Monday, 30th October 2017

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Just beat them up

Modi govt's cruelty exemplifies desire to suppress dissent and silence students who represent the future

  • Published 8.01.20, 12:07 AM
  • Updated 8.01.20, 12:07 AM
  • a min read
JNU students protest at Delhi police headquarters after the violence at the JNU campus, New Delhi, on Sunday. PTI

Deeds of darkness are now carried out literally in the dark. Who switched off the street lights when people wielding iron rods and hammers broke into the hostels of Jawaharlal Nehru University, wounding students and teachers, destroying the rooms of those opposing the rise in hostel fees, targeting also Dalit students and those from the minority community? Aligarh Muslim University, too, was plunged in darkness when a similar intrusion took place. It was the police who conducted a violent raid there, in many cases grievously injuring students because they had protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The police played a similar role in Jamia Millia Islamia and for the same reason, even pursuing students in the library. In JNU, however, the police are accused of having stood by, allowing hooded and armed persons the full run of the campus — cellphone footage suggests this — while the attackers spread blood and terror.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Twitter handle has condemned the violence, implying it is the Left beating up the Left — ‘forces of anarchy’ — while the Union home minister has aggressively blamed JNU students for allegedly saying — in 2016 — that the country will break up; they should therefore be jailed. He does not seem to be making any bones about the identity of the attackers, who, according to JNU students and teachers, are members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad aided perhaps by outsiders. The crowd outside the gate that prevented doctors and nurses from entering boasted a local BJP leader allegedly instructing his men not to let any student escape from within. What is emerging from these incidents — students protesting against the CAA from other institutions are also getting a taste of State violence — is the BJP-led government’s attitude to young people and to education. The ruthless cruelty being exercised indicates not just the Narendra Modi government’s repression of dissent, but also its need to silence the most vibrant section of the population which comprises the future of the country. The single-minded programme of changing the nature of India necessitates the elimination of those who will not fall in line with the future history of the India the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh envisage. For that purpose, law must be totally subverted and law-enforcers must become lawless. That is how terror works.

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