The ongoing commotion in JNU is a clear example of how ABVP, the student wing of BJP, is trying to snatch the left dominated academic spaces of the central universities. Najeeb Ahmed’s missing and the related communal campaign orchestrated by ABVP cadres in the campus are a part of the grand plot which the Sangh Parivar has built.
Najeeb,a member of All India Student’s Association (AISA) is missing since the last Saturday. It all started when he had a scuffle with a group of ABVP members who were campaigning for mess elections in Mahi/Mandavi hostel. The press release by JNUSU clearly states that they used the incident to start lynching him. All those who tried to calm the situation including the Chief Warden of the Hostel and JNUSU president were also assaulted. Najeeb was intimidated and communally abused in front of all the senior wardens. They even told the warden not to initiate any proceedings and they would not spare Najeeb. Then, it was confirmed that he went missing from the next day morning.
Najeeb’s parents filed a complaint in Vasant Kunj police station. But nothing happened till now. The administration has been reluctant to acknowledge the issue and initiate proceedings. This led the student organisations, mainly the left, to take up the issue, and they have been conducting protests for last two days with hundreds of students. ABVP has also been campaigning with a communal tone saying “Najeeb initiated the scuffle”. A writing appeared in the common room of the hostel saying “All Muslims are terrorists” gave more communal colour to the whole episode. The only response from the administration which came after tremendous pressure from the students is:’Najeeb was the accused’.
The concerted efforts to demoralise JNU in the public gained heat during sedition charge controversies in the last February. The muzzling of dissent and criticism using sedition charges evoked criticism from all secular political and cultural walks. The appointment of Prof. Jagadesh Kumar, a pure technocrat who seems to be out of order choice for an institution like JNU, as the new Vice Chancellor by BJP government, gave momentum for Hindutva forces to brazen up their attacks. He is considered as a dear choice of the government to infiltrate into the academia of JNU. He was known for attending programs of Vijnana Bharati, an organisation linked to RSS. The controversies followed paved the path for Hindutva forces to create a consent among the public that JNU is a den of anti-nationals.
Episodes of this nature erupted in other universities also. Rohit Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad Central University (HCU) was also the result of the purge taken up by the BJP and ABVP to silence the liberal academic fraternity by branding it as anti-national. The recent controversy in Jadavpur University related to the screening of Vivek Agnihotri’s documentary was another.
It is very clear from the recent events that Sangh Parivar, through their progeny ABVP is trying to snatch the academic space in which they don’t have a good hold so far. Generally, the academic space of India is dominated by the liberal-left intelligentsia which stands for a secular democracy. The Sangh ideology and its analytical discourse do not enjoy much following in the academics. RSS, through this kind of interventions in educational institutions, is trying to inject their propaganda.
The communal campaign around Najeeb Ahmed’s disappearance is a new episode in this regard. By aggravating the issue to new levels ABVP is trying to create a violent situation where the government can restrict the political dynamism of JNU.