(This story is taken from a post published by the author on her Facebook wall)
Is truth lost in the slogans in JNU or is it buried in graves?
February 9 was the day, when Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013 for the crimes he committed.
I don’t know exactly who but some political groups organized a protest against the “Indian occupation of Kashmir, raising slogans for their ‘martyr’ Afzal and condemning Indian state for the militarized occupation of Kashmir” (their words, not mine). It was aptly titled: The Country without a post office.
The woman who was addressing the gathering gave an introduction to the event, suggesting that the Parliamentary left needs to stand along with the struggle of “Kashmiris”
There was an ABVP group standing across the road from Sabarmati Dhaba, protesting against this event.
I walked over to the voices that were screaming: “Hum kya chahte hain, Azaadi!”
I wanted to understand what they had to say.
The crux of the matter was that too many times, human rights violations in Kashmir have gone unanswered, the foreign scholars or journalists who ask these questions are frequently deported, who will be held accountable for the mass graves? Kashmir needs to attain the freedom it deserves. (Again, their words, not mine.)
I stood there in anger.
I am not sure what brought about the courage in me, but I raised the question among this gathering:
“Who will be held accountable for the massacres of Kashmiri Pandits and when you attain the so called freedom, what happens to those Pandits who are also an integral part of Kashmir?”
There was silence and then a poet standing next to me replied,” But that’s not the point of today’s conversation.”
I had nothing to add but just ask: WHY? Because we don’t figure in your account of history?
Again, silence and then someone repeated the Azaadi slogan. I guess they still need some time to prepare answers for us.
Their medium of protest today was Poetry. Poetry was used to talk about Afzal Guru. Poetry! Where was this medium of protest when Poet Sarwanand Kaul Premi and his son Varinder Kaul were brutally murdered and hanged from the trees of their courtyard in 1990?
Why use the medium of poetry to talk about Afzal, who chose violence? What good did his actions bring for his community or for Kashmir?
A journalist from Zee News who was covering the protest took me aside for a news byte and after the camera went off, added: Keep raising these questions.
I couldn’t help but wonder. What is the point of it all; all the protests and all these protests against protest?
There are just too many questions but no one to answer them. And whenever there is one voice in the crowd that doesn’t agree with the rest, it is best to bury it and move on; like the mass graves perhaps.
Some people still hold that “power” comes only from the barrel of the gun. But the power in spurts also comes from the pens. The power coming from the pen is mightier and more impactful. That’s why we have the works from the pens of great thinkers like Hegel, Friedrich Engels and Karl Max which easily “demolished” the monopoly of feudalism, aristocracy, monarchy and churchism that no weapons on earth could have done. In India we Have a Great Philosopher and Thinker Swami Vivekananda.
Probably about 100 countries had determinedly opted for communism till the first half of the 20th Century. The leaders were euphoric that they would bring “equality” among all, they would fill the stomach of each individual. The ordinary citizens will have no worries. The news of new-found joy and peace among the commoners in Russia veritably spread world-wide. But very soon, standing on the elevated pedestal of power, the torchbearers of Communism projected themselves to be “more equal”. Thus, in spite of major changes in the socio-economic fabric, the Marx-Lenin doctrines also came to wreak havoc with the lives of the people who at times raised their voices against the brutal atrocities in the name of achieving equality. Millions of people were killed. Consequently, that endless violence and bloodshed have further bloodied the pages of history. The second half of the twentieth century thus saw the fall of communism like a ton of bricks.
This rapid transition was in fact prompted by various factors. The loss of the “integrity” of the leaders was the prime cause. On seeing the rise of power of the leaders who acted with unusual arrogance, George Orwell could not hold himself back. He roared – ‘communism to totalitarianism is terribly frightful’.Orwell penned down a satirical novel – ANIMAL FIRM. This touched everyone’s heart. It was a lethal attack upon self-righteous Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union.
True, the wayward and whimsical misinterpretation coupled with the loss of human values turned out to be Frankenstein’s monster to kill this well-intended ideology of classless government. Within a period of less than 50 years, only a few nations stood up to continue to follow the pathway conceived by Karl Marx and his masters. Many rational political scientists had set forth diverse reasons for the chronic sickness of the communism.
Yet, the literature by Marx and his ilk still continue to cast its spell. In some countries, it roars and thunders with a vengeance. This results in barbaric riots and violence disturbing the peaceful co-existence of the diverse communities.
As other countries, India has also long been suffering the onslaught of such ideologues and their proclivities. Therefore, we regularly witness the “cruel avatar” of Marx-and-Mao. Just recently, the statue of Swami Vivekananda was mindlessly defaced by a group of students in JNU, Delhi. If you ask earnestly what they have found wrong in the Indian monk then their answers come with the tone of immaturity, dogmatism and hatred. JNU has earned a reputation of being infested with a swarm of certain kind of crackpots whose eyes can’t bear to look at that which glorify the nation. Their minds are weighed down by the heavy load of prejudices and hatred for the nation, nay, humanity. They are almost like spoilt brats kicking their parents and smashing their own household furniture. “Tukre-tukre” gang is a new term to describe them for their open subversive activities.
What is very appalling is that round-the-clock they are motivated and protected by certain forces. Those forces also held the Indian academia to ransom for the past over a hundred years. Therefore, many wrongs are taught in Indian schools as right. The TRUTHS are resisted to be included in the academic curriculum. The pride and glories history of the country and its rich literary KNOWLEDGE has been systematically buried. Yes, they are the kind of intellectuals who see “virtues” in Mahishasur and foreign despotic invaders like Mohd. Gajni, Babar, Aurangzeb but vehemently criticize Indian icons who are invariably the paragon of righteousness.
Right from the embodiment of righteousness like Krishna, Rama, Ved Vyasa, Shankaracharya to the present social and literary figures who have contributed remarkably in the making of INDIA, are the objects of regression and derision for those scholars who hold Karl Marx, Hegel, Lenin…., and in high esteem. Therefore, when the statue of Vivekananda was desecrated, we noticed conspicuous “silence” while the groups of intellectuals rocked the country when the statue of Lenin of Russian was pulled down in Tripura, India.
Rightly speaking, Swami Vivekananda was a thinker and free from worldly affairs. He is known to have realized the divinity in every being. He is also known to have preached across the world that we must learn to see every individual as God manifestation in flesh and blood. Is it not the universal wisdom of humanity? Is loving each being without discrimination not the first teaching of right-thinking philosophers and all religions? Even Karl Marx and Hegel will not disagree on this. But it is very disgraceful that such great men with great ideas from the home country are brazenly disrespected and demeaned. It seems it is time for serious introspection and to take the right measures before it is too late.