'Hooliganism not nationalism': Three ABVP leaders resign citing JNU and Rohith Vermula incidents // TITHI BHATTACHARYA - Kanhaiya Kumar Stands in a Tradition Beyond the Nation-State

NB: This is a significant gesture by these students. We must appreciate the fact that they have chosen to take a stand against the blatant injustice and partisanship being practised by the Government of India; as well as the irresponsible demonisation of JNU by a section of the media. Solidarity on basic principles is built during crises like this, and other students should welcome this gesture by the ABVP office bearers. DS
On Wednesday evening, three office bearers of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad in Jawharlal Nehru University announced their resignation from their designated positions in the aftermath of the assault on JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and the controversy after Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide.

Pradeep Narwal, who holds the Joint Secretary post in JNU's ABVP unit put up a letter on his Facebook page, making public his decision to step down. Along with him, Rahul Yadav and Ankit Hans stepped down too, who hold the positions of President and Secretary of ABVP unit in the school of social sciences.

Their resignation marks the first instance of differences in the right wing student organisation being made public in recent times. "We can’t be mouthpiece of such a government," the Facebook post says, "which has unleashed oppression on student community".

Apart from questioning Delhi's BJP Member of Legislative Assembly OP Sharma, the note also demands that action should be taken against "any person responsible for the slogans" who, the note says, "should be punished as per the law".

The note also goes on to "condemn [the] media trial which has culminated in Anti-JNU sentiments throughout the country".

Following is the unedited text of Pradeep Narwal's Facebook page making the decision public.


Dear friends,
We, Pradeep, Joint Secretary, ABVP JNU UNIT, Rahul Yadav, President SSS ABVP UNIT and Ankit Hans, Secretary SSS ABVP UNIT resigning from ABVP and disassociating ourselves from any further activity of ABVP as per our difference of opinion due to the following reasons:

1. Current JNU incident.

2. Long standing difference of opinion with party on MANUSMIRITI and Rohith Vermula incident.

Anti-national slogans on Feb. 9 in university campus were very unfortunate and heart breaking. Whosoever responsible for that act must be punished as per the law but the way NDA government tackling the whole issue, the oppression on Professors, repeated lawyer attacks on Media and Kanhaiya kumar in court premises is unjustifiable and we think there is a difference between interrogation and crushing ideology and branding entire left as Anti-national.

People are circulating #‎SHUTDOWNJNU but I think they must circulate #‎SHUTDOWNZEENEWS which has demeaned this world class institution, this biased ZEE news media generalize and related the act done by few people to the whole student community of JNU. JNU is considered as one of the progressive and democratic institution where we can see intermingling of people from lower to upper income strata of the society, notion of equality.

We can’t be mouthpiece of such a govt. which has unleashed oppression on student community, legislature like OP Sharma, govt. which has legitimized the action of right wing fascist forces either in Patiala house court or in front of JNU north gate. Every day we see people assemble at front gate with Indian Flag to beat JNU student, well this is hooliganism not nationalism, you can’t do anything in the name of nation, there is a difference between nationalism and hooliganism.

Anti-India slogans can’t be tolerated in campus or any part of country, JNUSU & some left organization are saying that nothing has happened in the campus but here we want to stress that veiled persons in the event organized by former DSU persons shouted slogans BHARAT TERE TUKADDE HONGE of which there is concrete evidence in videos, so we demand any person responsible for the slogans should be punished as per the law, and in this whole process we also condemn media trial which has culminated in Anti-JNU sentiments throughout the country. 

Today we all must stand together to save JNU which has given us identity, we need to come across party lines to save reputation of this institution, to save future of JNUites as more than 80% of students don’t belong to any political party so let’s unite to save this JNU culture.


TITHI BHATTACHARYA - Kanhaiya Kumar Stands in a Tradition Beyond the Nation-State
This is not the first time in recent years that we have seen thousands of students and young people pouring out onto Indian streets against regimes of dispossession and violence.  In 2012, it was this generation who took to the streets, all over India, following the brutal rape and murder of the 23-year-old Jyoti Singh. In 2014, 100,000 people marched in Kolkata against a draconian university administration and a corrupt state government. In Hyderabad and elsewhere, student leaders such as Rohith Vemula have been working tirelessly to draw attention to the silencing of Dalit voices in history. In his speech, Kumar said he did not need a “patriotism certificate from the RSS…a nationalist certificate from the RSS. We belong to this country and we love the soil.”

He had defied the narrow, jealously guarded ‘nation’ — as it stood forever stained with the violence against Muslims, Dalits, women and the poor. Against this mythical saffronised ‘nation’, Kumar had called forth from historical muteness the resonant voices of solidarity and compassion. When he spoke that night for his sisters and brothers in Kashmir, for Vemula, against institutional violence towards women, Muslims and minorities, he was, once again, in excellent company. He spoke as a Black Lives Matter activist would while protesting police brutality in a major US city, he spoke as a Palestinian would against an apartheid state, he spoke as a young person of Algerian descent would against Islamophobia and empire in Francois Hollande’s France.

Kumar is not anti-national.  He stands in a tradition beyond the nation-state. He stands steeped in internationalism. It is now our job to stand with him and others like him.

NB - This is a comment I have posted beneath this small article in The Wire:
A piece truly to be appreciated. I am glad the author has cited Mahatma Gandhi at this dark hour, a man vilified by all quarters in his own country, whose monumental love and compassion for humanity was a shining light in the darkness of our descent into madness. I hope the younger generation will yet have the courage to cut through hateful ideologies and stand with the students of JNU.

see also
A Hard Rain Falling (on private armies and political violence-EPW, July 2012
The law of killing - a brief history of Indian fascism

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