Tag Archives: ABVP

JNU under seige: Ayesha Kidwai

AYESHA KIDWAI, Professor at JNU, on her Facebook page yesterday

For whom Our Constitution and its values are dear

There is no doubt that the Jawaharlal Nehru University is under siege right now. You will all have to forgive me the length of this post, but it is necessary so that we all understand that maintaining calm and mutual support is the only way we are going to get through this.

1. The JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has been picked up and produced at the Patiala Court, which has remanded him to three days of police custody. He has legal representation, but the charges are, as you all know, serious. He is the first person who the police went to pick up even though he was not an organiser of the event that is being used to legitimise what has happening.

2. We are told that the police/IB has a list of twenty odd names of students that they want to pick up, although the FIR itself is against unidentified students. This happened while classes were taking place, seminars were being held and the whole university was normal. Even after that, no incident that disturbed the peace of the campus has taken place. AND WE ARE GOING TO KEEP IT THAT WAY. Continue reading JNU under seige: Ayesha Kidwai

Restore Normalcy in JNU, Release All Detained Students, Delhi Police Quit JNU

Students, Professors and Staff of JNU Stand Together in Protest on February 12, 2016 against the Police Action on Campus and the Assault on JNU by ABVP-BJP

In an unprecedented and draconian move, Delhi Police personnel entered the precincts of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi yesterday afternoon, and began a search operation based on malicious complaints against ‘unnamed persons’ filed by a Delhi BJP leader in response to an event titled – ‘Country Without a Post Office’ – organized by some students to commemorate and protest against the execution of Afzal Guru on February 9th.

Continue reading Restore Normalcy in JNU, Release All Detained Students, Delhi Police Quit JNU

Long Live the Legacy of Comrade Vemula Rohith Chakravarthy : Statement by New Socialist Initiative (NSI)

Guest Post : Statement by New Socialist Initiative( NSI)
Comrade Rohith, we pay our deepest respects to you. We share your concerns. With you and like you we think that Systemic revolutions and great social transformations should go hand in hand. Rohith we fully agree with you that unless the oppressed are armed with scientific knowledge and rationality, revolution and emancipation remain elusive.
New Socialist Initiative pays its respects to Comrade Rohith Vemula, PhD scholar and student leader of University of Hyderabad. Rohith is not just a name of a scholar today. It has become a battle cry against the saffronisation of Indian education system. Rohith is the name of the relentless struggle against the upper caste domination in the institutions of higher education. Rohith has become a symbol of revolt against the decadence of our civilisation. Yes, Rohith committed suicide, killed himself, but not in desperation, not in fruitless vengeance. As his last words amply show, he seemed to be making a political and philosophical statement on the order of the things in this country, on the despicable manuvadi practices raising their ugly heads in the university campuses, on fascist targeting of Muslim minority community, on the rising intolerance and irrationality in our society.

Continue reading Long Live the Legacy of Comrade Vemula Rohith Chakravarthy : Statement by New Socialist Initiative (NSI)

Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai – Critical Readings Online and Offline: Akash Bhattacharya and Arif Hayat Nairang

These are guest posts by Akash Bhattacharya and Arif Hayat Nairang

The film Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai has been in the news recently, and not always for the right reasons, having attracted disruptive and abusive protest at some screenings. Following a day of counter-protest in which the film was screened all over the country, a friend teaching in a Delhi University college suggested screening it in her college, only to be told by the student representative that it would “cause trouble” (“bawwal mach jayega ma’am!!”). She asked what that meant and if he had seen the film, and he simply said, “nahin, bhaiyya logon ne kaha hai ki woh film bahut buri hai” (No, but our elder brothers have said it’s a bad film). 

In an atmosphere where political self-censoring comes as easily to the current generation of students as scouring the net for “blocked content” we present below two readings of the reception of the film, the first ruminating on whether the film addresses the complexities of communal mobilisation adequately; and the second inquiring in the context of social media and particularly Facebook, what constitutes the ‘liking’ of an image or idea. The idea of posting these comments is as much to give space to these arguments as it is to make a larger point that the ‘sickular left’ voices that are presumably behind the film love discussion, critique and disagreement. That to my mind is the way forward, not pre-empting the always-already hurt sentiments of the bhaiyya log whosoever they may be.

