While I start writing this piece, I suffer a serious clampdown of choosing between things that I want to assemble and communicate to my readers. The clampdown is simple to express but hard to put together.
Students are being arrested for expressing ‘disgrace’ (sorry, I mean ‘dissent’), there is large scale witch-hunting, there is chaos, and state itself puts into danger the democratic principles and what not.
Their notion of nurturing students is meek: make them slaves! The general practice is that students are the pillars of a nation and they deserve their share in policymaking. It is believed that if teachers are the builders of a nation, students are its pillars; not conformists or spectators. Unfortunately, there is no such practice in our part of the world. It is simple: Teach hatred. Cherish ‘paranoia’ (sorry, I mean ‘nationalism’). Hold your view, even if it demands the breakdown of ‘rule of law’ or threatening the general democratic principles.
In this air of anxiety and tension, one gets to witness the different faces of media. Some conform to the traditional view while others tell the truth even if it means taking heavy toll. On a seemingly nationalistic Noise Hour (News Hour), one could read the headline “Accused in the Parliament Attack SAR Geelani arrested.” The thugs did not perhaps know that SAR Geelani was in fact acquitted by the Supreme Court in that particular case. One could also see a number of hash tags taking people to be traitors and anti-nationals. Whose traitor is (was) Geelani anyway? Also, when they label someone as a Pakistani, do they mean that being a Pakistani means being an alien?
Now I come to the point whether holding the event on the anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging was right or wrong. A lot of literature is available on the subject and I have myself written on the subject as well. What one comprehends after studying the subject is that Afzal Guru became the victim of “collective conscience” of a “pluralistic nation”. Whose conscience was it anyway? Was it the conscience of the goons who present themselves as Islamophobes? Presumably yes. After Afzal was hanged during the Congress rule, people called it a vote-bank decision. Congress however failed miserably to make mark in the following election and some politicians from the party itself called it a “mishandled” decision. While some called it a judicial error, others called it an instance of tyranny. The mainstream politicians in Kashmir could also be seen playing vote bank politics on the subject. And quoting the Supreme Court judgment,”As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy. The incident had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.” What does the judgment convey? A riddle that failed to offer evidence?
I reason, I reason, what wrong did Kanhaiya Kumar, the students’ leader do?
P.S: “Whatever is suppressed comes back in the form of disguise.” These are the smallest instances of youth retaliation. One day, we will have to answer the thousands of widows and orphans let down by the state structure.
(Also available here-