Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal

Guest Post by JATIN GORAYA and PRADEEP NARWAL

ABVP ARE THE FOOT-SOLDIERS OF THIS FASCIST GOVERNMENT WHO ORCHESTRATED THE ATTACK ON JNU POST 9TH FEB LAST YEAR!

APPEAL TO EVERYONE TO REJECT AND ISOLATE THE KILLERS OF ROHITH AND THOSE WHO ORCHESTRATED THE #SHUTDOWNJNU CAMPAIGN!

As JNU is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year sangh parivar’s attack on our university post 9th of February we are again facing an unprecedented attack on our university – its democratic space, progressive admission policy, its inclusive character. The latter has been the heart and soul of JNU which the student movement has built over the last four decades. Last year’s attack was an attack on our right to dissent, to curb our democratic spaces and to implement the fascist Hindutva agenda on our universities. This year, in the name of “academic quality” and “excellence”, by reducing the seat intake & closing admission they want to ensure that none is able to access higher education in JNU.

We were members of ABVP previous to the events of Feb 9 last year, and we subsequently resigned because of our differences with this fascist, casteist, Brahmanical and patriarchal organisation. These differences, as we have earlier said, had been long standing ones. But after the orchestrated attack on JNU, we felt a limit had been crossed and we could no longer associate with ABVP. Continue reading “Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal”

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.

Continue reading “The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya”

2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid.

Video and Photo Inputs from Naushad MK, Samim Asgor Ali and Amit Kumar

[ This post was written shortly after JNU students gathered in front of Vasant Vihar Police Station to articulate their concern and anger at the lax attitude taken so far by the Delhi Police and other concerned authorities in relation to the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed almost two weeks ago. In this text, (originally uploaded as a note on Facebook and then sent to us to be posted at Kafila) Shehla Rashid, thinks aloud about what has happened so far and looks ahead at the possible way forward for the students of JNU and their supporters to focus on making sure that Najeeb Ahmed, wherever he is, returns safe and sound to the JNU campus. We hope that it will be widely read, and discussed to evolve strategies for the evolving future of the campaign to give justice to Najeeb. Kafila]

Shehla Rashid and Others Being Confronted by Delhi Police at the Vasant Vihar Chakka Jam on Oc. 26, 2016

 

First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to all the students who joined the Chakka Jam at Vasant Vihar police station, where the ACP refused to even accept the paper with our demands and, instead, ordered a lathi-charge on us. Students marched as one and stayed together till the end, despite all differences, for one goal- justice for Najeeb, and his safe return to campus life. I salute this spirit of JNU students. Having said that, I must say that we need to do more. Students need to come out in even greater numbers, as the attack on us is of immense magnitude.

Continue reading “2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid”

The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers

Ever since the present Modi government came to power, there appears to have been a clear set of orders issued from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters to its student organization, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to go on the rampage in university campuses all over India. From getting specific parts of syllabuses changed under threat of violence, disrupting events by other student organizations on campuses, to forcing university administrations to intervene to curb freedom of expression, to filing police complaints against dissenters, they seem to have been acting according to a well rehearsed script, subverting democratic processes on campuses. After its recent electoral defeats in JNU and Hyderabad Central University (HCU), however, the ABVP’s role seems to have acquired an even more virulent feature. The game plan appears to be to provoke violence wherever possible so that rather than any kind of debate, however contentious, on issues such as nationalism, minority rights and caste injustice, what we are increasingly likely to see are violent standoffs between student groups, which have to be controlled by the police. These are often represented in the media as brawls between students, as if there were no ideology or political content involved, just two groups of students “clashing.” But of course, in each case ABVP is involved, and in some kinds of reporting it can even be made to appear that ABVP was somehow the victim.

This is the moment at which teachers need to finally accept that ABVP is not just another student organization. We have tended to take the position in our universities that we must not condemn or directly address ABVP, since we must not directly involve ourselves in student politics. Teachers must talk to administration, be publicly critical of its lapses, take all measures necessary to display and enact our solidarity with students under attack by this regime. While students take their own decisions on modes of struggle and so on, teachers see our role as supportive but with a critical distance.

