AISA activists staging a protest against the lecture delivered
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh at JNU, New Delhi on October 3, 2019
While blaming others of being fascist, intolerant and undemocratic, the evidence shows that Communist dominance in any academic campus nurture violence and bigotry among students. The recent incidents of Jadhavpur and JNU are the testimony to the same
#JitendraSinghGoBack and #BringBackArticle370 were the crux of the slogans raised by the Communist-dominated students union of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The occasion was a lecture by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh under the series ‘One Constitution’ on the 'Abrogation of Article 370, Peace, Stability and development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh', at the University on October 3. A protest to register point of view is natural in democracy, but what is being preached and practised by Communists not just in JNU but wherever they are dominating is nothing but continuation of the communist tradition, intellectual fascism.
The Union Minister, who is also an elected Member of Parliament from Jammu-Kashmir, was invited to speak on Article 370 by the University. The war of words started by the JNUSU, the moment the programme was declared. “The Xenophobic Triumphalism of the Sangh Pariwar is on full display today at JNU”, says a JNUSU statement released to give a call for the protest. The statement concludes, “The JNUSU opposes the devious agenda being promoted in our campus and is sure that the Campus community will reject the lies that are being spread by the Minister. We shall continue to be in solidarity with the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and organise a protest meeting with the members of the fact-finding teams and activists from J&K that reveals the truth about the current state of affairs in Kashmir.”
Continuing that posturing, AISA activists staged a protest raising slogans against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s decision to amend Article 370 and bifurcation of the State in two Union Territories. ‘Kashmir hai Kashmirion ka, Bharat ki jagir nahi’ (Kashmir is of Kashmiris, not a fiefdom of India) was their posturing reiterating their pro-separatist stand. Naturally, the nationalist forces of JNU led by ABVP organised a counter-protest and ensured that the Minister gets a chance to speak as per the scheduled programme. This scuffle between the two groups created a security situation on the campus.
Still, the administration persisted with the talk and Union Minister presented the entire scenario pertaining to the history and misuse of Article 370 and what are the implications and prospects due to the amendment to the article. With examples, he explained the unjust nature of Article 370 for the entire state and how it was manipulated to protect the certain vested interest and promote separatism. He also articulated possibilities for both the union territories after this historic move.
In the press release after the event, ABVP JNU unit condemned the incident in the following words: “JNU organised a talk on ‘Abrogation of Article 370: Peace, Stability and Development in Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh’ which was addressed by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State—Independent Charge at the JNU Convention Centre. As the talk was about to start communist and BAPSA prevalent in the campus raised slogans against India and slogans that were pro-Pakistan in nature. These groups tried to enter the premises of the venue where the talk was taking place to disrupt the same. It was a critical security situation for the Minister himself to move out of the venue post the talk. ABVP-JNU severely condemns this attitude of the communist and BAPSA organisations in the JNU campus for continued shaming of the University through such incidents and indecent behaviour”.
However, the Minister who was at the centre of this struggle on the campus tweeted, “Glimpses of ‘One Constitution’ Lecture on #Article370 at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), #NewDelhi. Rousing enthusiasm witnessed from all shades of opinion”. Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Jagadesh Kumar also tweeted through his handle, @mamidala90, “Overwhelming response to the talk on ‘Abrogation of Article 370’ by Dr. Jitendra Singh is a clear indication that JNU community supports "One nation and one Constitution" in one voice. Protest by a handful is a clear indication that freedom of expression is valued in our country.”
The AISA and other students’ organisations once again have shown their mindset where they do not want to listen to any viewpoint they do not agree with. To eliminate democratic space is the strategy they adopt when in the dominant position. If they are so serious about rights, democracy and free speech, why they do not stand for the rights of Jammu and Ladakh people and many communities of Kashmir Valley who were
discriminated through Article 370, is the natural question being asked on the campus. In the process, Communist organisations reminded the recent incident at Jadavpur where they had a violent scuffle against another Union Minister Babul Supriyo and exposed themselves.