Monday, February 27, 2017

Importance of Student's Politics for India!

After the last year JNU incident, there is a certain naive group emerged on the social media which wants to abolish all student unions in universities. The argument that they give are, "Why so we need politics in institutions meant to study? Are the student there to do politics or to study?"

I want to start with an example of my own alma mater the National Institute of Science Education and Research. I have studied over 5 years in this institute and it has so many awesome faculties and I have very fortunate to have been with the guidance of one of the brilliant minds of the nation. But, there is also a side which is called the administration, and just like any other administration of any other college of India, the students in my college also are very critical about it. We students had our regular issues like 
  • Delay in releasing scholarships every month.
  • Issues in Internet Facility provided.
  • Funding needed for college funds not getting sanctioned.
  • Non-Eatable Food in Mess.
  • Choice of Elective Subjects in studies.
  • Cleanliness issues in Mess.
  • No Placement Cells for placement of students.
  • Corruption in Administration.
and many more such usual issues like many other institutions of India. I am pretty sure every national institute faces such problems in India. Now, If we scale it down to other colleges which are not of national level college they also face the following difficulties.
  • Faculties not taking classes.
  • Out of Syllabus questions in exams.
  • Open cheating in exams
  • Cleanliness issues in classrooms
  • No environment for studies.
  • Corruption in Administration.

The problems that I listed above are mostly in Science and technical institutions. The Humanities background institutions faces more problems in additions to all the above ones which I will come to later on in this post. Now, the above problems that I listed are problems of Students which they face and ALL the times the administration are unable to resolve the issues of their own. There are natural and sensible reasons of why it happens specially in public funded institutions like NISER, Universities.
  • The administration has a natural tendency to think that the students are their subjects because they are given the right to spend the money that public funds them.
  • The administration receives salaries directly from government without having any accountability of their own.
So, the answer to those question will be straightforward. The need of the students cannot be understood by those who are not accountable to it. And to set accountability we NEED politics. So, the correct question that should be asked is, what kind of politics do we want? 

Why do I say this? well, for that we must understand which kind of society do we live in? We must understand it's realities in as precise manner as possible. Whether we like it or not but politics today has become totalitarian in nature across the globe which varies in only certain degrees with respect to the place. It is so widespread that there exist NO social institution which is not affected by politics or which does not have politics in it. I gave some example of administrative politics in my institution and others. You might be aware of "office politics" too when you are working in IT sector.

On top of that, everything related to our economic development, industries, corporates, social welfare schemes, education, infrastructure development, type of market, labour laws etc. all of these things via utilising the tax payer's money is guided by political policies and practices which is made by the government of the day. The political patronage actually measures the benefit or the damage it does to a particular community. Politics control the creativity of filmmakers, singers, actors, celebrities on what there position is on a certain topic. (Ban on Lipstick under my burka by CBFC be one of the examples). It even affects everyone's personal life, "what they eat?", "how they dress?", "What slogans they raise?" etc.

If politics is so deeply enriched in our system, how can colleges, institutions and universities be an exception to it? I want to ask, "What is the GOAL of a college or a University?" To train students in a particular subject and get a job? If anyone agrees to this kind of philosophy they should come out of the ancient and myopic viewpoint that they have. Because it is NOT the goal of a University or a college or an institute. Don't lecture students on what they are "supposed to do" if you don't have a shred of knowledge of what they are actually doing. The goal of an institution/college/university is to prepare students to be ready for the unimaginative challenges that they will face in different aspect of their life and NOT to just get a job and sit like robots. And those challenges include politics which is completely amalgamated into it. Thus it is very important for an overall development of an individual's character and personality. And you must remember, building character is the FIRST STEP to nation building.

Another reason I have for politics to be needed apart from its presence everywhere is we NEED better leaders to lead the nation. Where should these leaders come from? At present, Indian political leadership largely come via money/muscle power or by lineage. Since, college politics directly links the subjects to national level or state level. It becomes a launching pads for self made leaders to be entered in political arena. We talk so much about India and pakistan. We always have, ever thought why there was so much dictatorship in pakistan despite Jinnah advocating a secular republic AFTER partition? Because of the differences in leaderships in both the countries. During 1970's when pakistan was fueled with islamic fundamentalism via it's dictators who were nothing but looters, big builders (nawaz sharif one of them) etc. Indian political arena was much cleaner at that point of time. Because the leadership in India was coming from three unions. 
  1. The TRADE Unions
  2. The LABOUR Unions
  3. The STUDENT Unions.
Indira gandhi's congress and the Janta Government almost destroyed the trade unions in India. The labour unions are starving to death already because of their rights being snatched away and now the attacks on student unions will be the biggest mistake a nation can make. Student Politics actually institutionalise merit based search for future political leaders. You can have disagreements with any or all student leaders but asking to dismantle student unions will hence be inviting dictatorship at your doorsteps. 

