DEMOCRAZY behind Educational Walls

How democratic and academic freedom is strangled by the politicised nationalism hooliganism.

The educational walls in India again saw stones of nationalism pelting on their students and teachers as they raised their voice just to debate and discuss. Educational institutes are handcuffed by the chains of violence and are tug-of-warred between students and teachers on one side and the student political groups on the other.

From Hyderabad University to Jadavpur University to Jawaharlal Nehru University, hooliganism disguised as nationalism has trapped the entire Delhi University too. Recently Ramjas College became a target of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) prowl. The English department invited JNU student, Umar Khalid for a seminar called “Cultures of Protest”. Apoplectic over the invitation, the right wing thugs of the ABVP not just thwarted the event but ran amok, assaulting students. Not only they hindered the Freedom of Speech and Expression, the hooliganism within the college premises threatened the freedom of life too.

To fight for their democracy, students from different colleges peacefully marched a protest in North Campus but it soon turned into violent as ABVP activists started mishandling the crowd, rape threatening women, beating teachers and did not even spare journalists. Many of those who participated in the protest were taken to hospital while the police remained a mute spectator of the mayhem.  The police is accused of connivance as they neither could save the silent protestors from the frenzied mob nor accepted FIRs filed against junior Sanghis. Online protests started on Facebook as #StudentsAgainstABVP started trending after Lady Shri Ram College student Gurmehar Kaur posted her support through placards. But ABVP again muted her by giving rape threats.

As a matter of fact, with the coming of Modi in power, Acche din have somewhere disappeared from the educational books as all time the students are busy in protesting for their rights, their voice. Flashback to last year’s JNU controversy, bring out a similar pattern of rampage and violence after the students organised a debate on Awzal Guru’s hanging. Even then the ABVP goons created ruckus over a debate, slogans, march and branded JNU, the most liberal of all Indian universities as ‘a hub of Anti-nationalists’. The anti-national slogans misleadingly raised in JNU reached Jadavpur University too. Protests for ‘Azaadi’ were called anti-national as ABVP again infringed in the student’s screenings and protests. Rohith Vemula’s suicide and the casteist controversy intermingled with student politics cannot be erased from the history of campus violence. The ‘anti-national’ witch-hunt reached the campus of Jodhpur University too, where English Professor Dr. Rajshree Ranawat has been accused and suspended for of inviting JNU professor Nivedita Menon.

The country is witnessing the democracy of educational institutes being hindered by the student soldiers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. They are trying to paint the educational walls in saffron with the brush of Hindutva. Students are being beaten with the stick of hooliganism for even debating or discussing. Protests are becoming a culture of our universities. They have lost their voice, their choice, their democracy and all they are left with is- Democrazy.

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