Tag Archives: #IstandwithJNU

The HLEC and the Aporias of ‘Committeed’ Enquiries: Rina Ramdev and Debaditya Bhattacharya

This is a guest post by Rina Ramdev and Debaditya Bhattacharya

Students of JNU have been on an indefinite hunger-strike for over 15 days now, and the administration’s only official response so far had been the Vice Chancellor’s May 4 statement invoking the vocabulary of the ‘lawful’ and the ‘constitutional’ — in ambivalences closer to threat than appeal. The subsequent May 10 Academic Council meeting has been historic, both for its 53 members’ overwhelming denunciation of the HLEC report, as also for the indelible image of a fleeing VC now forever etched in campus folklore. Further, the Delhi High Court’s stay on the fine imposed upon one of the students lends hope for similar stays with the remaining beleaguered students’ cases. The VC has consequently been referring to the enquiry mandate as being sub-judice, only to grant it an interim legitimacy that may symbolically defeat the stridency of student resistance. Letters have been sent out to the parents of striking students, in an attempt to re-route intimidation and pressure through other non-official means of paternalism. Given the conditions of duress being thus created, until the HLEC’s report is revoked in entirety, there is every reason to believe that the administration’s vindictive punitive designs will leech into the future of university freedoms and campus democracy irreversibly.

Continue reading The HLEC and the Aporias of ‘Committeed’ Enquiries: Rina Ramdev and Debaditya Bhattacharya

The Difference between What They Tell Us and What We Know: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid. Based on a Status Update on her Facebook Page.

They tell us that the military is meant for fighting the “terrorists”; But most of the time, it is the civilians who are killed.

They tell us that “special powers” for the army are necessary for national unity; But the army only teaches us how to hate India.

They say the University is anti-national because it wants to break India; But it’s the University that teaches us to love Indians.

Then, who is anti-national? Those who teach us how to hate India, or those who teach us how to love Indians?

Yes, we see the difference between India and Indians; India is at war with Indians throughout India.

I wish the Indian state could also see the difference between Kashmir, which it claims as its own, and Kashmiris who belong to no one; They claim to love Kashmir but hate and kill Kashmiris.

Continue reading The Difference between What They Tell Us and What We Know: Shehla Rashid

जेनयू की सफाई पर स्मृति ईरानी की सफाई: नियति शर्मा

Guest post by NIYATI SHARMA

लोकसभा में स्मृति ईरानी जी की सफाई उर्फ़ भाषण बहुत भावुक, मनोरंजक और प्रभावशाली था। लोग उन्हें ‘आयरन लेडी’ का खिताब दे रहे हैं- यह उनके तर्क के लिए या उनके तेवर के लिए, या फिर उनके यह कहने के लिए की वो अपना सर काट के मायावती जी के चरणों में रख देंगी, पता लगाना थोड़ा मुश्किल है । सोचा था स्मृति जी कुछ सवालों का जवाब देंगी पर असल में मिली एक लम्बी, मेलोड्रामाटिक सफाई जिससे उन्होंने अपनी सरकार की सारी गलतियों पे पर्दा डाल दिया।ऐसी स्तिथि में हम मजबूर हो गए हैं की स्मृति जी से जो सवाल पूछे जाएँ वो तथ्य-सम्बंधित होने के साथ साथ अति भावनात्मक भी हों।

