Guest Post by ANIRBAN BHATTACHARYA
[This missive to Makarand Paranjape, who is a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, comes in response to his recent op-ed piece in the Indian Express where he comments on the events at Ramjas College, Delhi University on the 21st of February and in their wake, in Delhi University, on the 22nd of February]
Mr. Makarand Paranjape. In your analysis of the post-Ramjas fallout in Delhi University in Indian Express on the 4th of March, one can see that you have donned a “liberal” cloak. But there were way too many holes in that cloak to go without a counter and hence this response.
Continue reading Looking ‘Right’, Talking ‘Liberal’ – The Twists and Turns of Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya
Guest Post by ANIRBAN BHATTACHARYA
A few days back, drawing from Oscar Wilde’s classic, Makarand Paranjape wrote a piece titled The importance of being Narendra Modi. He urged his readers to ensure a second term for Modi saying “If Narendra Modi gets a second term, he will certainly change India in a lasting and significant way.” That he is going to change India, and is doing so already is not that far from truth, but the question is which way is this change taking us. Given the track record of Modi Ji(o) so far, the change is surely going to be for the worse. But this piece is not on Modi Ji(o). This one is on the Makarand Paranjapes of the world. Yes, they are not one. They are in fact a particular breed not new in history, and they have a particular role. Specifically, we would evaluate this role of theirs in the light of a recent piece of his on the gherao of the JNU VC.
Some would say that the piece was on the issue of Najeeb. But no, it wasn’t. Najeeb, a new student pursuing M.Sc in Bio-Tech living in Mahi-Mandavi hostel was publicly assaulted by identified ABVP goons in front of students as well as wardens on the night of 14th October. He was showered with dire consequences of which too there are multiple witnesses including again the hostel wardens. A vicious communal slur-campaign was set in motion by the sanghis writing “Muslims are terrorists” within the hostel premises. Amidst all of this and in the given context Najeeb “disappeared” on 15th October from his hostel. He had called his mother last, who, as it appears, had reached Anand Vihar and was on her way to meet her son in distress. But, by the time she was here, Najeeb went “missing” mysteriously and is yet to be found. After five days of entreating an unresponsive university administration to be proactive in creating conditions for Najee’s safe return, JNU students undertook an all night vigil on the 19th of October.
Continue reading The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya
Guest post by SHOURJENDRA NATH MUKHERJEE
Please note that this response was first sent to Swarajya Mag, where Prof Paranjpe’s Open letter appeared, but was not published. It was then sent to Kafila.
Dear Prof Paranjape
I am Shourjendra, an MPhil research scholar in the Department of History, DU. I write this letter as a rejoinder to your open letter in response to Maitreyee Shukla. Your open letter was not addressed to me and therefore you can feel free to not reply to my letter.
You sir, seem to reflect a lot of the opinions expressed very strongly by a section of the urban middle classes. Granted, these views are by their very nature not ‘fascist’ but nonetheless they help perpetuate and legitimate the regime in power. You are also one of the most eminent academicians to have sought to engage in these raging debates in the public sphere, and I very strongly appreciate you for this. Your open letter is one such statement and I would like to take this up as an opportunity to critically engage with some of the issues that you have raised. (Since, your statements are mostly uncritical appreciation and endorsement of these ideas, I would regard your statements as statements made by an academician who has paused to think academically.) Continue reading An Open Letter to Prof Makarand Paranjape