ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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There Are No Wholesale Answers

The monster of media trial in almost every matter in a democratic country, along with the efforts to turn a complicated term like sedition to common sense and everyday use and communalising academic spaces, is a dangerous trend. For media perhaps every protest tantamounts to deshdroh (sedition) and every student is a deshdrohi (traitor). But social realities are different and anger, emotion and mistakes or confusion cannot be sedition all at once.

The recent crisis in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has helped a liberal Indian to crystallise many painful questions than supplying usual biased answers based in religion, region, caste and class. The state’s response to the crisis and a few unsatisfactory answers to thorny questions that do exist have revealed social fractures. The crisis has perhaps brought forth the need to define limits of so-called cultural events, redefine the idea of free speech and reassign the limits of student activism and politics which is being used by vested interests. Currently, we see student politics on campuses has remained nothing but party politics and the hatred associated with it. What actually fuelled anti-national slogans in JNU and who voiced such slogans continues to be a mystery despite arrests and so much hype on such arrests. The level of intolerance against students, the attack on Kanhaiya Kumar and the media hatred for Umar Khalid and his friends, or for that matter Kashmiris, makes one feel that India could be turning into another Pakistan. Lawyers attacking the arrested students and continuous police failure makes one feel that we are actually the victims of law and order. Worst still, the politics of patriotism has marred our integrity and divided people. Every Indian with pride says Kashmir hamara hai or North-East hamara hai but what about the Kashmiris or the masses of North East who are insulted every now and then? Let the nation say Kashmiri hamara hai and start loving Kashmiris and the people from the North East.

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