Tag Archives: Right Wing Attacks on Students and Universities

The Importance of Being 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.

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The Twitter Gherao of Mamidala90 on the 10th Day of Najeeb Ahmed’s Disappearance from JNU: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

[ Between the 9th and 1oth day of the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed from the JNU campus, the JNU Vice Chancellor, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar decided to salvage his reputation on twitter, even as he squandered it on the grounds of the campus of the university he presides over. And so he let forth a volley of tweets, while sitting inside his office and his residence, even as he refused to meet or listen to the JNU students who have grown increasingly concerned and anxious at the university administrations callous laxity about the fate of Najeeb Ahmed, the missing students.

While students marched down the campus, forming a human chain that culminated at the gates of the VC’s residence near the university’s east gate, Mamidala90 (the handle with which the VC distinguishes himself in twitsville) began getting extremely active. While the students were peacefully assembled at the gates of the VC’s residence, very much not in ‘gherao’ or ‘blockade’ mode, Mamidala90 whined about being ‘blockaded’.

A Sample of Mamidala90's tweets while students gathered peacefully outside his residence. Is this what it felt like to hear Nero fiddle while Rome burnt?
A Sample of Mamidala90’s tweets while students gathered peacefully outside his residence. Is this what it felt like to hear Nero fiddle while Rome burnt?

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