Skip to main content

Right to dissent under stress, feel Delhi prefessors following ABVP attack on Ramjas event, Culture of Protest

By Our Representative
The quiet and sprawling, though busy, campus of the Delhi University (DU) is in the throes of a new change. There is a strong flutter among students and faculty of the campus and DU-affiliated colleges, following the February 21 BJP students' wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) “attack” on a Ramjas College seminar, that the right to dissent has come under extreme stress.
A case in point is DU professor of English, Sachin Nirmala Narayanan, who teaches in Dyal Singh College. In a note he first circulated on a close WhatsApp group, but later made it public through Facebook, he what he saw on the campus – even a physically challenged colleague, whom he escorted in the campus late at night, was “badly roughed up.”
Coming to the controversial seminar held at the Ramjas College, he said, it was organized by the college’s literary society, and had “all the permissions for the topic and the speakers”, though adding, the organized had perhaps “erred in not inviting the representatives of the sangh (RSS/ABVP) who also has a lumpen culture of protest”.
Referring to the ABVP objection to allowing two Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students to be part of the penal discussion, Prof Narayanan says, “Whether one likes it or not Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid are students with very good academic credential.” Both are are part of PhD programmes, and Umar was to speak his on PhD work on atrocities against adivasis in Bastar.

Even as the seminar was about to begin, Prof Narayanan says, many students were “attacked from behind with bricks and lathis by the ABVP goons.” In fact, ABVP people “tried to strangle” Prasanta Chakravarty, associate Professor, department of English, “with the muffler he was wearing by pulling on the two ends in the opposite direction and was beaten up.”
He adds, “Ramjas students and teachers were locked in and continuously threatened and attacked by ABVP for four hours inside the college. Chairs were hurled at two women teachers, the goons were openly looking for another male teacher of the college with brazen threats of violence.”
On the second day, February 22, when around 200 protesting students and teachers marched to the Maurice Nagar police thana, they were “subjected to a barrage of eggs, glass bottles and heavy stones on their way as well as in front of the thana in full view of the police”, says Prof Narayanan, adding, “They did not allow the injured students to lodge FIRs, targeted women continuously with sexual threats and raised communal, anti-Muslim slogans.”
In fact, he says, “The police who never detained the ABVP, then started physical attack on teachers, students and even the media personnel by around 6 pm in the name of detaining. Many women were manhandled by male police along with male protesters injuring and traumatizing all.”
Ayesha Kidwai, President, JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA), and Pradeep K Shinde, Secretary, JNUTA, in a statement have said, the attack on Ramjas students “a larger pattern”, adding over the last couple of years, the universities in India have witnessed a consistent pattern of attack on the universities.”
They give the example of what happened previously in “Hyderabad Central University, Jadavpur University, JNU, the Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, and Jay Narayan Vyas University (JNVU), Jodhpur.
In a separate appeal, activists and experts have expressed their solidarity with the battered professors and students who have dared to stand up to “ABVP hooliganism”. Those who have signed include Prof Ankur Sarin of IIM, Ahmedabad; Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information; Binayak Sen of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA); and Sandeep Pandey, visiting faculty, IIT, Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, Abhishek Pratap Singh, a Delhi-based Sangh activist, has admitted, the ABVP objection was “not to the event but to the panel of speakers for the seminar”, which included Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, both from Kashmir. Delhi-based BJP leader Nupur Sharma has claimed she has “received images” from a DU professor “which supposedly depicted atrocities committed by Leftists on ABVP members”, commenting, “Never forget: Left kills our people in Kerala.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
Please let me know. Cheers

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.