Tag Archives: #StandwithUmar

JNU High Level Committee Delivers a Low Blow – Students Unjustly Rusticated, Fined, Declared ‘Out of Bounds’

So, the High Level Enquiry Committee at JNU, set up under the watch of Jagadish Kumar, the recently appointed Vice Chancellor, has just delivered a low blow. A summary of its decisions (taken from the Facebook Wall of JNUSU Vice President, Shehla Rashid) meted out as the consequences of the events of February 9 and after is as follows :

Umar Khalid, rusticated for one semester + 20K fine.

Anirban, rusticated till 15 July & from 25 July, out of bounds for 5 years.

Another Kashmiri student rusticated for two semesters.

Ashutosh, former JNUSU President, removed from hostel for one year + fine.

Chintu, former JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine

Rama, current JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine

Anant, former JNUSU Vice-President: 20K fine

Aishwarya, current GSCASH representative: 20K fine.

Gargi, current JNUSU councillor: 20 K fine

Shveta Raj, current SL & CS Convener: 20 K fine

Kanhaiyya, current JNUSU President: 10K fine

Other organisers fined from 10K to 20K

Two ex students declared out of bounds from campus.

This is an administration, which, in obedience to its backers in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Government of India, that knows only one way of dealing with the students in its charge – and that is a replica of the vindictive path that eventually drove Rohith Vemula to his institutionally mandated death in Hyderabad University.

This is an administration that invited police to intervene in what was essentially a dispute between groups of students, at the instigation of right wing thugs. Continue reading JNU High Level Committee Delivers a Low Blow – Students Unjustly Rusticated, Fined, Declared ‘Out of Bounds’

Mera Piya Ghar Aaya: Umar Khalid and Anirban Return to JNU and the Students’ Struggle

I have come home a little while ago from Jawaharlal Nehru University after listening to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya take back the night. As I drove home  through the quiet streets of Delhi after midnight it occurred to me that somebody should whisper into Narendra Modi’s ear that he should now start stocking up on sleeping pills. (Maybe Baba Ramdev’s enterprise makes some that he could prescribe to the Prime Minister, unadulterated). With young people like Umar and Anirban as his adversaries, the Prime Minister can only have sleepless nights ahead of him. It is perhaps fortunate for him that the team from Madame Tussaud’s came by and did their job yesterday. Because from now on, his real skin tone will only envy the lustre of his wax work. Umar and Anirban, and their friends, took away the little remaining shine that Modi had left at midnight.

Continue reading Mera Piya Ghar Aaya: Umar Khalid and Anirban Return to JNU and the Students’ Struggle

A Conversation about the Meaning of the word ‘Azadi’ (‘Freedom’) in the Wake of Events at JNU

Signal to Noise Ratio

There has been a lot of talk about what exactly ‘Azadi’ (freedom) means, especially in the wake of Kanhaiya Kumar’s post release midnight speech at JNU on the 4th of March. So lets talk some more. No harm talking. If there is noise, there must also be a signal, somewhere.

Kanhaiya Kumar clarified in his electrifying, riveting speech that his evocation of Azadi was a call for freedom ‘in’ India, not a demand, or even an endorsement of a demand for freedom ‘from’ India.

This may come as a sigh of relief to some, – Kanhaiya , the man of the moment, proves his ‘good’ patriotic credentials, leading to an airing of the by now familiar ‘good nationalist vs. bad nationalist’ trope. And everyone on television loves a nationalist, some love a good nationalist even more.

Perhaps this was a way of dealing with a bail order that was at the same time a gag order.

[ P.S. : Since writing this last night, a more careful reading of the bail order has suggested to me that the actual terms of bail are not so bad after all. Bail is in fact granted, as far as I can see, fairly unconditionally. Kanhaiya is not asked, for instance, to step down from his position in the students’ union, nor are restrictions placed on his movement and activity. So in technically legal sense, the bail provisions need not be interpreted in a tightly restricted manner. The egregious political hortations, the references to infection, antibiotics, amputation and gangrene, which are over and above the legal instructions, are indeed terrible, but operationally, they have no executive authority backing them.]

But to say just that the text of the bail order is what shaped Kanhaiya’s midnight speech would be ungenerous, and miserly, especially in response to the palpably real passion that someone like Kanhaiya has for a better world, and for a better future for the country he lives and believes in. I have no doubt about the fact that coming as he does from the most moderate section of the Indian Left (the CPI – well known for their long term affection for the ‘national bourgeoisie’ despite the national bourgeouisie’s long term indifference/indulgence towards them), Kanhaiya is a genuine populist nationalist patriot [I have corrected ‘nationalist’ to ‘patriot’ here in response to the criticism and suggestion held out by Virat Mehta’s comment – see below in the comments section] and a democrat moulded as he says, equally by Bhagat Singh and Dr. Ambedkar. There is a lot to admire in that vision, even in partial disagreement. And while some may not necessarily share his nationalism, this does not mean that one has to treat it with contempt either. I certainly don’t.

