Report of a Protest by Students at UP Bhavan in Delhi against Harrassment and Slapping of Sedition Charges on Kashmiri Students at SVSU, Meerut: Kashif Ahmed Faraz

Guest Post by KASHIF AHMED FARAZ

Several students protested on the 7th of March in Delhi against the harassment and eviction of Kashmiri students in SVSU (Swami Vivekanand Subharti University), Meerut and the slapping of sedition charges against 67 Kashmiri students. The protesters included activists, students from universities, mostly from JNU and also Kashmiri Students residing in Delhi. The protest took place at Uttar Pradesh Bhawan, New Delhi.

Signs at Protest at UP Bhavan against Harrassment of Kashmiri Students in Meerut
Signs at Protest at UP Bhavan against Harrassment of Kashmiri Students in Meerut

“Kashmiri students were beaten up when they celebrated the victory of Pakistan cricket team, to which they retaliated. Following this, 67 Kashmiri students were suspended for 3 days from the University and were even asked to evacuate their hostels. This situation left them with no other option but to return to Kashmir for three days with their luggage. This is a shocking display of majoritarianism which seeks to turn even sports and culture into spaces of communal warmongering,” said Akbar from AISA (All India Students Association).
A student activist addresses the gathering

JNUSU Posters against Majoritarian Jingoism
JNUSU Posters against Majoritarian Jingoism

Umar Khalid from DSU (Democratic Students Union) raised the question on freedom of expression. Pointing to Narendra Modi he said, “The person who was responsible for genocide and mass rapes in Gujarat is free to spread his hatred agenda everywhere in the country. The person, who should be behind the bars, is the PM candidate; which shows that the only political class enjoys the freedom of expression in India.” He further opined “If Kashmiri students cheer for any nation against Indian Team then our nation must introspect itself for the reason. In response to their right to self-determination, the atrocities are the only answer they get by the Army and the Indian Government.”

Another Student Addresses Gathering

Another social activist and a student of JNU, Shehla Rashid said, “It is sad that the university authorities as well as the police have internalised the Sanghi agenda and are dancing to the tune of the communal fascists in anticipation of the master-rioter Narendra Modi’s ascent to throne.”

Our Protest is also against the AFSPA, the Mass Disappearances, Murders and Rapes in Kashmir
Our Protest is also against the AFSPA, the Mass Disappearances, Murders and Rapes in Kashmir

During the protest, a group of ‘saffron activists’ belonging to right wing groups clashed with the protesters. A person who claimed that he was a Member of Parliament hurled abusive language at the protestors as the saffron activists kept shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (‘Victory to Mother india’). In response, the Kashmiri Student cited the slogan of “Azadi” (“freedom”) Later Police pushed the protestors to vacate the venue.

Protesters chanting “Stop Fanning Majoritorian Jingoism” were seen with placards in their hands reading  “roll back the expulsion immediately “.

Signs and Slogans

Faced with outrage in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere at the incident, the Uttar Pradesh  has government has since dropped the sedition charge.

(Kashif Ahmed Faraz is a New Delhi-based freelance journalist and student activist. He can be reached at kkashif.peace@gmail.com)

7 thoughts on “Report of a Protest by Students at UP Bhavan in Delhi against Harrassment and Slapping of Sedition Charges on Kashmiri Students at SVSU, Meerut: Kashif Ahmed Faraz”

  1. The issue is not of self determination or ‘aazaadi’ of Kashmir. It’s a complex religious issue. Almost all Kashmiri Muslims relate to Pakistan because it’s an Islamic state. As a student of Islamic theology and Arabic literature, I dare say that an average Muslim doesn’t believe in the concept of hubbulvatani or vatanparasti (nationalism) and believes much more in pan-Islamisation. The very religion (read islam) binds all followers regardless of their country, ethnicity and other concerns.

    Like many candid posts of mine, this too will be withdrawn immediately because in the words of T S Eliot, ‘Humankind cannot bear very much reality.’

    SUMIT PAUL

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  2. Nationalism cannot be imposed. In a diverse and plural state like India and also being a democracy, time has come to introspect where a person from the a particular state or region being discriminated in his own homeland. Be it the North east or J&K. Discrimination is not only racial but also a section being treated lesser Indian. Acts like the AFSPA (If anybody from other part of the country knows about it) are enough to feel discriminated, vulnerable. There is an urgent need for looking inwards and maybe some policy changes to make every Indian feel proud of being one. Sedition charges will only alienate them further.

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  3. Sumit Paul is not correct in saying that Muslims per se lack nationalism towards their country where they are a minority, and are always thinking of other Muslim countries. Unfortunately in the case of today’s India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, these are 3 artificial countries. In fact India comprising of these 3 countries is one country with one culture and one ethos.

    Just as Hindus who are citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh, have strong feelings towards India in comparison to their own countries, so too Muslims of Kashmir have feelings towards Pakistan. The huge atrocities by the Indian army over decades on Kashmiri Muslims have made their own contribution in preventing them from having good feelings towards India.

    Please note that today the Hindu citizens of US, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, Carribean countries have strong kinship towards India. In cricket matches between these countries and India, the Hindu citizens of these countries support India.

    Please note that Indian Muslims have hardly any feelings of kinship towards Iran or Turkey or Arab countries or Indonesia or Malaysia which are also Muslim countries. They may think of them with some positive feelings but ask them if they like the food, culture, ethos of those countries and will they ;like to live there; you will not find even a handful who will say, yes.

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    1. I beg to differ , it is the case with Pakistani Hindus but not Bangladeshi Hindus . Secondly ##Please note that today the Hindu citizens of US, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, Carribean countries have strong kinship towards India###

      You have mixed ethnicity & religion here . All these Hindu citizens are people of Indian origin . Ordinary Indonesian Hindus etc. do not show any love towards Indians & vice versa. Even the more proximate Sri Lankan Hindus , Nepali Hindus etc (also ethnically linked to different Indian Hindu ethnic groups) are also not bound to show special love towards Indian ones. Since there is either no pan-Hindu identity or it is in inchoate stage developing with Hindu Right.

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