Mark Twain, American writer,
said: Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. Victor Hugo,
French novelist and poet, put it differently: He who opens a school door,
closes a prison. Both mean the same. The mandarins of present regime pay little
heed to such exhortations. In fact, without batting an eyelid, they embark on destroying
the finest universities in the country which have produced great men and women.
The recent incidents at Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia and
Jawaharlal Nehru University are nothing but outright bid to subjugate
institutions which are unwilling to toe the line of the present dispensation.
In Jamia Millia, they used brute police force to silence their voice; in JNU
they allowed goons to go on a rampage to wreak havoc. The purpose behind the vicious
attacks is same: Sending out a firm warning to ‘shape up, or ship out.’
Silencing the opponents with
arm-twisting is the tactics of the present regime. Many politicians turned turn-coats
allegedly under pressure from the government. Targeting Opposition leaders and
unleashing investigation agencies on them have become a regular feature. We
have seen many politicians jumping the ship apparently to save the trouble of
going behind bar. Those stood the ground have paid a heavy price. After tasting
success in this operation, the government has now turned their focus on
students at institutions of higher learning. The devilish dance of gooligans at
JNU is apparently an effort to convert one of the best universities in the
country into a Hindutva haven.
What we are witnessing in JNU
is outlandish and outrageous. The goons have gone scot-free; after spilling
blood on the campus, they walked out as cool as they came in. On the other
hand, FIRs have been registered against the victims of brutality whose heads
have been cracked and limps fractured. The police facilitated the attack by
remaining mute spectators as the orgy of violence continued unabated on the
campus. The university administration too ‘lent a helping hand’ when the
‘saffron brigade’ came looking for their targets.
To get a better picture of the
happenings at the universities, we should look at the chronology of events.
First, they came for the minorities -- thrashed and lynched them on one or
other excuse; next they came for Dalits -- brutally attacked and even hanged them
on trees; then they came for Tribals -- passed laws to take away their land and
filed false sedition cases when they fought back; later they came for historians,
intellectuals, writers and artists calling them ‘urban naxals’ and ‘anti-nationals’;
and now they have come for students of institutions of higher learning,
especially those which are seen as ‘rebel hotspots’.
The government seems to have
miscalculated the vigour and vitality of the youth. The blood spilled on the
campuses is not the blood of a few individuals. It is the blood that flows in
the vein of the nation. This is becoming evident day by day as protests pick up
momentum and more people from all walks of life join the fight against Hindutva
forces and despotism. The government should better realise that ideological war
can never be won by unleashing terror.
on 13th January 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 03)