However, now we may need to start thinking of ways in which we  recognize the organization of the ABVP as a serious threat to Indian democracy. I don’t mean individual students, who would also be in our class-rooms, and with whom it may still be possible to continue a conversation, and whose examinations we will continue to grade with utmost probity. as we have always done.

But the ABVP as an organization has a specific role to play, as storm-troopers in the project of Hindu nationalism, and we cannot afford any longer not to face up to this fact frontally.

Continue reading “The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers”

Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

When politics decides your future, decide what your politics should be !

Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the 'Occupy UGC' Movement
Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the ‘Occupy UGC’ Movement

The recent government constituted panel‘s (headed by former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramaniam) report on student politics is unconstitutional, highly regressive and politically motivated, and signals the upcoming onslaught of total commercialisation of education and imposition of Hindutva ideology in universities. The TSR Subramaniam Panel’s report is the logical follow up to the Birla Ambani report (which was submitted in 2000), following which student unions across the country were banned. The Birla Ambani report had lamented that student unions are not allowing commercialisation of education: we accept the charge and take pride in it! We believe that education should be a right of everyone, not a privilege of a handful of people.

Continue reading “Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid”

Open Letter to JNU VC from a JNU Professor: Rajat Datta

Guest Post by RAJAT DATTA

Dear Professor Jagadesh Kumar,

I read your long interview in the Pioneer of 6th June 2016 with great interest, particularly because of the way in which you’ve outlined your vision for JNU over the next five years. We’d been hearing a lot of whispers about your `vision’ all these months, and I’m happy that I’ve finally got to see it in print. Unfortunately, some of the issues you’ve raised have made me somewhat uncomfortable, and thus I feel constrained to write this open letter to you to share some of these concerns. Please don’t take it amiss, for what I have to say emerges from being a very senior faculty member of the university and from your assurance that you work in `consultation’ with senior faculty members.

My first area of unease is precisely this proclamation. I don’t recall a single instance where you tried to consult me, or any of the senior faculty members that I know (and believe me, I know most of them). You’ve not bothered to visit my Centre, the largest in the University in terms of the faculty and student numbers, to interact and `consult’ with us. If by `consultation’ you mean your meetings with Deans over policy issues, there is nothing new in what you’re doing. All Vice-Chancellors in JNU have done that, and more. Indeed, you have omitted Chairpersons entirely from these processes. If your consultation process is so pervasive, why did so many `senior’ and not so senior members of the JNU faculty sit on a relay hunger strike against your administration over eight days in May? I regret to say that the consultation process that you talk about so proudly is seen by many as a very closed coterie of people (whom you proudly refer to as your `team’). Is it because you haven’t been able to win the trust of the larger academic community of this university? On their own initiative, different groups of teachers have met you (when permitted to) and other members of your “team” when you have been unavailable to meet them, over various issues, and emerged from these meetings feeling that you do not listen to us. Continue reading “Open Letter to JNU VC from a JNU Professor: Rajat Datta”

Cartoon by Jyothidas

Run Jaggu Run — The JNU VC Runs Away from the Academic Council Meeting

The 10th of May, the 13th Day of the Hunger Strike by JNU Students in protest against the HLEC Report was also the day scheduled for a meeting of the Academic Council of JNU. Students and faculty had resolved to stage a massive protest. Student and Faculty members of the Academic Council had also resolved to forcefully present issues related to the current crisis in the university at the AC Meeting. The events of the day are presented here through a series of videos and photographs uploaded by different people from JNU.

[ Video by Samim Asgor Ali, taken from his Youtube Channel ]

They tell the story of how students were generous with their tormentor, the VC, Jagadeesh Kumar, and how he ran away.

One day, his backers, Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh and even Narendra Modi, and all the goons in the RSS headquarters at Mahal, Nagpur and Jhandewalan, Delhi will have to run for cover in a similar fashion when faced with the ‘gift’ of the fruits of their actions.

Photo by Samim Asgor Ali
Photo by Samim Asgor Ali

The students gathered on hunger strike collected their meals from their hotel messes and placed them in front of the AC meeting venue as a ‘gift’ to the Vice Chancellor, JNU and the university administration. Continue reading “Run Jaggu Run — The JNU VC Runs Away from the Academic Council Meeting”