On 21st and 22nd of February, ABVP activists clashed with the left-wing All India Students Association (AISA) and other students of Delhi University’s Ramjas college. Stones were thrown, students beat up and journalists roughed up. Why? Because Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad believes Ramjas College has no business inviting the left wing students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid for a seminar on the ‘culture of protest’. Since two days, we have heard quite a few excuses from ABVP and their supporters justifying the violence.
Let me take them up one by one.
ABVP believes Umar Khalid should not have been invited. They believe Umar is an anti-national and under-qualified to speak on a platform like the one provided by Ramjas college.
This reason has to be carefully analysed. Umar Khalid should not have been invited because he is anti-national. Who decides Umar decides is an anti-national? Of course, ABVP!
They also point out that he was arrested on sedition charges. They completely forget the fact that he hasn’t yet been charge-sheeted and is out on bail. And even if he was, does he not have the right as a citizen of this country to air his views? We do not agree with a lot of people on a lot of issues. Does that mean we start throwing stones at them?
Now, look at the second part of this excuse. He is not qualified enough. The man went to jail for dissenting. Plus, his PhD thesis on the subject of Maoist in Bastar.
The disease of anti-nationalism is spreading from JNU to DU
I really want to know who is anti-national. How do you define anti-national? Umar Khalid might believe in an ideology that might not espouse the same values that the Indian constitution stands for. But does that make him an enemy of the country?
For really long, ABVP’s parent organisation did not believe in the Indian flag. Did we ever call them ‘anti-national’? ABVP’s own vision seems to be in clash with that of a secular India. Shouldn’t ABVP be called ‘anti-national’ for not supporting the Indian constitutional values?
Branding anyone who doesn’t agree with the Hindu right wing as ‘anti-national’ was simply scary. This is not the democracy that the modern India aspires to be.
ABVP says they have right to protest
Absolutely, ABVP has the right to protest. They have the right to protest as guaranteed by the Indian constitution which still hasn’t declared India into a Hindu rashtra or Communist state where might is the right. ABVP enjoys the same rights as any left activists like Umar Khalid or Shehla Rashid or Kanhaiya Kumar do.
Please note. The Indian constitution is not an ideal document for either the likes of Umar Khalid or ABVP activists.
Of course, ABVP has no right to indulge in violence. Unfortunately, there have been many supporters of ABVP who have justified the violence. Much such evidence is available on social media. This simply shows what a dangerous era we are entering into. Instead of indulging in the battle of ideas, we are getting into fist fights.
So, if we were to go by ABVP’s vision and practice, India is going to be:
- a country with single party rule (most probably a Hindu Rashtra where no other political view can exist).
- anyone who disagrees with the majoritarian will be stoned or beaten up.
- Media will have to report what ABVP thinks is the truth.
- And of course, colleges and universities need to take permission from ruling party student groups like ABVP to organise any event.
Think about it.
Actually, such a country does exist. It is called Communist China!