellectual policies and surrender academic autonomy. The UGC has been used to put in place a repressive apparatus that is emptying out Universities of reflexivity, critique and contemplation on which are built standards of excellence. With the 2016 UGC Regulation on minimum standards for MPhil and PhD (in effect since 5 July 2016), the audit culture of the UGC, has now been hijacked to empty out universities of research scholars, literally. Continue reading “The Struggle to Save the JNU Act – The Student Standing Counsel’s response to UGC 2016: Pratiksha Baxi”
We, the undersigned, wish to express our dismay and deep concern about the recent violent events at University College, Thiruvananthapuram, which seem to indicate that the rights of college students, especially women students, are seriously compromised in this venerable institution. As women researchers, academics and teachers of Malayali origin, we are deeply disappointed by the responses of the police, the concerned college authorities, and the teachers there. Continue reading “An Appeal to the Education Minister of Kerala and the Teachers of the University College, Thiruvananthapuram”
We are reproducing a statement issued by JNUTA on 19 February 2017, on the situation in the university and the administration’s attempts to create a crisis where there is none.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association is deeply distressed at the continuing impasse in the University. Pursuant to its appeal on 13 February to the Vice-Chancellor to initiate a dialogue with the students, JNUTA has through the last week requested a meeting with him to discuss the situation on campus, but has not even received the courtesy of a reply. It has also spoken daily to the students worried about their future and that of the university about the concerns that the teachers, staff, and officers have at restoring the smooth functioning of the University administration building. Continue reading “University Administration Trying to Precipitate Crisis: JNUTA”