Thursday, February 23, 2017

Violence unacceptable

To determine which organization is nationalistic or which is not is not the business of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing of the Bhartiya Janta Party. Under the cover of nationalism, ABVP has no right to declare some students belonging to students' wings- AISA and SFI- as anti-nationals. What was the need of disrupting, attacking and throwing stones at the literary seminar at Ramjas College organized by college literary society allegedly by a group of ABVP students only because Omar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were invited to participate? Khalid was arrested last year in a case of sedition over organizing a rally on the JNU campus in which anti-India slogans were allegedly heard. Rashid was the then the JNU student union vice president. It has been seen for almost two years that college and university campuses have been turned into a battle ground over the issue of nationalism. Jingoism has done no good to any country. All Indian students are nationalists irrespective of their allegiance to organization. So, centre of learning must not be converted into battleground. ABVP students alleged that they shouted anti-national slogans the video of which was also shown, though unverified. As far as the issue of violent clashes is concerned, some DU students, led by members of AISA and SFI, took out a march a day after demanding action against the ABVP members. Violence erupted after students from Delhi University colleges and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) congregated outside Ramjas with the intention to hold a protest march against the RSS-backed ABVP student group. They were demanding action against the ABVP members who had allegedly hackled and threw stones at students gathered for a seminar at a conference hall, where controversial JNU student Umar Khalid was invited to speak. Teachers, students and journalists were wounded on the Delhi University campus as group clashes broke out over the disruption of a literary festival in Ramjas College a day ago, allegedly by members of the ABVP. The role of Delhi police also comes under scanner as they allegedly snatched cameras and mobile phones of the journalists and deleted the videos and messages. Not only journalists, teachers and students were also attacked. Police have allegedly attacked the journalists covering the protest march. Several students, teachers and journalists were injured in the group clashes. Some of them were also detained, but for a brief period. Delhi police appeared to be mute spectators to the clashes that were going on before them. As Delhi police is under central govt. in the city, it may be possible that some signals were sent to them to act passively as the students' wing ABVP is backed by RSS and BJP. The BJP-led NDA govt. is at the Centre. The freedom of expression must not be curbed under the garb of nationalism. Who is nationalist and who is not nationalist cannot be decided by the ABVP.

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