This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

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

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

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.

Take campus conversations to the next level. Become a YKA Campus Correspondent today! Sign up here.

You can also subscribe to the Campus Watch Newsletter, here.​

You must be to comment.
  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’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?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Kritika Nautiyal

By Priyasmita Dutta

By Prabhanu Kumar Das

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

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.

Read more about his campaign.

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.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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.

Read more about her campaign. 

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.

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.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

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.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below