Skip to main content

JNU action on Feb 2016 "anti-national" slogans: Dubbed farce, authorities "rusticate" non-student from varsity

Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar
Counterview Desk 
A high-level enquiry committee (HLEC) set up by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to look into allegations of “anti-national” slogans raised at a protest held on campus in February 2016, has upheld the recommendation to rusticate student leaders Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who were arrested in a sedition case, but set free on bail. It imposed a fine on Kanhaiya Kumar to the tune of Rs 10,000 for participating in the event.
In a tweet, Khalid said, "Just got to know that Anirban has also been rusticated from JNU for a semester from July 2018-Jan 2019. Now, the fun part is he ceased to be a JNU student in 2016. How do u rusticate a person who has already left? Put him on a time machine? Such a High Level farce, this enquiry".
In a statement he issued earlier, Khalid said he would challenge the decision:
Once again, the BJP and its paid pipers in the media are ecstatic in their portrayal of the students in JNU as “criminals.” With the pretext of the recent order of the farcical “High Level” enquiry (read drama) of the JNU administration, they are claiming that their fiction has been “validated”.
I want to state categorically, that we are all being targeted in a systematic and a malafide manner by an enquiry that was prejudiced against us from day one. An administration that has been running at the orders of the ruling BJP and the RSS, was at no point of time in a position of impartiality to conduct this enquiry.
The court has repeatedly found faults with the enquiry process and has vindicated our apprehensions. This is the third time in the last two years that the administration has come up with a ‘rustication’ order against me in this case – an order that has been twice set aside by the courts. We once again reject this farce of an enquiry along with its findings and verdict. It is against all principles of natural justice and is riddled with contradictions, lies and malice which will soon be exposed again.
We will once again challenge this in court. And we will continue our struggle against such vindictive witch-hunt of any and every voice of dissent in universities across the country. This recent order of the HLEC in JNU is in line with the pattern of the administration’s high-handedness and selective targeting of opposing voices in the student community who against all odds have refused to kneel in the face of despotism.
But alongside, I also wish to take the opportunity to add a bit more here. Yes, we have been student activists in JNU raising our voice against the arrogance of power under the Modi regime and against the manifold injustices in society. But alongside we have also been students who have pursued our academics seriously over the years. 
And the two are not exclusive of each other. Our politics also reflects in our academic pursuit and vice versa. Both relate to the rights of the most marginalised in our society. As the ones studying in a public funded university with taxpayers money, we have a certain sense of responsibility towards our society.
My own PhD is on the socio-economic deprivation and political marginalisation of the tribals since colonial times. It is rather ironical that the same regime that says that students are non-serious about their studies in JNU is today hellbent upon stopping us from submitting our PhDs that have been the products of rigorous research, passion and criticality. 
They have conjured this HLEC order just two weeks before the deadline of our final submission which is shameful and rabidly vindictive. It is symptomatic of their larger assault on public funded education, on research on social justice and on criticality. However, we want to assure them that we shall not lie low.
Faced with rampant joblessness; faced with the wrath of the farmers, workers and the youth; faced with the limits of their communal, casteist and divisive politics – it is clear that the Modi government is failing miserably and their lies lay exposed. Therefore, once again they are desperately trying to rake up farcical binaries and fictitious enemies today through its propaganda machinery. 
There will be more such jumlas, assaults, fictitious “conspiracies,” arrests and media witch-hunt in the run-up to the elections in 2019. And the desperation only shows the fear and weakness of a government that has terribly failed the nation and its people.
***
In a separate statement, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union has said: “Even after two years of the incident, the Delhi police could not file a charge sheet against JNU students. This decision of the committee is nothing but a gross misuse of power. The committee’s punishments have been set aside by the Delhi High Court twice in the past. We are looking into all legal remedies to overturn this order as well.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.