The prime minister of India Narendra Modi’s cheap hindutvavaadi jibes in his farewell address to vice president Hamid Ansari were better suited to Republic TV or The Organiser, but under Modi’s regime, parliament is pretty much run like an RSS shakha, and Modi himself seems no different from Arnab Goswami.
Said Modi in parliament to the distinguished out-going vice president:
Aapke karyakaal ka bahut saara hissa West Asia se juda raha hai. Usi dayere mein zindagi ke bahut varsh aapke gaye, usi mahaul mein, usi soch mein, aise logon ke beech mein rahe. Wahan se retire hone ke baad bhi jyadatar kaam wohi raha aapka; Minorities Commission ho yah Aligarh Muslim University ho, zyadatar dayara aapka wohi raha.
Lekin yeh 10 saal puri tarah ek alaga zimma aapka sar mein aaya. Puri tarah ek ek pal samvidhan samvidhan samvidhan ke hi dayere mein chalana. Aur aapne usko bakhubi nibhaane ka bharpur prayaas kiya. Ho sakta hai kuch chatpatahat rahi hogi bhitar aapke andar bhi. Magar aaj ke baad shayad woh sankat bhi nahin rahega. Mukti ka anand bhi rahega aur apni mulbhut jo soch rahi hogi uske anusaar aapko karya karne ka, sochne ka, baat batane ka awsar bhi milega.
You were associated with West Asia for a major part of your career as a diplomat. You spent many years of your life in that circle, in that atmosphere, in that thought, its debate and amid such people. For a major part after your retirement, whether it was in Minority Commission or Aligarh University, you remained in that circle. But for 10 years, you got a different responsibility. Every moment, you had to remain confined to the Constitution and you tried your best to fulfil that responsibility. But perhaps you remained uncomfortable throughout. But after today, you will not have to face even that dilemma. You will experience freedom and will be able to work, speak, and think according to what you really feel.
The clear taunt is that as long as Hamid Ansari was consorting with Muslims of West Asia and India -“in that circle, amidst such people” – he was not fulfilling constitutional obligations. This taunt, from this person? From Narendra Modi, the RSS pracharak who has held the Constitution in utter contempt throughout his blood stained and shameful career?
Modi participated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, and his government was responsible for the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. After becoming Prime Minister, with his henchman Amit Shah he has engineered BJP governments in states in which BJP lost the elections, and his regime presides over a vast multitude of private armies that provoke and generate large scale violence against Muslims, Dalits, and women.
The word “samvidhan” or Constitution, is sullied by being uttered by such a man.
Meanwhile in JNU, we can see at micro level every strategy the Modi regime follows, being implemented in our university at close quarters.
Take for instance, the case of Prof Rajeev Kumar of IIT Kharagpur who was selected as Professor in JNU and came on lien.
Prof. Rajeev Kumar was victimized by IIT Kharagpur through a travesty of an enquiry, for blowing the whistle against corruption in admissions, and dealt a punishment of compulsory retirement, by a Committee that didn’t even give him a charge-sheet. He appealed to the Visitor to set aside this inquiry, and on no response, got a stay on implementation of the punishment.
Since 2006, Rajeev Kumar has been using the Right to Information Act (RTI) to gain information about how the JEE exam decides on its admission criteria. After a protracted legal struggle involving several aspects of IIT administration, in 2010, this led to the Delhi High Court ordering the IITs to release such information. Since 2012, every candidate gets a carbon copy of his paper, and the various cutoffs are announced.
Meanwhile, as his life and liberty were constantly under threat in Kharagpur, he moved to JNU in 2015. But in 2016, as soon as JNU started proceeding to confirm him after a year, IIT Kharagpur started demanding him back, saying the stayed punishment was not a settled issue.
In May-June 2017, JNU suddenly joined in to victimise Prof. Rajeev Kumar. The VC cancelled his lien illegally, effectively terminating his employment in JNU.
JNUTA and Prof. Rajeev Kumar took the matter to EC members, and in a rare victory, the JNU EC refused to ratify the VC’s decision. But the JNU VC is yet to reinstate him.
As the JNUTA statement points out:
The Hon. ex-President Pranab Mukherjee in his last few days set aside IIT’s unjust inquiry, vindicating years of Prof. Rajeev Kumar’s struggle against corruption and injustice. The question is how much more of a price is Prof. Kumar going to be made to pay. Today, he receives no salary, his lab is closed to him, he lives in rented accommodation, his wife and mother both passed away recently. All because he believes that public money demands accountability.
In JNU, one watches with growing comprehension the blatant subversion by Jagadesh Kumar’s administration – of every norm of accountability, every procedure established by law and statute, of constitutional provisions of reservations. Academic Council Minutes are routinely manipulated and misrepresented; UGC regulations have been deliberately misinterpreted to shut down admission; in the few admissions that have happened this year, reservations have been given the go-by. One is aware of brazenly rigged selection committees for faculty appointments, and very strange developments in the admission process. One hears that administrative staff involved in admissions have started asking for written orders from the VC for some of the procedures they are asked to follow.
One watches with growing comprehension as the Registrar of JNU, an alumnus of JNU himself and well aware of the traditions and culture he is working so hard to destroy, as an obedient minion of ‘The Competent Authority’, writes a letter of overwhelming arrogance to the distinguished and globally respected Professor Prabhat Patnaik asking him not to address students in front of Administrative Block:
It is expected from you that such violation of rules is not repeated in future.
Of course, Prof Patnaik’s cold sarcastic reply is now the stuff of legend and song:
Thank you for your mail. I would like to remind you that I am not a salaried employee of the university but only a professor emeritus, whose relations with the university authorities of any particular time are governed by mutual courtesy, and not by obedience to these authorities. Your letter which demands obedience is clearly based on a misconception. I shall be grateful if this is conveyed to the competent authority.
Nevertheless, the incivility displayed by the Registrar Pramod Kumar (whose second letter to Prof Patnaik does not even contain the routine salutation), is of a piece with the incivility shown by the Prime Minister of this unfortunate country to the outgoing vice president.
We watch with growing comprehension, the developments unfolding in JNU, not the least of which is the targeting of students and faculty who have stood up to these moves. The ABVP students who disappeared Najeeb roam free, the JNUSU President who protested is not allowed to register. A number of faculty with excellent records have been denied promotions; rules and regulations have been misinterpreted to punish other faculty members financially. Prof Rajeev Kumar, as we saw, has not been reinstated despite an EC decision, and I am the subject of an entirely illegal enquiry.
We watch, I say, with growing comprehension, these developments at the micro level that mirror so faithfully what is happening at the level of the country, because we understand fully, that all that is happening in JNU reflects in microcosm, the rapid unfolding of Hindu Rashtra. That the Vice Chancellor acts, not on his own, but at the behest of much larger forces, not least of which is that shadowy organization that is accountable to no institution or power outside of itself, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Our student Kanhaiya Kumar declared two years ago that the real enemy at this moment, is Sanghvaad. All of us who oppose this ideology, whatever our other differences, need to come together on this one minimum principle.