DEFILING INDIA’S INNER SANCTUARY

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The unkindest part of the JNU fracas is the reality of teachers, who should have been the intellectual pioneers of civilisation, preaching secessionism and separatism. Unfortunately, the list of those who collude to subvert this nation is a long one

In October 2010, when the BJP demanded that action be taken against writer-activist Arundhati Roy for her comments in a seminar on ‘Azadi: The only way’, held in New Delhi, these intellectuals had condemned the BJP. Ms Roy had accused the Indian state of waging war against its own people and had also added that Kashmir was never an integral part of India. She said, “A TV journalist stuck a mic in my face and very aggressively said ‘Madam, is Kashmir an integral part of India or not? Is Kashmir an integral part of India or not?’ about five times. So I said, look Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. However aggressively and however often you want to ask me that. Even the Indian Government has accepted in the UN that it’s not an integral part of India. So, why are we trying to change that narrative now.

“See, in 1947, we were told that India became a sovereign nation and a sovereign democracy, but if you look at what the Indian state did from midnight of 1947 onwards, that colonised country, that country that became a country because of the imagination of its coloniser the British drew the map of India in 1899 so that country became a colonising power the moment it became independent, and the Indian state has militarily intervened in Manipur, in Nagaland, in Mizoram, in Kashmir, in Telangana, during the Naxalbari uprising, in Punjab, in Hyderabad, in Goa, in Junagarh.

“So often the Indian Government, the Indian state, the Indian elite, they accuse the Naxalites of believing in protracted war, but actually you see a state — the Indian state that has waged protracted war against its own people or what it calls its own people relentlessly since 1947… The colonial state whether it was the British state in India or whether it’s the Indian state in Kashmir or Nagaland or in Chhattisgarh, they are in the business of creating elites to manage their occupations, so you have to know your enemy and you have to be able to respond in ways where you’re tactical…”

Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani had also attended the conference and, as per the organisers’ pamphlets distributed in JNU, “most resolutely articulated his unequivocal call for Azadi as the only solution acceptable to the struggling people of Kashmir.” The pamphlet stated that, “Geelani had shared the stage with representatives from various other struggling nationalities, as well as intellectuals, writers and activists from India.”

Geelani was arrested on his return; against that, the pamphlet writers commented thus: “Like in Kashmir too, Indian state rather than taking any action  against the murderers in uniform has continued to brutally murder more and more non-violent protestors… But the writing is loud and clear on the walls of Kashmir. Slogans like ‘Go India Go Back’, ‘hum kya chahte? Azadi’ are echoing in the streets of the valley every single day! The deaf Indian state might try to silence it, its corporate media lackeys might try to ignore the reality but this is what the millions of Kashmiris are saying in unison. No might of the colonising Indian state can dominate this unflinching aspiration of the Kashmiri masses. It is the united fight of other oppressed nationalities along with the oppressed masses in India which is going to defeat this fascist brahminical state and its oppression…” Interestingly, it was these same chants that were shouted in JNU on February 9 this year.

The convention report reveals its virulently anti-India character. It say:

“The speakers who were represented from various struggling nationalities as well as intellectuals, writers and activists from India, most resolutely articulated the unequivocal call for Azadi as the only solution acceptable to the struggling people of Kashmir. After the convention, Chidambaram-led fascist Indian ruling classes were hand in gloves to register a case against the speakers.”

“The convention read out loud and clear for Indians in India, what is written on the walls of Kashmir ‘Go India, Go Back!’ no amount of repression can deny just demand of Kashmiris for Azadi, fighting masses of India for their land, livelihood and dignity. Colonising, Brahminical, fascist Indian state will

be destroyed.”

Ms Roy and others speakers in this conference essentially called the Indian state/Government a colonial and oppressive entity that was waging war against its people and called on the people to look upon India as their enemy. And yet when the BJP demanded that action be initiated against Ms Roy, a public statement was released demanding as is the habit the upholding of “free speech and expression.” This statement was signed, among others, by the following professors of JNU: Nivedita Menon, Ranjani Mazumdar, Kumkum Roy, Anuradha Chenoy and Kamal Mitra Chenoy. By appending their signature in defence of Ms Roy in a statement which justified her views on India, these professors endorsed the argument that the Indian state was an aggressor state waging war against its people. Ironically, as professors of a Central University, they were themselves life-long beneficiaries of the Indian state.

Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy has been at the forefront of the recent JNU episode, defending the students’ ‘right’ to raise anti-India slogans. He is an old hand with a stake in every pie of separatism that is linked to India and was active in the ISI-supported Ghulam Nabi Fai network. In July 2006, he had participated in the Sixth International Kashmir Peace Conference in Washington, DC, which had dubious sub-themes like, “Is Self-Governance a means towards Self-Determination?”, “Demilitarisation: First step toward setting a stage for settlement” and “Kashmir: Human Rights Dimension”.

In May 2011, a two day international conference on Kashmir was held in Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir which was attended, among others, by professors Kamal Mitra Chenoy and Anuradha Chenoy and also journalist and Left activist Seema Mustafa. Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy’s statement at this conference was contrary to the stated position of the Indian Government and Parliament. The conference was also attended by Fai, then executive director of the Kashmiri American Council, an ISI front in the US. Fai spoke in favour of self-determination of the Kashmiri people. Waxing eloquent in that conference before his Pakistani and separatists hosts, professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy, said that “repealing black laws, ensuring  the basic fundamental rights of Kashmiri people and engaging political as well as civil society at different levels can really help to move bring peace in the region”. He denounced the “draconian laws” prevalent in the State and said that Kashmir is an “international problem”. He also said that, “Azadi is the demand of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and what shape does it take is a big question”.

The list of collusion and subversion is a long one, a long litany of betrayal and insidious action against the existence and narrative of India. The unkindest part of it all is the reality of teachers preaching secessionism and separatism, and singing the tunes of the patrons of terrorism and subversion. In his report on Indian universities, philosopher, educationist and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had noted, that, “If India is to confront the confusion of our time, she must turn for guidance, not to those who are lost in the mere exigencies of the passing hour, but to her men of letters, and men of science, to her poets and artists, to her discoverors and inventors. These intellectual pioneers of civilisation are to be found and trained in the universities, which are the sanctuaries of the inner life of the nation.”

These collaborationists in the agenda of breaking India, operating within the hallowed precincts of a university, are definitely not the “intellectual pioneers of civilisation” but are rather the debasers of civilisation, who, through their profanity, are constantly defiling these “sanctuaries of the inner life of the nation”.

 

(This is the second and concluding part of a two-piece commentary. The first was published on March 2)

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