Continue reading Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai – Critical Readings Online and Offline: Akash Bhattacharya and Arif Hayat Nairang

Modi Goes To London


Good news is followed by a flood of bad news.

Narendra Modi, the ‘architect’ of today’s Gujarat, must be realising the truth of this dictum despite the fact that the corporate media – to quote an analyst – ‘loves’ him.

Whether it is the growing resistance of the peasantry inside the state to his vision of development, compelling him to withdraw a major chunk of villages from the much discussed Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region (SIR), or the crude manner in which his government’s anti Dalit stance is coming to the fore, the signals are definitely ominous. Continue reading Modi Goes To London

FTII Students’ Statement on the Attack on them by the ABVP in Pune

FTII Students’ Association Press Release, 22/08/13
Five students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) were attacked outside of the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) on Wednesday 21/08/13 by the Akhila Bharateeya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP).
The attack took place soon after the screening of Anand Patwardhan’s documentary Jai Bheem Comrade and the performance of Kabir Kala Manch at NFAI. The programme was organized by the FTII student’s body in association with Yugpath, a youth forum based in Pune. This was the  first public performance of Kabir Kala Manch after two and a half years.
The five students attacked are Shameen a second year cinematography student, Ansar Sha a third year cinematography student, Kislay a third year Editing student, Sriram Raja also a third year Editing student and Ajayan a third year Sound student.
The screening of the documentary and the performance by Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) was finalized two weeks ago. There was a request to cancel the programme from various quarters respecting the call for bandh as a mark of protest against the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dhabolkar. But Yugpath and the FTII student’s body decided to stick to their plan and go ahead with the screening and performance as a mark of respect and homage to Mr. Dhabolkar. Continue reading FTII Students’ Statement on the Attack on them by the ABVP in Pune

Two Encounters with the Right Wing: Anonymous

Guest post by an ANONYMOUS student of DU who is afraid, not of the Right Wing, but of the university administration. We can be very proud of our democracy.
I have never been so scared of being a minority before. Today I saw two Kashmiris (a girl and a boy) being chased by a mob in what was to be a silent protest. I don’t know when and what circumstances will bring me to running from a mob to save myself. No one deserves to live in fear. Not me, not the two Kashmiris, not even a fiend.
Said a friend who witnessed the saffron mob at Jantar Mantar.
Today, no one can tell me that India is democratic, that India is secular. Today no one can tell me that India is free. Today I saw a glimpse, just a glimpse of what Hindutva truly is, and it was terrifying.
I went to Jantar Mantar for a silent protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru and for the abolition of capital punishment. We reached a little late, and by the time I reached, the number of people had reduced considerably. Why? Because the police had rounded up and detained a bus-full of protesters, mostly Kashmiri, and taken them to the police station.
When we got out of the metro station, all I could hear was cries of Bharat Mata ki Jai interspersed with Pakistan Haye Haye.
Bharat Mata ki Jai, because a man has been hanged. Not for his crimes, if they even exist, but for his identity.
Bharat Mata ki Jai, as we murder Indian Muslims, because that is our idea of nationalism. Continue reading Two Encounters with the Right Wing: Anonymous

NWMI Condemns The Violent Abuse Of Meena Kandasamy

[We at Kafila are absolutely horrified at the abuse directed at poet and activist Meena Kandasamy for expressing her views on twitter regarding the beef-eating festival at Osmania University. That supposedly ‘neutral’ educational institutions replicate upper-caste Hindu dietary taboos, is no surprise, nor that the ABVP reacted with its customary violence to that questions upper caste privilege. What is shocking is the attitude of the Vice Chancellor and the sexist, misogynist, violent speech directed at her on the web. It is telling that those who take such umbrage at the eating of cows, think nothing of advocating the public rape of women. Below is a statement issued by the The Network of Women in Media condemning the hate speech directed at her. We stand in solidarity with Meena Kandasamy.]

