Liberal ideas are gasping for breath in Indian universities as the ABVP delivers a Dudley death drop
Rahul Dass | February 23, 2017 | New Delhi
University of Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru University and now University of Delhi…the free space for discourse is steadily being squeezed out of universities in India as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) imposes its will and forcibly blocks out alternate liberal minds.
This relentless saffron-tinged march, which has become pronounced after the BJP won a stunning victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, is a worrying trend since it deals a blow to the very foundation which the constitution makers had laid.
Let us first get the facts straight. The ABVP has a right to protest. That right cannot and must not be taken away. But, when they resort to violence to thrust their ideas on others, nationalism takes a dangerous and frightening turn.
Over two days this week, the ABVP showed its true colours. On Tuesday, it pelted stones at Ramjas college auditorium in Delhi University’s north campus to protest an invite to JNU student Umar Khalid, who has been accused of sedition. A day later, it was a street fight when the students who believe in the Left ideology decided to protest what happened on Tuesday.
Students were manhandled and even the media was not spared – all in the name of imposing its brand of nationalism. It was a free-for-all.
The ABVP has clearly overstepped the line and the government of the day must take a serious note, otherwise there is a serious risk of violence being glorified. If that happens, then the civil society would be under threat and the day won’t be far when this glorious nation turns into a banana republic.
ABVP’s role in Rohith Vemula’s suspension from Hyderabad University coupled with what it did during the stir at JNU should have set the alarm bells ringing. But, that did not happen. Delhi University became the next target.
India has 677 universities and 37,204 colleges.
In three universities, high visibility instances of erosion of liberalism have taken place. It is a dangerous trend and there is a looming fear that other universities may be next. This runaway road-roller needs to be stopped before it flattens the idea that made India.
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