Ideological battle in JNU intensifies: New poster calls ‘nationalism a disease’

By Shishir Tripathi

The ideological battle between the Left parties and the ABVP in JNU over the definition of nation and nationalism and what constitutes anti-national activity is refusing to die.

With the arrest of three students for ‘seditious activities’, students from both ideological streams are leaving no stone unturned to prove their stand right. A new poster has come up on campus with a title ‘death to fascism, power to people’. On the other hand ABVP has decided to organise live telecast of India and Pakistan cricket match at Mahi-Mandvi hostel lawn at 6.30 pm.

Ideological battle in JNU intensifies: New poster calls ‘nationalism a disease’

JNU protests. PTI

The new poster at JNU reads: ‘A disease is spreading across India, a disease called nationalism. The bramanical fascist idea of hindi-hindu-hindustan is the sacred thread with which the Indian nationalism is trying to get constructed. This is in continuation of their nefarious design of akhand bharat where there is no place for religious and ethnic minorities, OBC, dalits and the indigenous people. For the past 15 days the disease of nationalism is spreading across India. And who ever questions this fascist idea of India is called antinational.’

Talking about 9 February incident the poster says: “On the evening of 9 February some individuals organised a program named ‘A country without a post office’ on two major issues. One is about the judicial murder of Afzal Guru and other is self determination of Kashmir. As usual the right wing forces (ABVP) came to disrupt the event, however one must note that unlike many previous incidents where ABVP would get permissions withdrawn and create a ruckus, this event was disrupted and attacked in meticulously planner manner, in front of the media. ABVP's roadblock should also be seen as part of that. We stand with the democratic right to debate, discuss and organise programmes. As universities are such democratic spaces to question which affect the country such as AFSPA, land acquisition bill, militarised zones of this country, oppress nationalities fight for self determination, budgets, cutting down the subsidies of farmers, students, and of course colonial outdates laws like sedition etc.”

“We see this witch-hunt and state terror on JNU and persecution of student activists under the base less sedition charges is just a small step in RSS agenda of saffronisation of education,” reads the poster.

Reacting to the posters Alok Singh, president of JNU, ABVP said, “This is laughable and it exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of people who see nationalism as a brahmanical construct. Right now the atmosphere in JNU is quite tense and such posters will only make things only worse. I feel administration should take immediate action”.

When asked about the reason behind organising the live telecast of the Indo-Pak match, Singh said that it is routine affair and in the past too important matches have been telecast.

However, a JNU student who did not want to be named said,” You should understand the subtext of organising this telecast of the match. With little bit of reasoning one can understand the intent behind organising such events.”

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Updated Date: Feb 27, 2016 20:36:31 IST

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