‘Neither Hindi nor English, friends I know only one language, and that is the language of Movement!’ says DSF’s Lenin Redin 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.
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 independenceand 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.”
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.
So 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!
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.