To the Puppets and Puppeteers – We Students Will Fight Back: Anirban

Guest Post by Anirban Bhattacharya 

To the puppets and their puppeteers…

Free speech cannot come with a price tag -10,000/- or 20,000/- or even a rupee!
Dissent cannot be evicted!
Ideas cannot be made out of bounds!
Reason cannot be rusticated!

High Level = Nagpur Level Cartoon by Anmol
‘High Level = Nagpur Level’ – Cartoon by Jyothidas K.V.

The stubborn cowardice of those High with power has ensured one thing. What began as the students’ spring, is now going to have a simmering summer ahead – a summer of resistance, resolve, outrage and audacity! One thing we must assure both the puppets, be it Appa Rao or Jagdish Kumar, and those pulling their strings from Nagpur is that their High Level drama shall be matched by a Higher level of conviction from we the students. From Rohith’s HCU to Koonal’s EFLU to our JNU, from FTII, IIT Madras, Allahabad, Jadavpur, Patna to Chandigarh or TISS – let the mercury rise in rage this summer.

They are in a delusion. Appa Rao entered the campus as the semester was drawing to a close and exams were to begin. The HLEC in JNU too (as is their practiced cowardice over the years) had planned to time the punishments at a time of the end-semester exams and holidays. So, while they might feel that they have caught us at our weakest, well, they are certainly mistaken. The militant and successful agitations to ensure minimum wages for the workers in JNU, the fight to revoke the ban on the Forum against Operation Green Hunt, and several such historic battles have been fought and won despite exams and vacations. So, while the puppets and the puppeteers might be patting each others’ back in their delusion of having waited out the storm…lekin picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

Not a step back is our motto! We have already seen how unprecedented assaults can evoke unprecedented responses and solidarities. Such are the demands of our times. So, this summer, we shall stay back during the vacations and fight it out at ground zero – in Freedom Square. Our message ought to be loud and clear. We had never accepted this farce named HLEC. So, as per the UGBM mandate, all punishments flowing from this bogus HLEC report is UNACCEPTABLE. It’s not a question of some having more severe punishments and some less. Its not about adjustments here and there. No punishment whatsoever is acceptable as none of us have committed any “crime”!

'Orders' from the Office of the Proctor, JNU - to Anirban Bhattacharya
‘Orders’ from the Office of the Proctor, JNU – to Anirban Bhattacharya
'Orders' - to Anirban, contd.
‘Orders’ – to Anirban, contd.

For instance, the order I received this morning says “any one found giving shelter” to me “in the campus shall invite disciplinary action against him/her”! Why should I have to clandestinely seek “shelter” in my own campus wherein I have spent a decade, which has virtually been my second home, where I have grown?? And why should anyone be punished for “sheltering” me?? Why should any one of us be fined, evicted, made out of bounds or rusticated? For what “crime”? Whether a student, ex-student or non-student. It is precisely this perverse, this vulgar idea of criminalising any form of dissent that we ought to resist and defeat. For us, it’s a fight to preserve the democratic space in this campus. It’s a fight to not allow any such precedent that will vitiate our democratic space even by an inch: our space to stand with Bastar, to stand with Maruti, to atand for social justice, to stand with justice for Rohith, to stand against Dadri, or to stand against patriarchy.

Let’s gear up. Long haul ahead. We always knew it wasn’t over with jail or bail. Didn’t we? The fight for our space continues…

Anirban Bhattacharya is a research scholar at the Centre for Historical Studies in JNU. He is one of the students who have been indicted in the HLEC Report. He has been rusticated till July 15, and he has been prohibited from entering the JNU Campus for the next five years, by being declared ‘out of bounds’, effective from 25 July this year. This post is taken, with permission from Anirban Bhattacharya, from a status update on his Facebook page.

8 thoughts on “To the Puppets and Puppeteers – We Students Will Fight Back: Anirban”

  1. While I am appalled by the conclusions drawn, I also find some vague amusement in their incompetence. Just what the devil is a Brahmical Conscience? The first one is equally ridiculous that they would find giving a false “ceritificate” in this case as one of the causes for rustication. Stupid and frivolous, clutching at straws. Or, like the Indian police usually does, when it has to fix a person – add as many sections of the IPC as possible to make the case heavier. Laughable.

    “Causing or colluding in the unauthorised entry of any person”. Well, I will be damned… and so would be the teachers there who have been inviting all sorts of “unauthorised” people since this controversy started. For that matter, if “being part of the group in which many outsiders were present” is indicative of guilt, should the VC not also be responsible since it happened under his watch and is happening still?

    This does not really amount to vindictive actions, just raises collective hysterical laughter among the vast majority of the people reading this. Even Kafka would find this difficult to compose any better. The sheer idiocy and the pomposity of the letter shows what kind of cretins rule the campuses of our country. But, it also causes amusement in another way – the summer of rage would be rather premature, but ‘our “summer” of discontent’ will spill out onto the streets, for certain, and this is something they could have avoided. Idiot puppets and idiot puppeteers. It is only unfortunate that all this is happening too soon. We should have had another year or two of this tragi-comic governance in order to get millions of people on the streets, irate and raging at the arrogant and brazen government. Minimum government = minimum qualifications, Maximum Governance = Iron-fisted and Ham-fisted curbing of all democratic principles. Jumla indeed!!


  2. Despots are ruling everywhere. They are ruining society and educational institutions. They are rusticating students at their will arbitrarily. Somewhere and sometimes this uncouth practice has to end. …!!


  3. Don’t say “we students”, you do not represent the entire student community. You represent a minuscule of student population, a fraction which is blinded by the love for “lal salaam”. Go out on the road, common people does not care a damn about you because you are there for your vested interests.


    1. er… and why not? If your hero can get a mere 31 percent votes of the total electorate and then go on to say that he represents India…and probably akhan bharat too… then why should Anirban not say that he represents the students of JNU? Or for that matter even if he meant the students of India, does it occur to you that despite being apolitical a lot of other students are just as disturbed with the goings on? Not all of them blinded by the love for Lal Salaam, as you put it.
      And I suggest you take your own advice and listen to the vox populi. There is discontent simmering out there, you just haven’t heard the rumbles yet. I assume you are one of the bhakts (but I could be mistaken, who knows..)… so you might be forgiven in thinking that the rumbles are the applause of the adoring bhakt-gan. And oh, wish you a lal salaam too….


  4. Remember that Nagpur-educated do not grow up fully.They remain mentally retarded.Their growth is stunted by the archaic teachings.Also they are not respected in the intellectual community.They have no stature internationally also.Let us have pity on them


  5. Good to see RSS dirty politics is getting exposed – well done JNU guys feel bad your precious years are getting used up to fight against these chaddi fellas, but you are creating a better India. Generations will be thankful of you for not getting our country become like hindu isis. Thankyou from bottom of my hear – Keep up the spirit we all our with you and you will see our support on 21st may when recent election results will come – Bye Bye bjp goodbye forever


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