There is another, incalculable side to the JNU saga – analysis
On 5 January, the atmosphere of anarchy that prevailed at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for more than two months culminated in mafia violence. But to understand what happened that day, it’s important to immerse yourself in recent history and tell a story that has been buried under the media’s dominant narrative.
For more than two months, JNU has been under close by left-wing parties. The trigger was the university’s decision to increase public service positions in shelters to take into account a deficit that the University Grants Commission (UGC) refused to fund. The process began in 2016, but the left-wing Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) was not interested in this.
On 28 October 2019, The members of JNUSU invited them to a meeting of the Inter-Hall Administration, and discontinued the proceedings. JNUSU was not invited as it is not a notified body this year due to a legal case. Attempts to consult the elected representatives of the shelters were blocked by UnJSU.
When the student’s dean’s health deteriorated due to high blood pressure, he was mocked, and an ambulance was not allowed in. Later, he and his family were held hostage for hours at the basic health center. Guardian slam houses and provosts were systematically attacked at night, their families were threatened in order to force them to resign from the committee, and sign false minutes of assembly. Muslim guardians were specifically single-minded for working with the “Sanghi administration.” Not even a pregnant warden and those with young children were saved. Teachers were taken hostage in classrooms, and a teacher was arrested for 29 hours. She was abused and her clothes were broken. CCTV cameras broke and masked left-wing protesters shutting down libraries, schools, laboratories and offices. Students and teachers who tried to enter or reason with them were physically detained and threatened. Even after the ministry of human resources development intervened, and the rate increase was substantially reversed, nothing changed as the protesters moved on to the next demand: the impeachment of the vice chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar.
The administrative bloc was vandalized, and hate graffiti was written on the statue of Vivekananda. The end-of-semester exams were not allowed to take place. Teachers who tried to move forward with the exams were manipulated, and the students were warned of Nephitic consequences. Masked demonstrators tried to burn the answer sheets. On November 16, the security guards of the management bloc were beaten. On December 14, a mob attacked Kumar.
There was, then, a united left-wing call to boycott the record for the new semester in January. Seeing some students challenge them as the online registration route was opened by the university, masked picture destroyed the server room on January 4. This led to the first round of skirmishes between the left and the main opposition, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarathi Parishad (ABVP) as its members protested against vandalism. On the same night, the masked left-wing painting assaulted members of the non-left faculty at the School of Languages. The situation reached a boiling point on January 5, the last day of registration. With hundreds of students trying to register, the Left resorted to physical threats and intimidation. This stuned the second decompression with ABVP activists.
Later around 3 p.m., more than 150 out of 150 members of the masked left-wing gang, led by the president of The JNUSU, allegedly satsed indiscriminate violence against ABVP members on campus. Dozens were ostists to be beaten and the hostel rooms were attacked. Bleeding students hid on rooftops, clutter and wherever they could for more than an hour to escape repeated assault attempts. The campus descended into anarchy. As darkness fell, there were alleged abvations against the left-wing picture. It was only then a media protest. By then, the main victims of violence were called macones and those who held the campus hostage for three months became innocent victims.
The media forgot that Left is a hegemonic force in JNU. His draw vastly outnumbers ABVP and other non-left games. By focusing only on the version of events on the left, the media is reinforcing this power structure. It’s an act of deliberate oppression. It is the students who support the ABVP, not the left box, who had to flee the campus for safety. Those who escaped are being threatened that their turn is coming soon. Women Members of ABVP are being abused. Dalit and other marginalized ABVP members are being socially boycized and expelled from the whatsApp hostel and group department. There is an atmosphere of fear among ordinary students. Students are removing Diwali decorations with door and wall swastikas, fearing that the left box may point to their rooms next time. It is time for the media to return their prejudices and take a position that all violence must be condemned.
Abhinav Prakash Singh is an assistant professor at SRCC, Delhi University
The opinions expressed are personal