स्मृति जी के अभिनय के सारे सालों का अनुभव उनके भाषण में साफ़ दिखाए दिया। लोकसभा में स्मृति जी के हाव भाव से आक्रोश टपक रहा था पर क्या उन्हें इतना क्रोधित होने का हक़ है? स्मृति जी का यह मानना है की उनके ऊपर काफी बेबुनियादी आरोप लगे हैं, पर यह मामला स्मृति ईरानी जी के बारे में नहीं है, यह मामला उन मासूम छात्रों के बारे में है जिनकी ज़िन्दगी को उन्होंने दांव पर लगा दिया है। आखिर उन ‘बच्चों’ का क्या जिनके ऊपर उन्होंने और उनकी सरकार ने पिछले कुछ दिनों में अनगिनत आरोप लगाये हैं? स्मृति ईरानी जी तो मंत्री हैं, अगर आरोप लगे भी, तो उनकी ज़िन्दगी बर्बाद नहीं होगी, पर जिस क्रूरता से सरकार और मीडिया ने छात्रों का चरित्र-हनन किया, वह कभी भी इससे उभर नहीं पाएंगे। कन्हैया, उमर और अनिर्बान न ही मंत्री हैं जिनके पास कोई राजनैतिक सहारा है और न ही उनके परिवार इतने धनी हैं की वह अपना जीवन, अपनी इज़्ज़त पुननिर्मित कर पाएं। स्मृति जी, आप तो सिर्फ अपने बारे में सोच रही थीं की आप पर और आपकी परफॉरमेंस पर क्या क्या सवाल उठाये गए, क्या आपने एक बार भी सोचा की इन छात्रों के पास आगे ज़िन्दगी में सफाई देने का कोई मौका नहीं होगा? क्या आपने, माँ होने के नाते, यह सोचा की यह छात्र अब कभी भी साधारण जीवन नहीं जी पाएंगे?

Continue reading जेनयू की सफाई पर स्मृति ईरानी की सफाई: नियति शर्मा

Come on man, be clear, what comes first—Nation, or Democracy? Bodhisattva Kar translated by Ahona Panda

Guest Post by Bodhisattva Kar and Ahona Panda

(Written by Bodhisattva Kar in Bengali, First published in on 18 February 2016 by the Ei Samay newspaper.Translated into English by Ahona Panda)

“To you I confess today—what you all call a patriot, I am not of that kind.” After this confession of sparkling clarity, should we not catch hold of that man as an anti-national? So what if he is dead? If the dead can be rewarded with the Bharat Ratna, why can’t we frame the dead with a few charges of sedition? For God’s sake, all you good people, how did you make a song written by this man the national anthem? The man who—without any obfuscation—speaks through the mouth of the protagonist of Char Adhyaya—“They who do not take cognizance of that which is greater than patriotism, their patriotism is like crossing on a crocodile’s back.” Where did he get the audacity to dream of something greater than patriotism? And, he did not even study at JNU. “By killing the very soul of the country, the country’s life can be resuscitated: this terrible untruth is being announced in beastly roars by nationalists around the world and it makes my heart revolt with intolerable intensity.” How can you not burn the books produced by such a treacherous son of Mother India, who said such terribly instigatory things? Why do you worship him instead? Can anyone put their hand on their hearts and say that he wasn’t a Pakistani spy, just because of the niggling detail that Pakistan did not exist at the time he was writing? Did we not shoot Dabholkar or Pansare for agonizing quite a bit less than he did? Continue reading Come on man, be clear, what comes first—Nation, or Democracy? Bodhisattva Kar translated by Ahona Panda

If there is dancing, there will be revolution : Three New Tracks to Groove to While Modi Quakes

No Text Necessary ! Make them your phone ringtone! Friends having tried this report electrifying effects on passersby.

‘Azadi’, (‘Freedom’) featuring Kanhaiya and Friends, Courtesy DJ Dub Sharma

‘Yeh Ladai’ (‘This Struggle), Courtesy DJ MojoJojo, featuring Umar

‘Bandh Bhengey Dao’ (‘Break Down the Barriers’), Courtesy Q, OST of ‘Tasher Desh’, with a nod to the great DJ Robin T



The Right to Reason and Imagine: Architects in Solidarity with the JNU Community

Guest Post by Architects from all over India and elsewhere

To: The JNU Teachers Association, JNU Students Union

CC: Vice Chancellor, JNU

We, the undersigned, are writing this in utmost shock and despair regarding the recent events and developments at your campus. We want to extend our full support to the JNU teachers association and the democratically elected JNU Student Union. We believe there is a difference between the nation, the state and the government of the day, and fully support your constitutional right to air your positions, as different or diverse as they may be, without illegal interference from any particular ruling ideology, party or state machinery.

