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Why is this FB group, supposed to be for friends of SPV, refusing free clash of ideas?

AK Joti, Shalini Randeria, Pratap Bhanu Mehta
By Rajiv Shah 
I posted the link  of my Counterview blog titled "Nothing wrong in calling Amit Shah, but will this top school also call Rahul or Kejriwal?" on a Facebook group called Sardar Patel Vidyalaya Friends of which I am also supposed to be a member. I say supposed to be because no sooner I posted the blog, it was removed -- straightaway. 
The message removing the blog said the an admin had removed it. I don't know which one, but it sounded strange, to say the least. I wrote in my blog that the spirit of free, democratic thinking of SPV shouldn't stop at asking Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, to address the children. Why not also call a Rahul Gandhi or an Arvind Kejriwal too?
This made me scan through the FB's SPV group. While most posts were of general nature, a few of them were politically inspired. The entire speech of Amit Shah found its way -- as uploaded by the Haryana BJP -- in the group. There was another post which called names like "tukde-tukde gang" close to Pratap Bhanu Mehta seeking to grind its political axe.
It is this group, it said, which behind the letter written to the school management not to call Amit Shah, whose ethos allegedly ran against the Constitutional spirit. The post went all to find Khalistani links of this gang, stating, there was "definite information" that many of its members have returned to India. Great piece of news!!!
I don't see anything wrong that such posts are allowed to appear in the FB group. This is just one viewpoint. But why not allow others too to express their views? The letter writers have been criticised for "carrying on the same false anti-Modi propaganda that was started by Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt 20 years back." Okay. But why let others, who are also alumni, to express themselves?
This post stated that some of those called to address the school children in the past included well-known academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who was "kicked out" as vice-chancellor of the Ashoka University, insisting he is "anti-national". Then, the author of the post wonders why AK Joti, IAS, a 1969 batch alumnus of the school, a "true nationalist" who became chief election commissioner, was left out.
We journalists in Gujarat surely know Joti very well. He has loved to toe the Modi line, come what may. Not nationalism but toeing a particular line helped him -- who doesn't know this? Ask any journalist covering Gandhinagar Sachivalaya during the days he was chief secretary under Modi.
Then there is another person mentioned -- Prof Shalini Randeria, currently a top-notch sociologist in Europe. I have reported her research work on Gujarat Dalits. A 1971 batch alumnus, perhaps this FB group person doesn't know her, lest she would also have been dubbed anti-national.
It's ok if you dub anyone anti-national for her or his thoughts, which is what Amit Shah and Narendra Modi have been doing, calling "urban Naxals" all, left, right and centre. But at least be faithful to the SPV spirit... Let opinions clash...


Anonymous said…
Facebook pages of individuals or groups are not for “clash of ideas”. These are for convergence of ideas of like minded people. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya is run by Gujarat Education Society. In the past it has invited Gujarati leaders like Morarji Desai, Jaisukhlal Hathi, Manubhai Shah, all ministers in Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet. Inviting Amit Shah is in line with this policy. Inviting Rahul Gandhi who has never held any office in his life doesn’t make sense. Kejriwal as CM of Delhi doesn’t have the same credentials as ministers in the central government with Gujarati background.
Bhanu Pratap Mehta was once invited as the chief guest by SPV as someone from academia. His Ashoka University absorbs many SPV school leaving students. He has good relations with the principal and teachers. Alumni of SPV in Ashoka University worked behind the scene to invite him. This served the interests of the school and the Univ. But Mehta has been removed from Ashoka University because he was indulging this “clash of ideas” that Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi are indulging in on political platforms. He was using the Univ as a platform for his clash. Neither Ashoka nor SPV can be used for this “ clash of political ideas” We have seen what this does to the academic institutions. JNU Jamia Jadavpur have more clashes than classes.
I am an alumnus of SPV and I am proud of my school. Many of my school friends and I are going to prevent the school from being hijacked by Swara Bhaskars and Richa Chaddas. We don’t want our school to be associated with those who disrespect our armed forces and martyrs or sports person bringing honour to our nation. Calling Saina Nehwal as “subtle cock champion of the world” is an idea that doesn’t deserve any attention anywhere. Media can give importance to these but not the alumni of a school founded by Gandhian. This is your platform. You May delete my ideas if you don’t like. That’s fine
Jag Jivan said…
Mr Anonymous, why are you hiding your name? What ails you? Are you afraid of being exposed? What you are doing here is politically inspired clash of ideas, to choose your words, that too without revealing your name! That's strange to say the least. In your view, anyone who criticises Modi-Shah are indulging in clash of ideas, and others are anti-national!!! Remember: in late 1960s AB Vajpayee was called when he was a political non-entity, and that was the SPV spirit. Rest of the names you are taking came to SPV when they were in power. As for Bhanu Pratap Mehta, Swara Bhaskar and Richa Chadda they have a specific viewpoint, which should be allowed to be expressed so that students know their viewpoint along with that of Modi-Shah. Let them freely choose, that has to be the SPV spirit. You are seeking to prevent ideas to be spread, which is surely undemocratic. And as a post-script, let me ask you, since when Modi-Shah and the legacy they follow is Gandhian???
Kiran Pandit said…
I am an alumni of the school. I come from a Khadi wearing Gandhian family that had spent some years in Sabarmati Ashram. And I grew up in Lajpat Nagar a BJP stronghold. I therefore know the Lutyens crowd as well as the RSS type neighbours. I have seen privileged people coming from families of netas babus patrakars and kalakars. And the disadvantaged refugee colony neighbours. Like it or not SPV is right in the Lutyens zone and 100m from Khan Market. So its catchment areas are of Lutyens and Khan Market gangs.

In our days the school was mainly known as patelites school. Those who carrying on Sardar Patel’s legacy. HM Patel being the top pateiite. There were many pro Morarji Desai elements in key positions and we had Indira Gandhi as the PM. Gulzarilal Nanda’s daughter came to our school. Jaysukhlal Hathi’s children came to our school. Manubhai Shah’s sons came to our school. Arun Shah’s name is on the roll of honours board. There was politics in school too particularly during Reddy-Giri presidential election.
But it was very civilized exchange of opposing views and support.

We students were aware of all this but our friendship had no camps No. Indira Morarji nor Reddy Giri The school was nationalist to the core. 1965 war NDF efforts and Friday funds were for the nation

The present wokeism wasn’t there. This is Ashoka University and JNU type of elitism. Some alumni think that BJP leadership is a bunch of anpar ganwar and all the supporters of the PM are bhakts.
Just a few years back Wikipedia page on the school had no mention of Achal Joti or Shalini Randheria or Romil Bharthwal or Smitu Kothari or Sanjiv Handa. It was packed with all the B grade filmy people.


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