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JNU Tales: How comrades went from hating Lalu Yadav to worshipping him

Comrade Chandu is no more. He was assassinated in Siwan in Bihar. Allegedly by goons of Lalu’s right-hand man Mohammad Shahabuddin.

Leftists at JNU are outraged … again. As Communists gather on cold winter nights to resist “fascism” by elected governments, I bet some stories of their heroes and “sheroes” would surely lift their spirits.

So here is one for the ages. Our Communist saviours have spent so much time protesting that they hardly have time to learn about the glorious history of their own struggle. I bet this will do them proud. They can watch this hour-long Youtube video on their expensive smartphones with cheap data (shame on capitalism!)

But let me post some highlights to get their interest.

“Comrade Chandu”

This intent young man is Chandrasekhar Prasad, fondly called “Comrade Chandu.” His heart burns with a passion to do something for the poor, marginalized and dispossessed in our society. He has already achieved the first major step towards bringing social justice in India: he has been elected President of the JNU Students Union.

What happened to this young man? Where is he now? Let me show you this picture, some portion of which I have edited out.

What do you think is happening here?

What do you think is happening here? JNU students jiving to rock bands as they bring justice to the poorest of the poor? Bollywood celebrities and media making a beeline for the hippest and cool protest party in town?

Answer coming up. Stay tuned.

Let’s get back to Comrade Chandu. What about him?

Well, Comrade Chandu is tired of speech giving and protest parties at JNU. He decided to go to Bihar, where he would be facing off against real oppression at ground zero. He was confident that his committed comrades were 100% behind him. In spirit, of course. And so was Bollywood, I’m sure. Also in spirit.

Read this old poster. It’s a promise from the comrades, never to forget Chandu.

Poster asking comrades never to forget Chandu

But, where has Comrade Chandu gone? To receive a Ramon Magsaysay Award? To fight elections in some small place in Bihar where Bollywood celebrities will be campaigning for him?

Not exactly. Comrade Chandu is no more. He has been assassinated in Siwan in Bihar. Allegedly by goons of Lalu’s right-hand man Mohammad Shahabuddin. And look, his JNU comrades have come to register their anger against Lalu Yadav at Bihar Niwas in Delhi. The year is 1997.

Here is the rest of the Youtube screenshot that I had edited earlier in the post.

Protest by Leftists

Recognize her?

Kavita Krishnan protesting the murder of Chandu by Lalu’s goons

I watched the full documentary. Interestingly, I noticed that no Bollywood celebrities had shown up in solidarity. They must have been supporting the movement in spirit. As for stand up comics, that was not even a career back then. Except for Lalu Yadav, who was known to elite media for his great sense of humour. What happened to Comrade Chandu notwithstanding.

But we know comrades don’t forget. The revolution never forgets. The battle for the rights of the oppressed never ceases.

Comrade Kanhaiya bowing to Lalu

Lower … lower! You should bend even lower, Kanhaiya Kumar! How else will you make Comrade Chandu proud?

The “student movement” that began in JNU in 1997 ended at the feet of Lalu Yadav. No better way to do justice to Bihar, right?

Anger can be a great starting point for young people in a democracy. But ultimately that anger must lead somewhere. I say look to your visionary heroes like Kanhaiya Kumar. They will show you the path of the light.

So all of you young people on the barricades, don’t lose heart. The voice of left-wing student unions is the voice of the people. When you are out in the cold, tell each other the inspiring story of how leftist students shook the world and how they never forgot Comrade Chandu.

Also, I hear a rumour that “Shero No. 1” will have the honour of touching Lalu Yadav’s feet. So on to the barricades. And don’t forget to delete your old Facebook posts.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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