It has been over a week since violence erupted on the Delhi University campus. It started with Ramjas College canceling a seminar invitation to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid after a protest by ABVP. Soon, the episode attracted reactions from people from the different field; with political parties even saying that they will discuss the issue in Parliament.
Meanwhile, a Delhi University professor endured injuries after being assaulted in a brawl between the two groups. A martyr’s daughter, Gurmehar Kaur, who raised her voice against ABVP, got trolled by celebs, politicians, and cricketer with a minister even asking, “Who is polluting her mind”.
Now, Vikas Pathak, the Deputy Political Editor of The Hindu, has expressed his opinion on this entire issue on a Facebook post. Pathak condemned the incident and feels that, “The right and left must begin to engage. The terms bhakt and fascist are co-travellers with the term anti-national in terms of lazy finger-pointing.” The FB post is produced below in its entirety:
A few points on the Ramjas incident:
- In my book, the violence was unequivocally condemnable.
- While all icons of left students — Lenin, Che, Castro, Mao and even Bhagat Singh (inspired by Lenin but never a formal communist) — are violent figures, it is ironical that they claim victimhood in scuffles. If you are Gandhians or followers of the Buddha, please say so and don’t simulate daily revolution. You will look far better as non-violent in philosophical self-description.
- The ABVP must build a strong argument for its worldview. Physical aggression never counted in the world of ideas. It is a tragedy we don’t yet have an intellectually stimulating cultural right, but for very few bright persons. This is one strand our country misses (but for those moments like that stellar nationalism lecture by Prof Makrand Paranjape, followed by unwarranted jibes from Kanhaiya, who otherwise sounds very cordial). But, sadly, prof Paranjape hasn’t matched that performance later.
- The right and left must begin to engage. The terms bhakt and fascist are co-travellers with the term anti-national in terms of lazy finger-pointing.
- The right needs greater space in the academic world to argue and be defeated or victorious. It seriously needs to be a legitimate part of the debate rather than the disruption. Ridicule of it is self-defeating today across the world.
- The left needs freedom to walk the streets without fear of being hounded.
- Everyone has a right to speak in any college and be pulled down argumentatively (not physically). But invites to people who have earned their fame/notoriety through hard, relevant work are always more meaningful than invites to accidental activists.
- Finally, nationalism for the right should include young left voices too. And secularism for the left should ideally condemn all forms of exclusive religiosity.
- Let us condemn the Ramjas violence but not without expressing outrage over Kerala political killings taking place both ways. May Kerala also have “azadi” from revenge killings.
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