Thursday, February 18, 2016

The JNU incident

In Delhi, Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have an almost peaceful co-existence. JNU is considered a hotbed of leftist ‘intellectuals’, a haven for ‘liberals’ and all that. Comparatively, DU is more sedate, more mainstream.
BJP’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has been successful off and on in DU student body elections. But it had very rarely managed to breach JNU student body elections. About five months ago, ABVP managed to make inroads in JNU. So it was imperative that they will try to flex their muscles and make their presence felt, whichever way possible. And looking at the lumpen elements that seem to be ruling the roost in BJP, ‘whichever way’ had an ominous ring to it.
The leftist ‘intellectuals’ also played into the BJP’s hands by organizing (or allowing someone to organize; the reports come in both flavors) a program on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru. In an unholy hurry, Afzal Guru was secretly hanged by the previous UPA government for petty political gains. The gains were nil, not even petty. But the djinn had come out of the bottle.
What happened at JNU? Full three years after his death, Afzal’s death was roused up again in the form of a program to pay ‘homage’ to him, branding him a ‘martyr’. And the whole world (or so it appears) suddenly started letting everybody know how s/he felt.
The legal case is yet to be built. The police arrested a student leader and slapped sedition charges. The ‘sedition charge’ part got the intellectuals’ goat. And they started protesting shrilly.
More than one-and-a-half years into government, BJP has nothing to show on the development front, the basis on which they asked for and populace gave votes. So any such diversion (let it be ‘award returning’ or ‘beef ban’) is most welcome by the party.
But now, it has become too putrid to ignore. Political posturing and calling names is routine. The ‘progressive’ will call the BJP ‘communalist’ and ‘casteist’, while calling themselves ‘secular’. BJP will call them ‘pseudo-secular’ and ‘anti-national’. All this is so routine that it is boring.
But the lawlessness that was unleashed on Monday, right in the middle of the national capital, is certainly worth deploring strongly. And when the heinous performance is repeated, it needs even stronger condemnation.
Before selling pipe dreams of ‘Make In India’, the Prime Minister has a more pressing duty – to ensure that the rule of the law upholds, at least where the government is located. And when the home minister makes a callous statement, it is time to send him home, his home, with no retirement benefits.
Will the Prime Minister stand up and prove that he is awake?

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