‘Eminent journalist’ Ravish Kumar in an article published on NDTV’s website appears to be urging students across the country to indulge in the same kind of hooliganism that is peddled by the ‘students’ of JNU. The article. published in Hindi, titled, “हिन्दी प्रदेश के अभिशप्त नौजवानों JNU से कुछ सीखो, क्या चुप ही रहोगे?” incites students from the Hindi heartland to engage in nonsensical protests.
The article says, “JNU is being dismantled so that the dream of youth from the Hindi heartland to study in a good University can be finished.” He then goes on to call the political inclinations of the youth from the Hindi heartland ‘third-class’. He says, “The understanding of politics that the youth from the Hindi heartland have is third class. If it weren’t third class, today demands would have been made for one JNU at every place in the Hindi heartland.”
Ravish Kumar further claims, “JNU is being dismantled while the Hindi Heartland continues to choke on the opium of Communalism assuming it to be Nationalism.” Ravish Kumar also claims that ‘students’ are being labelled traitors in the name of nationalism. He then proceeds to blame parents, the Opposition parties and basically everyone for remaining silent while the ‘oppressive government’ suppresses the ‘protests’.
It is an extremely dangerous rhetoric that Ravish Kumar has employed. In the article, he has completely ignored the outrageous conduct of the ‘students’ of JNU themselves. He has no words of condemnation to offer for vandalizing the statue of Swami Vivekananda that is soon to be inaugurated at the University. The statue was smeared with expletives that Ravish Kumar will not be able to say either on television or in polite company.
The so-called ‘students’ at the university held a professor in illegal captivity. Dr Vandana Mishra, Associate Dean of Students, could be seen sitting helplessly in a packed classroom in a video that went viral on social media. Protesting ‘students’ were seen sloganeering and hooting in deafening volume. Few students were also playing the Tambourine while others raise slogans in a rhythmical order. And yet, Ravish Kumar has no words to offer for such disgraceful conduct.
The perpetual protesters of the university even launched a march towards the Indian parliament in opposition to JNU administration’s proposed fees hike. Thousands of students hit the streets demanding a complete rollback of the fees hike amid massive police deployment. New Delhi is the national capital and the Parliament is a high-security area for necessary reasons. Prohibitory orders were issued under Section 144 in and around the university and yet, the ‘students’ proceeded to clash with the Police.
Three days earlier, these ‘students’ had manhandled a Zee News reporter and made lewd remarks against her. Amidst chants of “Zee News murdabad” and “Hindi media murdabad”, rather middle-aged ‘students’ manhandled the reporter. Last month, the ‘students’ of JNU had blocked the path of an ambulance which carried an ailing professor at the University, thereby, risking his life. Are these the values Ravish Kumar wants students from the Hindi heartland to emulate?
Ravish Kumar will not tolerate such behaviour from his own children, then why is he blaming other parents for not being particularly sympathetic towards the ‘students’ of JNU? The average citizen is being subjected to undue harassment by these protest mongers when they march through the streets, then why is he blaming opposition parties for not standing by the JNU ‘students’. Of course, the opposition parties have come out in support of them and it perfectly explains precisely the utter dominance of the BJP at the national level.
No one, not even Ravish Kumar, would appreciate such conduct in their own neighbourhood. But he waxes eloquence on the matter and indeed, urging students from the Hindi heartland to emulate the toxic behaviour that has been demonstrated by the ‘students’ of JNU. It is hypocrisy of the highest order.
As it turns out, students from other parts of the country are making their voice known on the matter. Students from IIT-Bombay held protests against the vandalism that the Swami Vivekanda statue was subject to. It shows that the average Indian student does not sympathize with the conduct of the ‘students’ at JNU and they are much more well-behaved than them. It also shows that the Indian citizenry is tired of the nonsensical brand of protests that JNU has unleashed on the national capital and it does not share the optimism for a perpetual revolution that ‘students’ of JNU do.
As it so happens, certain students in the Hindi heartland are protesting for better education. But the reason for their protests is not something Ravish Kumar and his ilk would appreciate. The students of BHU are protesting against the appointment of a non-Hindu at the university to teach Hindu Theology, a perfectly reasonable stand. However, as the media continues to romanticize the ‘students’ of JNU, they have demonized the protesting BHU students entirely. And the reason is obvious, JNU is ‘secular’ while the BHU students are ‘communal’.