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Nirmala Sitharaman has accused JNU students of waging war, let her prove it in a court of law

By Kamal Mitra Chenoy*
Nirmala Sitharaman my junior in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has claimed that the UL (United Left) which won a sweeping majority in the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) elections is “waging war against India,” on September 14.
But it was the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, which disrupted the counting, controlled by the Election Commission, in the early hours of the morning at 3.30 am of September 15, and counting only restarted at 6.15 pm on September 15, when it was agreed that two teachers would ensure that the counting was fair.
Fourteen of fifteen posts in the three major schools (School of International Studies,School of Social Sciences and School of Languages) were won by the UL. All four office bearers, the President, Vice President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary of the UL were elected by a large margin defeating the ABVP.
In the night of September 16, students complained that they had been attacked by the ABVP in the hostels. No action was taken by the administration. On September 17 morning, a group of the faculty, about 18-20, went to the Vasant Kunj Police Station. There were dozens of people there who were threatening S Balaji, the newly elected JNUSU President. 5 FIRs were lodged by the police based on complaints by the ABVP, JNUSU and faculty, with a sixth lodged on September 18.
Kamal Mitra Chenoy
There were no slogans shouted against the country, or disrespect to any laws or rules. So on what basis does Nirmala Sitharaman accuse the JNU students of waging war against the country? Is the argument that if students contest against the RSS/ABVP they are waging war against India, as the Minister claims?
How, where is the UL waging war? Where is the war? Is it over the highly questionable Rafale deal? But have the JNUSU stopped any deal? It is the honourable Minister who didn’t see the counting of votes but is slandering the JNU, the teachers and students who oversaw the JNUSU elections, and that for the first time in many years, two teachers oversaw the conduct of counting of votes.
We all lose sometimes, on something. But we do not slander democratic processes. But does the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) care about this? Nirmala Sitharaman accuses the JNU students of waging war, let her prove it in a court of law. It is she who is trying to suppress democracy by claiming that students are waging war against India. War by JNUSU? Against whom? For what? It seems that Nirmala Sitharaman is talking of a war no one has heard of. Nor has she shown one coming!
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*Academic and activist. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

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