According to the Indian Penile Code, sedition is defined as “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards. 2[* * *] the Government established by law in 3[India], 4[* * *] shall be punished with 5[imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested on the charges of sedition under the section 124A. The arrest was in connection with an event he helped to organise, ‘The Country without Post Office’, against judicial murder and brahmanism. The event also seriously critisised hanging of Afzal Guru. The event resulted in a major clash between ABVP and other political parties. Anti-Indian slogan by some unidentified students are raised during the event. Student sources from JNU said that JNUSU President had no role in it and he tried to stop it.
“JNU is still best University of this country however ABVP/RSS and Swamy are doing their best to malign it. It is very shameful that the sanghi lumpens are trying to repeat the same thing which they have done in University of Hyderabad but we want to tell them we will not loose any Rohith We will fight for democracy, for our constitution and the equal nation for all. In the name of Afzal Guru, ABVP is trying to divert all the issues to save the failure of the Central Govt” said JNUSU president in his facebook post.
20 minute long video of Kanhaiya’s speech just before the arrest is widely circulated in the social media.
Through out his speech, he strongly attacks the Sangh Parivar. He said that ,JNU doesn’t need a certificate of patriotitism from the RSS. He also said that, he have faith in the constitution drafted by Dr B.R Ambedkar who argued against the capital punishment and stood for the freedom of expression. HE added that he don’t believe in the constitution made from Jhandewala and Nagpur(mentioning RSS) and the manu smriti. He criticised the HRD ministries policies towards higher education in India. Kumar is heard speaking on many issues like JNU hostel problem,discrimination against minorities,Brahmanical fascism,Institutional Violence etc. In his speech he condemns the pro-pakistan slogans raised during the protest and said that JNUSU doesn’t support separatists. He also called the RSS for a debate on ‘himsa’. He lashed out against Subrahmaniam Swamy, who said JNU is a house of Jihadis.
After the speech he was arrested for sedition related to an event which he clearly have no role. A press release by former JNU students said that the storming of the hostels and the arrest of the president of JNUSU are signs of the imposition of an undeclared emergency that need to be opposed, confronted and defeated. A JNU student posted on Facebook
“Police raiding all hostels in JNU with a list” – as I read this about crackdown on students in a most prominent university in India, I am reminded of the use of lists by rightwing killers in Gujarat in 2002 to identify Muslim owned shops and burn them.
The students are not likely to be lynched physically (though that is what rightwing nationalists want) but this move is to intimidate all those who dare to dissent from the Hindutva state.
If all those who disagree with RSS-ABVP do not stand together in solidarity now as after Rohith Vemula’s killing, they will be picked up one by one and suppressed.
Solidarity does not imply a common manifesto – it implies recognition of common concern for humanity and progressive ideas and recognition of fascism as a common enemy”.
For the past few months , ranging from FTII to Hyderabad, Hindutva groups are hunting down the dissent voices rising from educational institutions. While Aligarh and Jamia is accused as madrasas nourishing talibanism , on the other hand JNU is termed as a naxal hub. Carefully covering up with psuedo patriotism, the state is trying to suppress the voice of dissent. Unfortunately, we are in a pathetic situation that the followers of the people who murdered Gandhi is taking class on patriotism . The fine line between ‘national’ and ‘anti national’ is now drawn by a certain sect of people.