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), strongly condemns the violent and sexist abuse unleashed on poet, writer, activist and translator Meena Kandasamy, presumably in response to her posts on Twitter about the beef-eating festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, on 15 April 2012 and the ensuing clashes between groups of students. Continue reading NWMI Condemns The Violent Abuse Of Meena Kandasamy

The Place of Dissent in the Campus: Akshath Jitendranath

This is a guest post by AKSHATH JITENDRANATH, student at Symbiosis International University, Pune, where a screening of ‘Jahsn-e-Azadi’ by Sanjay Kak was cancelled under pressure from right-wing groups and the Pune Police.

The university campus is where nascent opinion moulds itself into ideological shape. Care must be taken to surround the student with ideologies of different shades. This is a prerequisite for any educational ideology that aspires to be holistic. Pursuant to this end the Symbiosis International University is guided by an ideology that reads, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, meaning the whole world is one family. This is a high ideal to be guided by.

However, the events that transpired over the last few days have left this vision a little blinded. Following threats received from the Akhila Bharati Vidyarthi Parishad  (ABVP henceforth), the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce have postponed indefinitely, ‘Voices of Kashmir’, a national symposium on Kashmir which was to be held with the support of the University Grants Commission. The ABVP’s major bone of contention was the screening of well known film maker Sanjay Kak’s film, Jashn-e-Azadi (This Is How We Celebrate Freedom). The ABVP claim that the film and the film maker represent an ideology that is anti-India. Further, they threatened violence if the film were to be screened. The administration of the Symbiosis International University, instead of being guided by their ideological vision, gave in to the ABVP threats. Continue reading The Place of Dissent in the Campus: Akshath Jitendranath

To the Students and Faculty of Symbiosis University on the Censors in their Midst

Dear Students, Dear Teachers, Dear Friends at Symbiosis University, Pune

You are faced with an extraordinary situation. A symposium on Kashmir that was to be held in your institution with the support of the University Grants Commission, has been cancelled, postponed (see update at the end of the post) following complaints by activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (the student wing of the extreme right-wing militia that goes by the name of the RSS) against the proposed screening of a documentary film ‘Jashn-e-Azadi‘ (‘This is How We Celebrate Freedom’) by the well known filmmaker Sanjay Kak. These complaints, which could more accurately be called threats, have unfortunately received the tacit endorsement of senior police figures in Pune and seem to have met with the approval of your principal. (Thanks to The Hindu – see links above –  for the two balanced reports on this issue.) While the seminar may or may not be held (it stands ‘postponed’ as of now) the administration of Symbiosis have succumbed to the insistence of the right wing groups that Jashn-e-Azadi’s screening remain cancelled. Continue reading To the Students and Faculty of Symbiosis University on the Censors in their Midst

How We Celebrate Freedom

The Hindu reports that a university in Pune has cancelled a planned screening of Sanjay Kak’s 2007 documentary film, Jashn-e-Azadi: How We Celebrate Freedom.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone, Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce principal Hrishikesh Soman stated that the ABVP had approached him on Friday, and that the college agreed to cancel the film screening “considering their [ABVP’s] emotions and feelings.” “I told them that the seminar is entirely academic, apolitical and non-religious. But the film has met with criticism from all corners. So we have decided to avoid unnecessary controversies and cancel the screening,” Mr. Soman said. “If people have a very strong reason to protest the film, then we should be tolerant enough,” he stated. [Link]

Shameful as this censorship is, it is a compliment to Sanjay Kak’s fabulous documentary film that the goons of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad don’t want people in Pune to see it. The truth about Kashmir must not be told. This is also an example of why the BJP props up its ‘minority morcha’ to oppose Salman Rushdie visiting Jaipur: they want the Congress and the ‘secularists’ and the Muslims to be seen as censor-happy so that they can get away with their own censorship.

Freedom of speech and expression in India, RIP.

Or, not.

Just as Satanic Verses freely circulates on the internet, you can also watch Jashn-e-Azadi online, for free.

Film synopsis:

Continue reading How We Celebrate Freedom