By Gaurav Jha and Saket Bahuguna
“DU में मारा है, JNU में भी जवाब देंगे .
आपकी लाश को समंदर में फेंक देंगे !!”
Did you think these afore-mentioned threatening intimidations coming from the mouth of some uncouth criminal?
Answer to this question is “NO”. This is how the prime accused of the anti-India programme that was organised on 9th February 2015 Mr. Umar Khalid – presently out on bail – threatened ABVP leader Mr. Saurabh Sharma yesterday at the same infamous Sabarmati Dhaba (where the anti-India programme was organised). Ideally, the crowd should have protested this open threat to a student leader who also belongs to the very same University. On contrary, the crowd responded with an ecstatic cheer, applause and hooting.
Hence the students of Ramjas College led by the elected President of College’s Students Union Mr. Yogit Rathi. Who has won from independent platform – and not ABVP – appealed to the College administration to withdraw permission to Khalid. The College Principal yielded to demands of these politically unaffiliated students and withdrew permission for Khalid to address the programme.
When the organisers of the programme comprising largely of ‘teacher activists’ or ‘comrades in faculty’, who were mostly members of Left-affiliated Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) were informed cancellation of permission to Khalid and the cause for it was also reasoned to them, they refused to back down and insisted on continuing with the programme with Khalid.
On 21st February, planned day of the programme, activists of All India Students Association (AISA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) of JNU along with other DTF teacher-activists attempted to barge in to the venue and when prevented by security staffs, they began to raise anti-Indian slogans within the premises of Ramjas College. These people included well known Leftist teachers, students and other members of Leftists academic cabal.
Some of the slogans that they raised and have been recorded included:
- Bastar chahe azadi
- Kashmir maange azadi
- Khalid ko hum laa ke rahenge
Expectedly, such irrational sloganeering were met by peaceful but resolute protests from the students’ community of Ramjas College, who saw this as an attempt to blacken its century old legacy. The massive students’ participation against this event was once again led by Rathi.
Perplexed, the rampant Left brigades of AISA, SFI and DTF started misbehaving and abusing the silent protesters of Ramjas College. Due to the ruckus created by these Left hooligans, some common students sought help from Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) in order to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
However, these communists did not even respect the integrity of these elected representatives of students union and hurled abuses at Ramjas College Students Union office bearers.
Till this juncture, ABVP was nowhere involved in the scene as we stands in totality with respect to an individual’s right to exercise of free speech in tune with what Evelyn Beatrice Hall famously wrote in The Friends of Voltaire, biography of François-Marie Arouet who is popularly known by his nom de plume as Voltaire in 1906: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
At the same time, though, ABVP vehemently condemns such anti-India sloganeering. While criticising government is an inalienable fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, secessionism is deemed seditious according to the First Amendment to the Constitution, made on June 18, 1951. This conditions that “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with Foreign States” will be supreme and therefore freedom of expression will not be absolute.
Subsequently, Leftists manhandled DUSU office bearers and instigated violence against them. Shockingly, the Police sided with these AISA and SFI activists rather than protecting innocent students. At this stage, some Leftist slapped a female police servant which led to ruckus in the campus in which many of the students were hurt. Many students of Delhi University, especially females were grievously hit and injured by AISA and SFI criminals. Police remained a passive spectator at best and atrocious at worst.
All injuries suffered at the hands of AISA-SFI lumpens were treated at government hospitals and MLC were done. Many students also filed complaint at Maurice Nagar Police Station against this outright criminal goondaism on their own volition.
Next day i.e. on 22nd February, 2017, ABVP on repeated requests of these terrified students had gathered since morning at Maurice Nagar Police Station to initiate actions against communist criminals. Around noon, these commies comprising largely out of non DU students, especially from JNU, and their teacher activists reached the venue and once again started mocking these shocked students. Once again, they resorted to their “azadi” theatrics and started beating DU students and ABVP activists.
To dispel the crowd, Police resorted to lathi charges in which these commies were hit. ABVP continued to shield DU students against these outsider hoodlums and resultantly many of our activists, especially females were hit.
The pattern of disruptive, anarchic anti-establishment forces are clear: propose a controversial programme, do not seek permission for programme or cite incorrect reasons which leads to cancellation of permission by authority and then claim victimhood. Finally, create stir. This time tested scripted pattern of spewing anti-India sentiment has been successfully applied in JNU and Delhi University several times in past.
Figure 2: Delhi Police drags and manhandling DUSU Vice Presidet Priyanka Chhawri. Credit Diksha Verma
Not surprisingly, the Communists, true to their Goebbelsian character i.e. repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth” are resorting to distortion of facts by alleging ABVP activists hit them while evidences prove otherwise. For doing so, they’re using their strong ecosystem in the academia and media. (These Leftists must be reminded the fact that Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels served as the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Hitler’s National SocialistParty)
Division within Left
However, apart from this usual invective of Left against ABVP, another interesting point that cannot be ignored here is the divide within the Left fraternity after this episode. Many of the prominent Leftists have distanced themselves or have out rightly condemned the way AISA and SFI have attempted to manufacture an artificial dissent in DU at the expense of other Left liberals.