There are no student unions in our institute NISER, IITs, IIMs, NITs, IISERs, St. Stephen's (Delhi) and it is NOT a good thing because it does not allow some of the best minds to enter political arena barring few exceptions (e.g - +Arvind Kejriwal ) who make it against all odds and get criticized for taking up a position. Now see what the majority of 21st century politics is all about. Criminals, rapists, thugs, thieves, dacoits, rioters, uneducated, uncouth, old people enter politics. So, it is even more necessary for us to allow political thought to be nurtured in an INDEPENDENT FRAME of MIND. It is only irony that these institutions who are "non-political" take pride in political successes of such odd leaders.

The argument against my point of views are usually giving examples about the entire academic sessions going to waste to take part in political protests. Even for students who are willing to take classes are bound by their peers to participate in protests, strikes etc. I want to say to them that to remove this difficulty your pathway is not correct. The solution won't be to disallow any form of politics but to change the kind of politics that happen. Also, if a student is studying or not, let his academic performance be the judge of it and not you and me to lecture them about going to study.

Democracy is NOT about just elections and political rallies but it is also about dialogues, diplomacy, management, discussion, dissent in a peaceful manners, ideological wars in a peaceful setting and NOT using police or army men on students. The intention in DEMOCRACY should NEVER be to bulldoze opposing ideas but recognise the RIGHT of someone having an opposing IDEOLOGY than yours. The same should be for politics or universities. At present, both the national and college politics is poisoned with destructive elements like mainstream political parties, ABVP etc. This in turn also affects the academic and legislative processes.

I am suggesting an idea. We as a students should promote creativity and find new ways to protest via our writings, plays, songs, social media, internet without actually disturbing the academic discipline of an institution. Also, we must be peaceful towards others to give them a peaceful environment to study. For that to happen, an ordinance can be brought upon removing all form of grants given by a registered political party to it's student's wing. They can help in any manner possible to their students wing apart from giving any money to them. 

Another thing that is needed to be done is grant COMPLETE Autonomy to the institutions which after this new regime came in the center is in grave danger. The institutional murder of rohit vemula being one of the prime example of it. There should be full autonomy to the institutions in the appointments of their professors, HODs, financial, syllabus selections, student selections etc.  We MUST DEMOCRATISE our educational institute and bring in more transparency. We have too many bad appointments of VCs, HODs, etc. in institutes like MKU, HCU, DU, JNU etc. due to the political connections that they have. It is required that ALL the stakeholders INCLUDING the student community and civil society must have at least a say in these appointments. Regarding financial autonomy, I agree that it is very difficult to make an educational institute self sustaining without making it very expensive. At present the government subsidises the education of students. What I propose is, the government SHOULD hand over the money to these institutions to spend it as they deem fit with respect to their requirement. The hierarchical approach should STOP now. 

I will strongly discourage the privatisation of educational institutes and use of education as a market in a free market world. The capitalists argue that in a long run it is going to help as more profit-seeking private institution enter this sector, the quality will increase and cost of education will decrease. But this "long run" argument is very vague and generations can be destroyed like pakistan due to this. Also it is an untested method and trickle down theory in my personal view is a hoax. 

The misuse of police is pretty evident both in Ramjas as well as in JNU last year. The bigger problem at hand is the interpretation of history based on not facts but political ideologies. The new definition of "national" and "anti-national", the maaro pito culture, the Rape threats are all to fulfil political interests and agendas. The police is just a pawn of the political party in power which is not serving the law but the political party. If anything is to be fought against it is the institutions like ABVP which has no regard for law and order and is so high on power that every member of ABVP is honestly seen as a potential rapist at this current time.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ramjas Incident : ABVP - The Potential RAPISTS

Umar Khalid the controversial figure from the JNU was supposed to speak in a seminar at Ramjas College at around 1 PM. At around 12:30 p.m about 100 ABVP goons stormed the seminar place. So, the organizers decided to form a human chain from the back door to let Umar speak in the event. After about 15 mins, the numbers of ABVP goons increased four fold and all the gates were barricaded by the ABVP goons. The organizers contacted the Delhi Police to help in the situation. Here is what they replied.

