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Why I Think A Sedition Charge Over The Recent Events At JNU Is Absurd

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By J Jaykris Gurucharan:

FotorCreatedThe protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have, by far, been the most misunderstood. Of late, it has captured the limelight on several social media platforms. There are a few elements one has to necessarily examine before any conclusive judgment is given or stand taken on this controversy which has so greatly agitated people.

The primary aspect that needs to be examined is our fascination with ideals like ‘nationalism’ which have, of late, been misused and misrepresented by several governments to impose their will on the citizens. Nationalism is a virtue that, ironically, remains forgotten and props up only when there is scope for political opportunism. By far, sedition clauses have been the most misused sections by any government so far.

No one denies that nationalism is the force that binds us Indians, including most Kashmiris who still haven’t lost their faith in the Indian state. Not every Kashmiri is a separatist. But the level of faith and goodwill shown by Kashmiris depends on how successful the Indian state is in integrating the various factions in the valley and in working for the welfare of the masses. It’s not important to merely govern Kashmir. Rather, it is more important to do justice to Kashmiris who are now being viewed with suspicion across the country.

No Indian state so far has been able to justify the atrocities committed in Kashmir under the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act). Which is why Kashmiris trust the Indian state despite the hostile circumstances they live under. We must be proud of that. This, however, doesn’t mean that we should be intolerant to any faction that is fighting for greater autonomy. It is, at times, quite natural for people who have been subjected to injustice to stand up for freedom. Several intellectuals who believe that Jammu and Kashmir has been passing through difficult times and deserves autonomy should also be tolerated. It is quite common for people to have different perspectives.

The state can’t prevent the various factions from asserting themselves. Not unless it is convinced that it has meticulously catered to the needs of all the factions in the border state. Thus, the uproar over the JNU protests and its relation to Afzal Guru’s hanging is quite surprising. It can by no means amount to sedition for a number of reasons apart from the one discussed above. Firstly, it has not led to any violence. Secondly, there are sources which claim that the slogans were raised by a group of separatists who had come to witness the cultural event and weren’t proven to be JNU students. Besides, there are parts in the Afzal Guru judgement that point to the fact that there was no direct evidence…amounting to criminal conspiracy.”

There has, of late, been heavy police presence in the JNU campus. The identities of students are frequently being verified which is causing inconvenience for many. Furthermore, the government being harsh on protesters is going to have a negative political impact because the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) government in Kashmir, with whom it is in coalition in the state, had also expressed its concerns over Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Thus, there is an air of political opportunism that surrounds this entire controversy. The government should be cautious enough not to get itself entangled in the situation given the lack of conclusive evidence, the inconvenience caused to the JNU students and faculty due to excess scrutiny. Also, the geopolitical realities in the Kashmir valley and lack of adequate confidence in the government should make the government even more cautious.

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  1. Tisha

    This Artical is Absurd, either the person who is writing has lack of knowledge or they just want to mislead the youths…. According to this artical we should just wait for the voilence to occur and let the people brainwash our youths. Have they not the seen the video of this anti-national protest. We can clearly recognise all these person saying “tum ek afzal maroge har ghar me afzal paida hoge” , “keral mange azadi”, “bangol mange azadi”… Just becouse this country has given you rights to speak ur mind, u cannot take it for granted and have the anti national people use it for brain washing youths of this country, they want that we should not give life sentence to the terrorists so that they could be freed later by hijacking planes etc . This should be stopped immediately and govt is doing rt thing here.
    The aurther here is trying to say the same thing like
    let the ISIS hire and brainwash the young people and make them terrorists, and once they r done and they will cause us harm in form of bomb blast and shooting then also do not give the capital punishment to them if they r cpatured alive.
    Its like waiting for zika virus infected mosquito infect every body until humans come to extinction because mosuitos r so innocent.

  2. KK Bose

    Dear Sir, do you not realize the base reason for all these is the caste system in India?

    I have given enough materials to the nation and to the people around the world and proved beyond any reasonable doubt quoting our Supreme Court judgments and scriptures that the word ‘caste’ and the caste system is inhuman and can be used among animals, not among human beings. Work for a permanent solution. ERADICATE CASTE SYSTEM.

  3. Ninad Shetty

    You seemed to be hugely biased..first of all..it’s very clear, its proved that Umar Khalid was the one raising the slogans and K Kumar supporting it and r u seriously questioning whether A Guru was involved in the attacks when he was clearly arrested from the site of the attacks itself?

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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