That JNU is one of the few urban campuses in India with great caste, class, regional and linguistic diversity does not matter; the fact that young men and women there seem to interact so easily is all that does.
Sections of the media as well as wings of the ruling BJP have labelled senior JNU professor Nivedita Menon as ‘anti-national’, causing people to speak out once again against the crackdown on dissent.
In conversation with The Wire, JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid discusses the lessons learnt during the movement, the challenges she has to face as a woman, why she believes JNU was targeted and a lot more.
Kanhaiya Kumar’s battle cry that the fate of India lies in the hands of its poor and oppressed may turn out to be more true than even he has bargained for.
If television debates resemble gladiatorial contests, it is not an accident. Informed deliberation and debates cannot be settled in 60 minutes, and are thus not conducive to the mode of hector and holler on primetime television.
JNU students and supporters spoke to The Wire about what it means to have Kanhaiya Kumar back on campus.
The attack on JNU is not just about the imposition of a saffronised nationalism. It marks an opposition to inclusiveness, and a refusal to allow backward sections of society to move forward in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations.
Even before the full extent of the mischief with the videos was known, it was fairly clear that nothing that Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid were alleged to have done amounted to sedition in any way. Then why were they chosen?
At JNU we love a good argument. We can spend incalculable hours arguing over anything. Tutorial and seminar discussions go on for hours, often we have to plead with the audience in conferences to make it that one last question and meetings drag on endlessly with everyone wanting to have a say. It is precisely this environment that makes JNU a good place to think, reflect and discuss.
Excerpts from a speech given by Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose, a noted historian and the grand-nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
A group of JNU students, who had gone underground after the February 9 incident, have resurfaced. The police are stationed outside JNU to arrest the students, but have not been given permission to enter the campus.
In conversation with The Wire, two of the three former ABVP JNU unit members, who resigned in the aftermath of Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest, discuss their reasons for leaving the organisation.
If the students’ movement is to become something of a moral dividend for India, it must remain scrupulously non-violent, in thought, word and deed.
The Wire spoke to some prominent individuals for their views on the JNU fracas.
Mridula Garg, Soli Sorabjee, Fali Nariman and others on the use and abuse of sedition laws.
Sedition lingers on in India, refusing to go away, silencing students, doctors and writers today as it did nationalist leaders a century ago.
Kanhaiya Kumar was attacked by lawyers while being escorted to the courtroom. Lawyers also attacked journalists inside the court complex. The Supreme Court sent a delegation to Patiala House, who reported that the Delhi Police is not doing its duty.
Against the mythical saffronised ‘nation’, Kanhaiya Kumar had called forth from historical muteness the resonant voices of solidarity and compassion.
As the attacks on Kanhaiya Kumar, his supporters and the media show, many lawyers are increasingly resorting to violence as a quick route to fulfil political aspirations.
The JNU campus has been sealed off as ABVP and RSS protestors gathered outside.
Democracies must be confident enough in their powers to withstand criticism. Clinging to an all encompassing vaguely worded sedition law will do more harm than good to our democracy.
The Centre ups the ante by linking the targets of the recent police crackdown in JNU to the notorious Pakistan-based Hafiz Saeed but students, teachers and the opposition are not buying this line.
Why the arrest of the JNU student union’s president is an assault on democracy
Mere words and phrases by themselves, no matter how distasteful, do not amount to a criminal offence unless they are being used to incite mobs or crowds to violent action.
An event where students chanted slogans against Afzal Guru’s hanging has quickly escalated into a political controversy beyond the campus, with the students’ union president being arrested for sedition.