"Since, you have not taken permission for the event to be organised in your OWN college from us we are not bound to protect you. If there is any law and order situation that prevails here ONLY the organizers will be responsible for that"

Umar cancelled his presentation there and did not go. The next morning, the ABVP people as usual started their propaganda based on a blatant yet sensational LIE via whatsapp, facebook etc. that Umar Khalid, who was "convicted" from every session's court to all the higher court in "anti-national" activities is coming to the RAMJAS college. It is a typical style of fascist propaganda. Last year people from NEWS X, ZEE News etc. reported that Umar had links with JeM. They did not even use the word "allegedly" at that point of time. They also reported that Umar went to Pakistan and has the protection of terrorist organisation there. The fact of the matter is that till now even after more than a year of the incident not a SINGLE CHARGE SHEET has been framed against any of the student. And as per the precedence of the Indian legal system you are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILT and NOT the other way around. It is only ironical that those who were propagating these lies were the same people who were arrested in having links with ISI, pakistan.
I am appalled with the stupidities of some of my even well educated NISER friends (whom I won't name) who USED this news report to measure the nationalism of an indian citizen. In my judgement, this can happen with two possibilities. Either those people are so brain dead and had lost the ability to think or it is deliberate bias of their fake nationalism. 
This was my initial reaction to the incident that surfaced two days ago. I am saying and telling it with full honesty that I maintain my firm position on this. One can argue that I am being very emotional with this and that may have affected my judgement skill. I want to clarify that when it happened two things popped up in my minds. I control my emotions and wait for sometime to make myself politically correct and show myself neutral OR I let my honest emotions flow and pen it down exactly the way it is. I choose the later because I realize that for far too long I have been polite just to maintain a neutrality YET I cannot convince the people the rationality behind my thoughts. The intelligent one's always anyway understand what I want to say so I HAVE to dumb to a level where I can make the dumb one's realize their mistake in their thought process.  

Now, let us critically analyse the events. I will start with Afzal Guru. I have myself studied the full text of the judgement delivered on him three times myself. So, every person who argues with me SHOULD at lest study it one time and then argue with me factually on the merits of the case. You don't need to be a lawyer to understand a court judgement. Yes, for delivering a judgement or argue in court you should have a law degree but NOT to understand it. You need to only understand an Indian Language and some rational thinking capacity. So, please open this authentic link and download the pdf version of the judgement and study the whole document carefully which is of 153 pages and understand all the sides then make up your OWN opinion based on your own intelligence. You don't need to have faith to make up your rational argument. My stand on the judgement is that the punishment was JUST, BUT hurried which in turn saved the masterminds behind the attacks. I am happy to change my position on this if you have the patience to go through it at least once. Till then you are not qualified enough to argue on Afzal guru topic and you are just relying on faith which is an irrational way to argue which I am not interested in doing.

Now, This judgement clearly says that (only the controversial points) : 
  1. Guru was NOT involved in any of the terrorist organisations at all. 
  2. The provisions on which he was punished was POTA (prevention of Terrorism Act) which at the present day is NOT valid in any court of law.
  3. The death penalty was given to satisfy the "moral conscience of the nation" and not on the basis of guilt or innocence of the accused.
Now many Supreme Court Judges in the past has clearly spoken that the judgement is false. Does that make them Anti-National? It is high time that the Indians come out of this faith mentality that you always need to have "faith" in the judicial system. No, you need to have trust over judicial system and you should always expect the judiciary to behave neutrally. But that does not mean that judiciary can't make mistakes and it cannot be criticized. And please don't show me that TV interview of Afzal guru to prove your point because that interview was rejected to used as an evident by the court. In a true sense of democracy these things matter the most. I have clearly defined who is a traitor and who is a patriot in my previous post. Referring to it, as per my understanding , Umar Khalid does NOT become anti-national. I have many disagreements with his methods and with his ideologies but that does still not allow me or anyone else in the India to even touch him. 
When a person enters your house and kills you, it is not called a clash. It is an assault. The Violence that happened in Ramjas, almost all of the ABVP goons were NOT Ramjas students. Some of them not even from DU. Then what the hell they were doing at 10:00 am in Ramjas? I would like to appeal to all the progressive Indians so reply and hit them hard. We should reply binaries with the binaries. The way the ABVP people pulled hairs of girls, dragged them along, pelted stones on them. 

By their own standards which the ABVP applies should be done to Kashmiris, they should be shot point blank with real guns. 
The ABVP side of the story here is that the people from AISA shouted the following slogans,
"Kashmir Maange Azaadi"
"Bastar Maange Azaadi"
That set. These two slogans. These slogans does not make anyone anti-national. Everyone has a right to have an opinion about Kashmir or Bastar (which is enraged with a civil war at the moment) constitutionally. Let's look at some work of the Delhi police here. I still don't understand if the Police was not there to protect the organisers what they were doing there. The Quint released this video below.

The whole incident proves that every person associated with ABVP is a potential RAPIST. Those who were perpetrators of that incident are directly involved so they are anyways molesters. But even those who are not involved and support this action of mass molestation and thuggery are guilty with guilt by association. So, whenever you see someone from ABVP or a supporter of ABVP, you must be careful as you are seeing a potential RAPIST at that point of time. The only way this tag of a potential rapist will go if that person disassociates himself/herself from ABVP effective immediately. 

Now, I will end this with addressing those self proclaimed lecturers who lecture us about student politics. Yes students are there to study and to shape the future of the nation. This students politics is a PART of that study. So, please don't lecture students on what they should do.