Mera India-Tera India: 5 reasons why as a Common Young Indian I stand with JNU

A lot has been said and a lot has been heard. BJP shouted Arnab cried and many others earned their share of footage using those flashy animations and patriotic speeches on more or less all national television channels. But was this issue worth this much importance or is it the first time in Independent India that someone opposed government or death penalty or supported independent Kashmir or questioned the integrity of India?

Being a 24-year-old young Indian with a regular 9–7 job, I didn’t feel that this JNU fiasco was even an issue. I was barely concerned since luckily I do not watch TV and hence am safe from PrimeTimeNewsSickness. But all of a sudden everyone was talking about it and labeling a university and its alumni I have always admired as Anti-National.

Why today suddenly everybody is in a race to prove their patriotism and prove every contradictory view as anti-national? Why are we in a hurry to mark everyone either leftist or the right wing? Why the obnoxiously-crazy-sick-maniac Arnab Goswami became Chief Justice to tag someone as patriotic and someone as anti-national and in a flagrant way used Lance Naik Hanumanthappa’s sacrifice to build a TRP speech? Why has again media taken the role of extremism and strongly opinionated platform rather than a neutral information communication platform?

As a young Indian it makes me feel sad, very sad. I feel sad because decisions have taken over discussions. I feel sad because media representatives have taken over public debate platforms. I feel sad because contradictory views and freedom of speech have been labeled as ‘anti-national’. I feel very sad because individual opinions expressed in their capacity have been labeled over one of the India’s finest university which has produced enough of the best minds of India that I prefer not to even mention any one of them. I feel sad because I live in a time when I cannot have mixed opinion but I must be either on the east or the west, I can either be correct else I am wrong.

Right now when you type JNU in Google search, all I am getting in google feed is the opinion of A, the opinion of B but not plain simple information to let someone build their own opinion using their own conscience. A University where Prime Minister himself expressed remorse about the suicide of Rohith suddenly has become a national political playground.

I do not support the groups and people who shouted slogans to destroy India and support terrorist organizations. This issue is bigger than the slogans shouted by JNUSU or ABVP or anyone. Like all, neither I nor you support the ‘Bharat ki barbaadi tak, Jung Rahegi, Jung Rahegi’.

Now, it is way bigger than that and about the integrity and constitutional rights of a citizen. As a common young Indian, here are my 10 reasons why I stand with JNU:

(1) Without going on the authenticity of the videos being shown, even if we assume that a small section of students used slogans which were against Indian State and supported Afzal Guru I don’t find enough of the reasons to mark the wholly involved student community as Anti-National and arrest the JNUSU President on charges of sedition.

Legally, the charges of sedition won’t hold as it would need strong enough evidence of “exciting disaffection towards the Government established by law”, according to section 124 A of IPC. Moreover, If a bunch of 50 young students is all we need to shake the existence of World’s largest democracy, we should feel shameful about it.

(2) This is not the first time when a body has taken the stand against common public opinion. Various Hindu organizations support the killing of Mahatma Gandhi who still holds half of space on our currency and they are still functional. The mother organization of BJP, RSS, still holds strong anti-views against other religion and still not a banned organization.

When these organizations with membership in millions have not been able to shake the republic and democratic existence of Indian State how suddenly some 50 odd students have taken over the whole nation? No doubt, the law is to be applied where it is applicable, but the manner has to be ethical and straight forward and not misused against people with strong anti-views for the establishment.

(3) Let’s assume JNUSU students are the one who have Anti-India views (without arguing about whether it was a planned trap of BJP/ABVP since their members are identified as ones shouting anti-India slogans), do you not think the National government should tackle situations in a more mature way? Why every view in support of independent Kashmir suddenly makes the person Pakistani and non-patriotic? There is a famous saying which goes “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” which suggests that one who has something to hide need to bring the debate about Patriotism as their last resort.

(4) In a country of 1.25 billion people where one-fourth of the population is not literate, which has 20% of the world’s poorest and per capita income is one the lowest side, all I see on media is a panel of 5 people trying to shout over each other with a suited guy with tie sitting in between trying to control and shout along with and tagging people right, wrong, patriotic, anti-national, thief, scoundrel and God what not, how am I supposed to believe and make my judgments based on that? The university offers education at a fee as low as 250 INR a year, and like IITs, AIIMS, NITs, it is funded by government and yes tax-payers money is one of the sources but that doesn’t mean it should become an issue to cancel scholarships, fellowships, and endowments for such key universities. As a young Indian who admire such universities and bright talent which go there because of such support, I am against this newly built debate and JNU fraternity cannot be blamed at all for any incident as a whole.

(5) There have been innumerable instances where student leaders have protested for not-so-valid and not valid reasons to earn brownie points. But this University stands out for every point you talk about from the culture, academic environment, quality of students, clearer political setup. (In ‘Tu Janta nahi mera baap kaun hai’ establishment of Delhi, this university’s students who may be coming from poorest and not so enabled backgrounds have always been standing out in university level political elections). It is a university which provides fellowships (paid) to researchers and scholars to invest time on diverse issues many of which are itself against the establishment and existing processes and those scholars invest years researching on them. JNU has always been a center of extreme leftist views and it’s not the first time they have been expressed.

If someone carries anti-Indian views, it is not a criminal offense and should have freedom of speech irrespective of which caste, creed, a section of society, University and political affiliations. For a healthy democratic setup, anti views play a critical role and what we are trying to do is demolish it by killing freedom of speech and labeling the University Anti-National. I would want this place to continue to be a burning volcano of different ideology which challenges the establishment, like always and forever.

Agree? Disagree? Neutral? Have an opinion to share? Please write below this article irrespective of whichever side you belong to.

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