By Digvijay Singh and Bhanu Kumar
This is what defines the politics of the Left best: the nexus of the wrong and the very wrong.
And this, we know very well, can never bring about a solution.
Yes, discourse and dissent contribute to a robust democracy. Here, I’ll quote Benjamin Franklin: “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
But the problem with the JNU row is not of an ideology or angst, but with the lack of national ethics and conscience.
The government of the day can always be criticised with strongest conviction, but one should be brought before law if it is a matter of national integrity and sentiments of the hoi polloi.
The Left has always stood against organisations such as the BJP which carries a nationalistic voice in India. The recent incident at JNU has exposed the felon. I ask the left-leaning students and parties: When the ABVP won a crucial post in JNU polls in 2015, why all left-leaning groups, along with the NSUI, took out a march shouting “JNU lal hai lal hi rahega”? Did you – who otherwise differ in ideologies – join hands simply to stand against the ABVP?
If fact, such a collaboration is nothing new and, every time, it defies logic. What can explain the love the Left in India has shown to Rahul Gandhi and the Indian National Congress? In theory, they are against the INC, but in practice – be it the state assembly election of Delhi or Bihar – they support precisely what they do not stand for.
That the Left is just hypocrite and has compromised on its stands is very visible. Let me cite the example of Hanumanthappa Koppad, who recently lost his life in Siachen. The Left has always opined that forces should be removed from Siachen, but when a soldier dies, we see no reaction from them. No one wrote to the PM to remove the forces which is costing out soldiers’ lives, or took out a protest.
In the ongoing stir at the JNU, first of all they made an attempt to brush the NDA government as Fascist and relegate the main debate on ‘anti-nationalism’ to the backdrop. It was they who promoted the #SaveJNU # shutdownJNU campaign as a camouflage to escape the central question of national conscience.
The Left is very good with articulation and manipulation, and so is playing the card of autonomy of academic institutions with gumption. In this case, whether JNU should exist or not exist is not the issue; it is the superimposition of rigid ideologies over young, impressionable minds. There is no second opinion on the credibility of JNU as an institution of academic excellence and there can never be any doubt on that.
All we need to do is move beyond this discourse and look into the central question of what politics the JNU stands for. The idea that “JNU lal hai lal hi rahega” is being challenged for the first time with national consensus. This has somewhere hurt the political ego of the Left organisations and what we are seeing today is just the explicit consequences.
The government and the police are doing what is their duty. Nowhere immunity can be granted to anybody at the cost of law and order. The government should bring to book all destructive forces with no discrimination. The people who are trying to take law and order situation in hands should meet an iron hand despite class, creed, sex, religion, ethnicity and political affiliation. All academic institutions have right to free speech and expressions and so has every Individual in the nation but with reasonable restrictions.
This is our appeal: Look at the nation if not right; The Left is just an accident-prone zone
Singh is visiting faculty, Politican Science, with Amity University, and Kumar is research scholar, Political Science, with Delhi University
(The views expressed in the article are of the authors)