Following the event of 9th February 2016, when the videos of students raising anti-India slogans in Jawaharlal Nehru University aired on television, communism – in the centenary year of its greatest success, the Russian Revolution which in the words of Eric Hobsbawm was primarily a battle in the campaign to win the victory of Bolshevism on a wider global scale – seems to be in a crisis in India.
The revolution was followed by a brief period of Soviet-led communist international and a comparatively long period of ideological war between two political-economic models. Communism allied with the nationalism – with which it has a very puzzling relationship – in the movements of national independence, saw millions across the world marching under the red flag. However, the hey days lasted soon. In USSR, the dictatorship of proletariat became dictatorship of Stalin, and, Leninism – the Russian variant of Marxism – was replaced with Stalinism, which was not the dictatorship of proletariats – as Marx envisaged – but of one person, Stalin. In China, the successor of Mao, Deng Xiapong reiterated the slogan “to get rich is to be glorious” and two years after it, Elisabeth Wright reported in ‘The Times’, London, that “money has replaced Marxism as China’s god.” The crisis was global. Everywhere, except in humanities where they managed to have a hegemony, communist found themselves losing the grounds.
So, long before the formal demise of the USSR, it was clear that, political left is dead and the major impact of the soviet-disintegration was the loss of the political patronage which the communists in academics were enjoying. Thus, many of them joined hand with the radical Islamist forces and other camouflaged themselves as liberals. This strategy gave them a new lease of life. The formers as many calls them, the “Sharia-Bolsheviks”, got numbers on the street and petro-dollars in the pocket to run their propaganda politics. And, the later following the advice of Gramsci found places in the academics and media. sssss
This design was quite successful in India – a lots of propaganda materials were being created on the name of “constructive criticism” and communism was being preached on the name of academics. The packaging was so good that the fiction – communism is about giving equal rights irrespective of caste, class, gender and is non-violent, was overshadowing the fact – it killed hundred million people in 20th century, women and marginalized were constantly denied places in Polit-bureaus and created authoritarian regimes crushing the freedom of the masses. Under the guise of making the state more human, the security forces were villainified and on the name of giving spaces to the alternate voices the ultras – be it left or Jihadis – were praised.
The mask blew on 9th February 2016, when in a program organised to eulogize Afzal Guru, the real face of the communist – raising anti-India slogan were captured on the cameras. It not only exposed the real face of the political left but also the intellectual left when the communist students’ organisation – who already had a little bit of ground – lost all the support, and it were the comrades in faculty who were forced to take the charge. On the streets, in the media, in the classrooms, in the seminars, and whatever place they can find, the faculties became the spokespersons of the students raising anti-India slogans. They targeted the students not supporting their ideology, converted the classroom lectures as public talk and ran a whole lecture series on nationalism where everything from caste, class to religion was used to lure the students.
But, the loss was irrecoverable, the nationalist forces emerged stronger even in JNU, which once used to be called ‘the Kremlin on Yamuna’. So, in 2017 when it was not possible to do something which they did last year they tried pushing their agenda in Ramjas college, on the name of an academic seminar by organising a public meeting on the funds of state. Where they invited a person, arrested on the charge of sedition and an open advocate of extremism be it left or radical Islamic, as an intellectual putting forward the case of Adivasis. Looking at the numbers of tribal killed by the Naxals, asking someone who is an open advocate of naxals and member of an organisation putting posters saying “naxalbari, ek hi rashta”, is just like Hitler arguing for the causes of Jews or Baghdadi arguing for the Yazidis.
I will like to end the discussion with some facts. When the senior “comrades in faculty” – presently professors or professor emeritus – they stopped Indira Gandhi to enter the JNU campus. The juniors mostly, assistant professors and associate professors, not allowed a series of speakers including Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi to speak in the campus. Some of present leaders and assistant professors were the part of the group who opposed Manmohan Singh, not only a political leader but a distinguished economist, with black flag and resolved not to let him speak. The same ‘protectors’ of the freedom of expression were not ready to give space to Baba Ramdev in the campus. So, the question is, do these people don’t have a freedom of expression?
Coming back to Ramjas, if it was a seminar organised for debate and discussion then why there were not even a single representation of those who don’t subscribe to the left ideology? Is it not violation of freedom of expression? Is it not a marginalization of the voices which you don’t want to hear? Is it not the discrimination? The “Rangbhumi” in Mahabharta was reserved for the princes only, Karn was not allowed there. In the same way, it seems that the seminars, journal, conferences are reserved for the comrades, others are allowed neither inside as presenters, speakers, writers, nor outside as protestors.