As those engaged in architecture, we believe that imagination and reason are the highest of human faculties. This gift is what we constantly cultivate and rely on – in academia and in practice – when we question what exists, however natural, fixed and irreplaceable it may seem, and fearlessly posit alternatives. Indeed, there is little difference for us between possessing a moral imagination and being able to imagine such alternate worlds and other ways of being.

The inability therefore to envision life in another’s shoes, to disagree and to counter ideas with more aesthetic or eloquent ones without resorting to character assassination, violence and charges of anti-nationalism, betray to us an alarming lack of imagination, and we strongly condemn this in all its forms.

We condemn this absence of imagination and the physical and epistemic violence it has unleashed on the university community especially teachers and students. We stand with you in support of the university as a marketplace of ideas where all ideas and opinions are passionately argued, ripped apart, defended and critically re-imagined in ever new ways, leading to a more enlightened citizenry. This must be allowed to happen without fear or favor, risk of persecution or charges of sedition. If nothing else, the imagination of our founding fathers demands it, and we are in solidarity with your right to exercise it.

(This statement represents us in our individual capacities and not the institutions we are associated with.)

(In alphabetical order)

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Wanted Students Surface in JNU: JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora and Umar Khalid Speaking to Students

[ In a dramatic new development, four students, Umar Khalid (ex-DSU), Anirban (ex-DSU), Rama Naga and Asutosh (AISA),  from amongst the list of  ‘students wanted by the police’ resurfaced on the night of Sunday, 21 February, and stayed with their fellow students till the early hours of Monday, February 22 on the JNU campus. Reportedly, they are still on campus, with their fellow students. One of them, Umar Khalid, spoke at a large gathering in front of the administration block, where all protesting students have been meeting. The gathering was also addressed by the Jawahar Lal Nehru Students’ Union (JNUSU) vice-president and All India Students Association (AISA) activist, Shehla Rashid Shora (against whom there are no charges made out by the police at the moment). The police, did not enter the campus at that time, given the very large number of students who had gathered in solidarity with their ‘wanted’ friends. The statements of the JNUSU vice president, Shehla Rashid Shora, and of Umar Khalid (who is one of students ‘wanted’ by the police), were recorded by a correspondent of the online portal, Catchnews.com during the early hours of Monday, 22nd February, as they addressed the gathered students. We are sharing those recordings, with thanks to Catchnews.com, with our transcript/translation of what was said by both Shehla and Umar. As is clear from both statements, the students are not in hiding, they are offering peaceful resistance, and the charges of sedition against them are utterly without foundation. Listen, and read, for yourselves.]

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Oxford University Members and Alumni in Solidarity with JNU: Oxford Students, Faculty and Alumni

Guest Post by students, faculty and alumni of Oxford University, UK

We, the undersigned members and alumni of the University of Oxford, stand firmly in solidarity with fellow students, teachers and scholars at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). We condemn the ongoing persecution of the student community in JNU, in particular the arrest of JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar under sedition charges. We protest the use of institutional and state machinery to stifle dissent on campuses, and the attempt to persecute those whose views do not conform to the narrow narratives of ‘nationalism’, ‘nationhood’ and ‘Indian culture’ promoted and endorsed by the ruling party. We view the crackdown in JNU in a continuum with the use of state machinery to clamp down on dissenting views and ideologies on campuses, most prominently at the FTII, Jadavpur University, IIT-Madras and the University of Hyderabad (UoH). We would like to point out that it was a similar witchhunt, backed by state authority, that led to the suicide of Dalit scholar and student leader of the Ambedkar Students’ Association, Rohith Vemula. We also stand in solidarity with the ongoing rally hunger strike at UoH and the struggles of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, demanding justice for Rohith Vemula.

Continue reading Oxford University Members and Alumni in Solidarity with JNU: Oxford Students, Faculty and Alumni