Continue reading A Conversation about the Meaning of the word ‘Azadi’ (‘Freedom’) in the Wake of Events at JNU

‘Feeling Seditious’: March on Parliament to #StandwithJNU

For the third time within a span of two weeks since the middle of February, thousands of people came out on the streets of Delhi to express their solidarity with the detained students of JNU (Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban) and to voice their anger with the venal Modi regime.

Protest demonstrations (at least in northern India) tend to have something of the monotonous in them, the same cadence, the same rhythm and the same wailing, complaining tone. They tend to have an air of events staged by the defeated, for the defeated. But if we take the last three big protests in the city, and the many gatherings in JNU in the last two weeks or so,  as any indicator of what the pulse of our time is, we will have to agree that there has been a qualitative transformation in the language, vocabulary and  affect of protests. This afternoon, like the afternoon of the 18th (the first big JNU solidarity march), and of the 23rd of February (the Justice for Rohith Vemula March), was as much about the joy of togetherness and friendship as it was about rage and anger.

Continue reading ‘Feeling Seditious’: March on Parliament to #StandwithJNU

Apologise to the Nation, All of You.

You, who shout your nationalism from the rooftops; you whose blood runs hot for “Mother India”; you who turn red with rage when contradicted; you who set agendas like patriarchs drunk on father-right; you who refuse to let another speak, you! who don a suit every night on television to disguise your cheap tricks; you who abuse your guests if they happen to be young, powerless and honest; you who bloat on adrenaline while your viewers turn to idiotic jelly; you who abuse the highest offices of this land; you who give a bad name to khaki; you who wear lawyers’ robes to beat students and teachers; you who are protected by your political masters; you who strike deals in the privacy of your offices, chambers and boardrooms; you who live by ratings and upvotes; you who tell lies so long you forget the truth; you who form bands of cowards hiding in plain sight; you who roam the streets showing your fist to all; you for whom a martyred soldier is more valuable than a living citizen; you who abuse the power that history gave you; you who mistake that accident of history for a moral right; you whose imagination of revenge always involves rape; you who have brought this country to the brink of civil war; you who speak in the name of the mythical motherland while the actual children of that land are hungry, thirsty and unemployed; you who claim this moment, this nation, this public, this history, this land. Apologise.

Apologise to those who work everyday to make this country decent; who work for too little, and for too long; those whose deaths become statistics in the great churning pots of state economists; those whose parents taught them to keep their heads down and quit an ugly fight; those who argue, debate, disagree without the urge to kill or maim their opponents; those who understand when an argument becomes too heated; those who pull back from the brink every time because they know that to be alive is not always to be right; those who reclaim the streets to protest when it’s hard, when it’s inconvenient, and when it’s dangerous, because it’s the only way to disagree; those who see that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind; those who understand and accept this land in all its confounding conflict; those who risk death to expose the powerful and corrupt; those who have no choice but to join the army to feed their families; those who laugh when there is nothing left; those who write, think and reason, and take time over all three; those who appreciate the beauty of the stars on a still night; those who make love like it’s a gift and not a right; those whose parents live after they died because they were on the wrong side at the wrong time.

Above all, you deranged “nationalists”, apologise to three fellow citizens – one born in a caste that could only speak from the protection of death; another who is languishing in jail for no crime at all; and perhaps most of all, a third who is on the run from a police none of us ever trusted. Apologise. These young people are the future of this country, not you with your bloodlust. WE are the nation, and we demand an apology from you.

Statement of Solidarity FromFaculty and Graduate Students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Against Police Ation on JNU Campus

 

To: Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar

Vice Chancellor

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi-110 067, India

Continue reading Statement of Solidarity FromFaculty and Graduate Students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Against Police Ation on JNU Campus

Communication Students, Practitioners, and Professors in Solidarity with Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar, and Anant Prakash Narayan and Jawaharlal Nehru University

 

 We, students, professors, and practitioners of Communication and Media, condemn the recent attacks by the Indian state on students and faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus. Given the spurious nature of the claims mostly circulated through traditional and social media, we demand an immediate end to all police action on campus, a withdrawal of charges against the President of JNU Students’ Union, Kanhaiya Kumar, and JNU students Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar, and Anant Prakash Narayan, as well as an engaged effort to return peace and a climate of open debate to the university. We are troubled by the climate of authoritarianism being actively promoted by the Indian government in educational institutions and the concerted effort by the government to silence critical conversations. We are also disturbed by the attack on journalists by lawyers and goons close to the structures of power. Continue reading Communication Students, Practitioners, and Professors in Solidarity with Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar, and Anant Prakash Narayan and Jawaharlal Nehru University