Delhi University’s Ramjas College last week witnessed large-scale violence between members of All India Students Association (AISA) and the ruling party BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) outside Ramjas College. The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on ‘Culture of Protests’ which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP. Khalid was jailed last year on sedition charges for allegedly shouting anti-national slogans and later released. Since then it seems anything and everything that is happening in the national capital of India and on the social digital space is not happening for the right.
What happened at Ramjas College is not new. Similar cases were witnessed last year in Delhi and situation was allowed to go out of control. This time too, the students of ABVP were given a free hand, with the Delhi Police turning mock spectators. Anyone even trying to stand against ABVP was manhandled. Girls who came forward to resist were issued rape threats. There a an overriding impression turning into fact the BJP has been using ABVP to annul any voice that it feels is going against the agenda of the party, calling it “anti national”. The party is not bothered that the use of violence by ABVP is setting an agenda that is not suitable for the very purpose of the universities.
“I am a student of Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am alone. Every student of India is with me. Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him. Because if there was no war, my dad would still be here. I fight for peace between India and Pakistan . Enough is enough,” a strong girl in Gurmehar Kaur a young DU student and daughter of a Kargil War martyr Captain Mandeep Singh took courage to register her protest against the free hand given to ABVP. She was able to register her point. However, reading the word Pakistan got the keyboard nationalists out. They trolled her, belittled her and raised question on her patriotism and even threatened her with rape. In any other country, this daughter of nation would have got a patient hearing from the government. However, the Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju who is not known for his statesman skills, courted another controversy when he said, “She is a martyr’s daughter. His soul must be weeping that his daughter is being misguided by those who celebrate on the bodies of martyrs.” He undermined the importance of the message that young Gurmehar was trying to convey. Her video also had another placard, “ I am making this video because I want governments of both countries to stop pretending.”A simple message of peace, a straight lesson to the leaders that was not registered but was misinderpreteded.
Can the government control the number of molestation cases, when it own students wing is facing accusation of issuing of rape threats? It can’t. Especially when the ruling party chooses to look the other way around. Gurmehar’s reference to the war has a significance and none whosoever have not lived her life has a right to question her. She was just two years old when her father was killed in the Kargil war in 2003.
Her attempt to urge people to open up to the idea of living in peace and embracing each other, went unnoticed. And she was subjected to questioning, putting her freedom of free speech in question. In order to let the situation get polarized because that suits the ruling party BJP and its students wing ABVP, fascist ideologies were given free hand in and around the campus to create an atmosphere waiting to ignite. It’s the first government of its kind in India, that lets polarization to strive in order to strive its voter bank.