Ramjas violence: Authoritarian regimes across the world have always shown tendency to gag universities

Ideally, our universities ought to be free spaces to ideate, debate, and deliberate in order to nurture critical thinking.

Written by Angellica Aribam | Published:March 4, 2017 11:32 am
ABVP, ABVP violence, ABVP DU, Delhi University violence, ABVP Delhi, Ramjas incident, Ramjas violence, india news, delhi news Students and teachers of Delhi University, JNU and Jamia during their protest march against ABVP at North Campus in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Delhi University has turned into a battlefield of extreme political ideologies in the last few days, with students of different political leanings taking out marches and counter-marches, some distributing roses in the name of peace while others putting up massive banners that could incite violence and further deteriorate the already vitiated atmosphere of the University. It can be said that in all the years of its existence, Delhi University has never seen the kind of violence that occurred outside Ramjas College on February 22nd wherein innocent students, teachers, and journalists became victims of the clash between the ABVP and left organizations. The situation would not have escalated to such a level if only the Delhi Police, who were there to ensure that law and order was maintained, didn’t allow the ABVP to carry on with the rampage with implied impunity as they looked away.

Unsurprisingly, such impunity has been the norm in every other university wherein ABVP activists have created havoc in the last few years, ever since this government came to power, indicating the fact that all of it is a concerted plan to crush any contrarian thinking in the pretext of their version of nationalism.

Ideally, our universities ought to be free spaces to ideate, debate, and deliberate in order to nurture critical thinking but the discourse in the society bears its semblance to it. The growing tendency to threaten and ban with the apparent sanction of the government induces a certain fear of being labeled as ‘anti-nationals’ in the minds of students as well. Added to it is the regular disruptions caused by ABVP to events and seminars if it is unpalatable to their political beliefs, without initiating any dialogue that could lead to an amicable solution. This has led to crippling of the young minds’ fundamental nature to think and question. One could argue that the ABVP has always indulged in violence and murder, stemming back to the days when this government wasn’t even in power, but those incidents were sporadic. Now, it functions with immunity as Cabinet ministers come out with statements that tilt in their favor no matter the nature of the incident.

Despite all its hypocrisy, in universities where the Left is introducing itself as an alternative, it pretends to indulge in debate than disruption although the condescension towards anyone they consider non-intellectual is palpable. The Left organizations’ bouts of violence in areas of its stronghold is a regular phenomenon, but the Right claiming victimhood by using that as a justification of what transpired at Ramjas comes across as puerile. The Right-wing nationalists also consistently accuse the Left of normalizing the call to breakup India in the garb of freedom of expression, which interestingly falls flat in this case because the Honorable Supreme Court in its landmark judgment in Arup Bhuyan vs State of Assam had observed that speech “becomes illegal only if it incites to imminent lawless action”. And no speech was allowed to be made at Ramjas, leave alone a call for “imminent lawless action”, which explains that the ABVP’s contention to the speech that could have been, was a masquerade to curb liberty and objectivity of individuals it deems as opponents.

The Sangh Parivar, of which the ABVP and the ruling party are offsprings, has always been intolerant of rational thinking and objectivity. There are several incidents in the past when activists of the Sangh Parivar have physically attacked progressive writers, academicians, thinkers, and artists. Authoritarian regimes across the world, be it the Left or the Right, have always shown a tendency to gag universities as the first step towards establishing the state they desire. It is, therefore, no surprise that all the attempts of the Sangh, be it systematically infiltrating into universities with proxies of mediocre credentials in positions that require excellence, interfering in the autonomy of institutions, distorting history into mythology and presenting historical incidents in a biased and partisan light, and normalizing a social order that is based on disparity and conservative hierarchy are a part of the plan to ensure that there is no freedom to think. And, the ABVP with its physical aggression is just a cog in the wheel in the grander scheme of things to subjugate the thinking populace. In such a scenario, retaliating with violence won’t be the solution to resist their agenda but the Gandhian way of persisted efforts encouraging them to indulge in conversations will immerse successful in the long run.

