Kanhayya Kumar’s arrest under charges of sedition and conspiracy raise serious questions on Indian democracy and legal machinery which apparently have acted in haste. We will have to probe our thoughts those normally are influenced by media and the political side we prefer to support to reach bottom of the issue. The truth always get buried if we cannot think unbiased and prefer to talk what people of our preferred side think.
I have gone through Kumar’s 23 minute long speech. There is nothing in that speech which remotely can attract any criminal charge, forget sedition and conspiracy. In his entire speech he talks on our constitution, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagatsingh etc. He has spoken of Pakistan and Bangla in one sentence to express communist ideology, labors of the world be united. He has named terrorists like Kasab, Afjal Guru, but in which context? He says we have to eliminate the reasons why one prefers violent actions? He has bashed BJP, RSS and ABVP for its sectarian and tyrant views and actions. He hasn’t praised any terrorist in his entire speech.
It is facts that at the venue anti-India slogans were shouted in retaliation with ABVP activists slogans blaming the organizers anti-national. The gathering was organized to commemorate hanging of Afjal Guru. Organizers were different students union than of Kanhayya. Kanhayya was invited there to speak on judicial killing. JNU authorities at eleventh hour had withdrawn the permission which was already issued to Umar Khalid’s union DSU. The proofs so far those have surfaced indicate that Umar Khalid and his supporters had raised anti-national slogans. Kanhaiyya did not participate in sloganeering. But Khalid and his about ten colleagues have so far escaped wrath of the police department and media.
The only student arrested is Kanhaiya Kumar, after three day custody and brutal physical manhandling by the lawyers, has been sent to the jail as charges of sedition are non-bailable. Anyway, now law will take its own course and let us hope that politics and public sentiment, whatever it might be does not influence any judgment.
Students participating politics or having political views is a global phenomena. Students have been instrumental in many revolutions including Indian freedom movement. They have every right to have political views and follow the ideology of their own choice and join any students organization of their choice. I am neither communism supporter nor RSS admirer. However I have right to have my views on what is happening around me. This invites attention at the incidents taking place all around those are shaking very foundation of my nation.
I think Kumar shouldn’t have gone at commemoration of a hanged terrorist, no matter the lecture he was going to deliver on judicial killing.
But is it a crime? Are we aware that Marathi Vishvakosh (Encyclopedia), published by Maharashtra govt. terms Bhagatsingh- Rajguru etc. as terrorists? Hero of one side always is villain for other side. Rebellions or freedom fighters to us are terrorists or criminals to opposite side. To divisive, separatist Kashmiris Afjal is hero, a martyr. If Kashmiri’s (Khalid is Kashmiri) are thinking that way we have to go deep to the root cause and try to resolve it. Superficial and sentimental outcry or remedies just can’t take us anywhere, as a nation. There are efforts by other organizations as well to establish murderers as an icon. We have seen it in case of Nathuram. There could be many others. If people can still gather at commemoration ceremony of Nathuram and they are not treated as criminals then why there should be chaos on Afjal’s commemoration?
Here I am not trying to make any comparison. But law of the country treated both the criminals in same fashion and had hanged them. We just cannot look at every case in isolation. Gathering at both the commemoration ceremonies, and any for that matter, may be is ethically wrong, but certainly it is not a crime.
Should there be capital punishment in India? Should there be judicial killing permitted? Thinkers of the country are divided on this issue. To me judicial killing should be abolished. Pt. Javaharlal Nehru too was against verdict of hanging of Nathuram. It is against Gandhian principles. Death penalties are medieval brutalities. Any society that claims to have progressed cannot have in their law books capital punishment. Law is not to avenge the criminal/terrorist for his acts by taking his life but is for to value life. I too am not with capital punishment.
Most importantly, we have to understand students (youth) sentiments. They are to run nation in the future. They have their thoughts and ideas as too how they want to see affairs of the nation are conducted. They are normally attached to this or that ideology. Their views too keep changing with experience. Nothing is permanent here. To attain maturity we have to provide them free atmosphere. But we often fail in making our next generation more mature. Right from our education system to political system has been trying so often to keep students under stupor of their goals. Youth has been used. Youth is not evolving as they are short of real freedom.
However, why institutions/Universities be involved in advocating some particular ideologies? JNU is famous for being leftist camp. There are schools and colleges those propagate RSS ideologies. many Madrasa's educate kids in religious fundamentalism. The students are a raw material for many educational institutions, run by political or religious wings, where students are carefully molded to suit their own philosophies right from childhood to make them a pawn or instrument in achieving their own goals. Main culprits are the institutions. In fact, by law, no institution or university should be allowed to advocate any specific ideology. They should be open to all thoughts. Let student decide what suits them. Institutions have no right whatsoever to corrupt students mind by the specific thought of their own choice. It is students freedom to make their own minds from their own uninfluenced understandings to look at the world. They certainly deserve this freedom and we should grant them unconditionally.
In fact any government too should not force to introduce curriculum that upholds their thought or ideologies. But in our country it seldom has happened that students have got to study the things those were unbiased, close to the proven facts and not influenced with some ulterior motives.
Rather we have made, so far, an attempt to manufacture the students, our next generations, of our preferences and have tried ever to kill the future. This is why we have been facing such problems, shouting slogans pro-India or anti-India is not the main issue. It all is futile. Main issue is how we desire to build our nation in future and make next generations capable of shouldering the challenges. And only with wisdom this is possible.
In fact let students participate in politics, let them form their own opinions, let them have understanding of their history, but no attempt should be there to make them blockheads by manipulating their minds.
Let them be free thinkers.
But this is not happening. From Congress to opposition are trying to get political mileage and government is seen to have handled this issue very immaturely and childishly.