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Student politics: Is JNU going through a DU-isation and vice-versa

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By Sagar Sethi

‘Neither Hindi nor English, friends I know only one language, and that is the language of Movement!’ says DSF’s Lenin Red in his presidential speech at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Established in 1969 JNU, also known as the Lal Burg (Red Bastion), is today more colourful than before. The student politics in JNU is determined to unfurl its rainbow flag and further the freedom struggle of India’s Queer Movement. Its red bricked walls at the same time seem slightly saffron hued.

INDIA - OCTOBER 24: Election graffiti at Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, October 24, 2006 (Photo by Vivek Singh/The India Today Group/Getty Images)
INDIA – OCTOBER 24: Election graffiti at Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, October 24, 2006 (Photo by Vivek Singh/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

JNU has always been a Left stronghold. But can it keep its politics aloof from the emergence of saffronised politics at the national level? Last year RSS students’ wing ABVP increased its councilors’ share in JNU’s student union to 40%, clarifying the arrival of ‘Modi Leher’ in JNU. Although CPI(ML)’s student-wing AISA retained all four posts of JNUSU’s Central Panel, the language of politics is slightly drifting from progressive issues dealing with queer independence and gender justice to more immediate student issues; like installing Wi-Fi gardens, more Wi-Fi routers and especially more hostel rooms.

ABVP’s National Secretary Rohit Chahal said, “I think now the students are fed up with the policies of the Left in JNU. The Left groups don’t talk about immediate student issues while ABVP has always struggled to emphasize these issues.”

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The crisis of hostel accommodation has been looming in the campus for too long now. “The hostel crisis benefits AISA’s politics,” ABVP Activist Mukesh says. This provides the ground for Left organizations in JNU, he further says, to network with the huge mass of desperate students who need a room to crash in after their classes. On the other hand, this ‘Room Lo, Vote Do’ exchange academically benefits the student community as well. More they interact among themselves, more refined their ideas become. Just like in Plato’s ideal society where political interaction is quintessential for conceiving the idea of ‘ultimate good.’

The overarching concern in JNU is that the ‘progressive politics’ of this campus has to be saved.  AISA’s activist Shehla Rashid is more than just concerned about the extreme de-politicization of her campus in the wake of ABVP’s ‘money-power’ based politics. “We are trying to save our feet here,” she says.

When asked what JNUSU was doing about this, she says ‘Modi leher was at its peak, when we contested him.’ ‘We went to Benaras, and further when Modi came to power that AISA in Delhi University received more than ten thousand  votes – the most  that a Left party has in the last decade.’  Interestingly, last year AISA’s vote share in DUSU’s election did increase from 3,000 to 10,000, while ABVP retained all four posts of DU’s Central Panel on its home turf.

jnuSo does the rise of ABVP mean that JNU will be DU-ised, while a more visible AISA makes DU more JNU-ised? Former JNU President Akbar Chaudhary explains the sudden rise of Left politics in Delhi University when he says –“People were fed up with the Congress government, and desired a change. If these people are given any alternative other than BJP, they would go for it. Like AAP’s clean sweep in Delhi.” Likewise when DU’s student community is provided with better options than ABVP and NSUI, he further says, it would abandon them both.  Under such circumstances, the entry of Aam Aadmi Party’s youth wing, CYSS (Chattra Yuva Sanghrash Samiti) in the DU student politics could prove to be that alternate.

Almost three weeks away from its Students’ Union elections, the scramble for power in JNU resumes. Overall, while shifts in its language of politics seem a matter of concern in itself, the sudden DUisation of JNU poses a bigger threat to its ‘progressive politics.’ These forthcoming elections will decide what ‘Of JNU, By JNU and For JNU,’ stands for!

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World Hindu Congress: RSS Chief says that Hindus Don’t Aspire to be Dominant

"It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values," Bhagwat said.

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World Hindu Congress
Hindus don't oppose anyone, don't aspire to dominate: RSS chief

Asserting that Hindus neither oppose anybody nor aspire to dominate, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said the community needs to unite to end its centuries of sufferings.

Speaking at the 2nd World Hindu Congress here, Bhagwat said the key to unite the world is to control ego and accepting the consensus.

“We do not have any aspects of dominance. Hindus do not live to oppose anybody. We even allow the pests to live. There are people who may oppose us. You have to tackle them without harming them,” said Bhagwat addressing delegates from across the globe.

World Hindu Congress
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“Why are we suffering for 1000 years? We had everything but we forgot to practise values. We also forgot to work together. Hindu society has largest number of meritorious people in many sectors. But they never come together, stay together.

“Coming together of Hindus itself was a difficult task. Earlier, when our Swayamsevaks would try to organise people, they would say ‘a lion never walks in a group’, but even that lion or a Royal Bengal tiger who is the king of the jungle… if he is alone, wild dogs together can invade and destroy him…,” he said calling upon Hindus to unite.

The 2nd World Hindu Congress is being held on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

World Hindu Congress
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

Talking about uniting the world, Bhagwat cited the example of Lord Krishna and Yudhishthir from the Mahabharata, who he said never contradicted each other.

“One of the key values to bring the whole world into a team is to have controlled ego and learn to accept the consensus.

“It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values,” Bhagwat said.

 

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He said that the negative influence of ego should always be avoided.

Also Read: Video- India Scraps Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

“Of all the main characters, Krishna never contradicted Yudhishthir and Yudhishthir never disobeyed Krishna because it is important to work unitedly, keeping your ego aside,” he added. (IANS)