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

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Chant of the Masked People

A close and analytical look at the events of 9 February 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, and the next day at the Press Club of India, alongside the motivations of those in power, throws light on machinations to manage the news and emotional reactions to it.

Some significant events took place at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi at the beginning of this year. As the dust settles, reflective evaluations have begun appearing. According to historian Janaki Nair (2016), these were “tumultuous events that have convulsed the subcontinent.” According to another historian, Ananya Vajpeyi (2016), they signalled a “coming Left–Ambedkarite revolution” as “soaring chants … rang out on the streets.”

From a less charitable perspective, we will see that there indeed were chants by both masked and unmasked protestors; as the official unmasked chants “soared,” they drowned the masked ones, as if by design. In the process, the ruling regime got what it wanted.

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