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  1. S
    Satendra kumar
    Mar 4, 2017 at 9:22 am
    The riots are unwelcome but peaceful march is appreciated with the demand and legimate authoritative will be considered with the prospective and motive analysing the report and considering the outcome.
    Reply
    1. S
      SubbuI
      Mar 5, 2017 at 4:15 pm
      NALAYAK NMODI THE SAFFRON DICTATOR WILL NO LET UNIVERSITIES TO FUNCTION AS NLEE IT TOES TO RSS IDOLOGY AND ABVP AS THE ONLY STUDENT UNION IN THE CAMPUS. THIS BUTCHER OG GUJATATH HAS ANS IS TRYING TO FINISH OF JNU.HE DOES NOT LIKE ANY THING NAMED ON NEHRU AND HI, THIS KATTAR EX SANGH PRACHARAK ONLY AIM IS TO MAKE "SAMPOORNA HINDU RASHTRA" AND DESTROY ANY INSUTIONS OPPOSING HIS IDOLOGY. BE IT UNIVERSITY OR POLITICAL PARTY OR CITIZENS.VOTE HIM OUT IN 2019 AND SAVE INDIA
      Reply
      1. S
        SubbuI
        Mar 6, 2017 at 6:59 am
        SHALL I LIFT MY DREES AND SHOW YOU I AM NOT KATLU WILL YOU LICK IT
        Reply
        1. A
          ansuman
          Mar 4, 2017 at 7:46 am
          How come -you are still enjoying your freedom of bs?.
          Reply
          1. G
            gopinath
            Mar 5, 2017 at 1:52 am
            is free speech the prerogative of only the left ? no. every one has a right to his opinion. to deny that is intolerance. if some one has the right to abuse ones nation, others has the right to object it. and to expect that in a wild democracy like india , free speech will be one way, is dump.
            Reply
            1. H
              H.Balakrishnan
              Mar 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm
              Typical Left Liberal hogwash. Due apologies please
              Reply
              1. S
                shyam
                Mar 4, 2017 at 5:06 pm
                One sided article. Too much freedom of speech end up with too much actions. This situation should be avoided. Is it correct to abuse your mother for domestic issues.
                Reply
                1. D
                  dhan
                  Mar 5, 2017 at 4:58 am
                  This article is not worth due to the followinglt;br/gt;Biased since freedom of speech is measured with different yardstick for different peoplelt;br/gt;Unethical because freedom is sought to harm the integrity of the nationlt;br/gt;Whatever these communists does they can not succeed because now people are intelligentlt;br/gt;Students who are following communists ideology come out and compete if you capable instead of hiding behind Dalit and reservation cards
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    dhan
                    Mar 5, 2017 at 8:28 am
                    Well saidlt;br/gt;People are fighting the same in Kerala against the CPIMlt;br/gt;Everybody knows attrocities in JNU against non communist student groups
                    Reply
                    1. L
                      LOL
                      Mar 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm
                      Mind blowing article... Unfortunately some people can't comprehend the logic and rationale behind it.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Mahender Goriganti
                        Mar 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm
                        Authoritarian regimes are an outcome of Abraham (Muslim, Christian and Jew) concept driven States not Hindu concept of Atman= Brahman, 'Ahm Brhamasmi' that is self driven totally democratic.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mahender Goriganti
                          Mar 5, 2017 at 9:19 pm
                          I an authoritarian regime you would not have been alive to report / blog about it.
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mahender Goriganti
                            Mar 5, 2017 at 7:28 pm
                            I see that you are a Jihadi under Burka.
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Mahender Goriganti
                              Mar 5, 2017 at 3:18 pm
                              In an authoritarian regime this blogger would not have been alive to write this blog.
                              Reply
                              1. N
                                norbert
                                Mar 5, 2017 at 11:34 am
                                Free speech is not the prerogative of only the left and it also seems to be as such.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;However, violence against free speech seems to be the prerogative of only the RSS-BJP-ABVP.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  pankaj
                                  Mar 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm
                                  Missionaries and islamists, have around the world demonstrated their capacity of deception, propaa and killing in an attenpt to propagate their religion. India is no exception. You must question islamists and missionaries and leftists on a lie detector, because deception and lies are their avowed paths.. and not exceptions. they do not lie under duress, they lie to cause duress to others.
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Raman Govindan
                                    Mar 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm
                                    the elections tell us the over all appreciation and criticism of the actions of party in power. if the people do not like them they will be thrown out. dissent and criticism should be in limits and not to disturb the peace and integrity of the nation. people who are not satisfied with it and lost power utilize every means including students for their own benefit. parliament is there to voice their opinion, but the lack majority, makes them to utilize the other resources to create a scene and it means they do not trust democracy. democracy is ok, if they won election only.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      RBagchi
                                      Mar 5, 2017 at 5:17 am
                                      Freedom of speech fighting Freedom of violence!!
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Ramesh Salgotra
                                        Mar 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm
                                        If you call India,an authoritarian regime,then please change the definition of authoritarian regime
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Shivam
                                          Mar 4, 2017 at 11:37 am
                                          Hi, will you report how ABVP ended up in the college in the first place? Is it not a fact that DUSU is run by ABVP? lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;So, if Ramjas students complain to DUSU about rowdy antinationals of AISA/SFI, which student body will come in response? ABVP!!
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            sk
                                            Mar 4, 2017 at 11:20 pm
                                            Another lefty loonie trying to make a buck by writing some nonsense. Student politics, and incidents like this, and even worse have happened in Indian universities. It was always just a small item in the newspapers of the day. Even murder at an university did not make much of a news. These days, merely uttering some words has become controversial, and the media plays up the fire, just for ratings. This author also falls in the same category, making mountains out of mole hills. SHAME!
                                            Reply
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