Prominent queer activist Vikramaditya Sahai, also known as Vqueeram Aditya Sahai on social media, who teaches at Ambedkar University, Delhi writes,
“Just because you wanted to be the first ones to call a protest, you put a lot of lives in danger. you don’t reach out to other organisations, heck, you don’t even reach out to the organisers of the conference! then you show up unprepared and your cadre fron jnu the students of the college feel ambivalently towards. you take no account of the atmosphere of the college, the sentiments of the students, or their need for direction. to expect you to address the trauma and exhaustion of the students and faculty you want to save is the equivalent of expecting those abvp to see the nation critically. and much like them, you too should be thrown off campus.”
Another JNU PhD research scholar Rahul Mishra, who was quite active in students politics and was activist of Democratic Students Federation (DSF) expressed his disillusionment with Left politics. DSF was created in 2012 after CPM disbanded the entire JNU unit of its students’ wing SFI for dissenting against party’s support to Pranab Mukherjee’s bid for Presidency. Typical communist intolerance against free speech!
In the screenshot, he responds to Bibek Kumar, another senior activist of DSF.
Hypocrisy of Left Liberals
While self-proclaimed liberals have jumped in to defend Khalid’s right to free speech, this is also an opportune moment to question the hypocrisy of these “liberals”.
Recently, there erupted a controversy in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) over an invite to former Vice President of JNU Students Union (JNUSU) Ms. Shehla Rashid and she was barred from entering the campus. Earlier, an FIR was filed by AMUSU against Rashid, for her Facebook post, dated January 9th, 2017 in which she had insulted Lord Ram as well as called Prophet Muhammed a “pedophile” and “rapist”.
Ideally, as self-proclaimed champions of free speech, Leftists and Liberals within JNU and without should have stormed to AMU and voiced against subjugation of free speech as they did yesterday in Delhi University. But they couldn’t muster courage to challenge the might of fanatics in Islamic University. This naturally raises question on inability of the “progressives” to take on Muslim fundamentalist voices.
Similarly, they’re maintaining a sordid silence over attack on Tarek Fatah by Islamists, that occurred almost at same time on February 21st at Jashn-e-Rekhta when Khalid had his programme scheduled in DU (Of course, without permission). Most mainstream media houses and liberals hushed the news under carpet.
On contrary, these people created fracas on slapping of a Bollywood film maker recently in Rajasthan. Conversely, their hypocritical conscience remained unmoved, unshaken:
- When very recently Prof. Paranjape wasn’t allowed to enter School of Languages in JNU, where he is a faculty by anarchist-communist hoodlums;
- When derogatory and defamatory remarks were hurled on Prof. Markarand Paranjape at the JNU Lecture series where he was talking about nationalism held in March, 2016;
- When highly acclaimed writer Rajiv Malhotra was manhandled in TISS;
- When Director Vivek Agnihotri was pushed and hurt in Kolkata when he tried to screen his film Buddha in a Traffic Jam;
- When a protest against Subramanian Swamy had turned violent at the Conference Centre, Delhi University in January 2016;
- When Swami Ramdev was not allowed to address Vedanta Conference at JNU in December, 2015;
- When Left had attempted to violently disrupt then NDA’s Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi at Sriram College of Commerce (SRCC) in 2014;
- When President Pranab Mukherjee was abused in JNU by Communists, especially Umar Khalid who had called “hangaman” (of Afzal Guru) to “go back”. It was ABVP which despite ideological difference welcomed him and protested DSU and AISA’s hooliganism by virtue of Mukherjee being the head of the state. Shamelessly, these same people are today knocking at his door to propagate lies against JNU Vice Chancellor Prof Jagadeesh Kumar;
- When Manmohan Singh (the then Prime Minister), who was also Professor Emeritus in JNU Economics Centre, was greeted with black flags in Nov 2015 by AISA. It was again ABVP which came to his rescue and welcomed him and protested AISA’s hooliganism;
- Similarly, when the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam when he visited JNU, AISA JNUSU President refused to honour him with a bouquet in Jan 2005;
- And finally, JNU Left liberals take immense pride in boasting that in the 1980s, they didn’t allow Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India was not allowed to enter JNU campus!
If there is a freedom of speech, then it must be for all and equal for everyone. Why such hypocrisy at different places?
To conclude, ABVP strongly condemns these nefarious tactics of the Leftists and warn them to refrain from slandering activities. The Parishad had always stood for the nation’s cause and will continue to do so in the future as well. We also demand Vice Chancellor of Delhi University and Ramjas College administration as well as law enforcement agencies to initiate an enquiry against teachers, students and any other outsiders, who raised anti-India slogans in the premier College.
Pictures of attacks on common students and ABVP activists by Leftists and Delhi Police.
All photos credit: Diksha Verma
Figure 4: DUSU Secretary Ankit Sangwan being dragged by Delhi Police.
Gaurav Jha is currently pursuing PhD at U.S. Studies Division, Jawaharlal Nehru University and was the Presidential candidate of ABVP in JNUSU 2015-16. His twitter handle is @gjha88.
Saket Bahuguna, a JNU alumnus, has completed his MPhil from Department of Linguistics at Delhi University. At present, he is the National Media Convener of ABVP. His twitter handle is @BahugunaSaket