JNU Crisis: the fight is between ultra left and ultra right

What happened in the JNU at the beginning of the current controversy can neither be condoned nor what has been happening in its aftermath. It is craziness after craziness which is hitting the nation in quick succession. The current Government is pursuing its Corporate and Communal agenda at the cost of the masses. Its socio-economic policies are hitting the masses in a substantial way, and it is using its communal agenda to cover up its corporate agenda as well as to hide its failure to give the masses what they need. In the process, not only it has lost its direction, it has also lost control of the situation. The nation stands at a juncture where dangers are looming large over it.

“Nationalism” and “Patriotism” are not the one and the same thing. For Hindutva, not only both are one and same but its idea of Nationalism also means Hindu nationalism where any other ideology has no place. Patriotism denotes natural love for one’s motherland and the desire to see it peaceful and prosperous. Nationalism means supporting the State irrespective of the justness and genuineness of its objectives. A nationalist position may not necessarily mean patriotism, and true patriotism often challenges nationalism.

When America attacked Iraq, millions of Americans joined the marches against the war. They were true patriots and not those American “nationalists” who were supporting the American State in its war of aggression. Time has proved that the patriots were right and the nationalists wrong. Even a Muslim-basher like Trump is now openly questioning Bush’s war against Iraq on fallacious, motivated and concocted grounds.

There is no doubt that the slogans that were raised at JNU cannot please any Indian patriot. But there are many questions that come up. If such slogan-shouting had taken place in a gathering of Kashmiris or Khalistanis, it would have been ignored. Kashmiris have never felt comfortable with the accession of Kashmir with the Indian state. But why such slogans were raised in a gathering of hundreds of students and why almost all of them either joined the chorus or remained silent without any appreciable opposition is something beyond understanding. It was a case of some conspiracy. And the chances of a “conspiracy” become real considering the fact that JNU campus has always been a thorn in the eyes of Hindutva. There is no reason to believe that the gathering really intended to divide the country or had any real love for a failed state like Pakistan. Either they took this step just in retaliation against the hatred being spread by the forces of Hindutva or the forces of Hindutva themselves planted some of their elements in the gathering with the purpose of opening another front in their war against their ideological opponents. The truth may never surface.  

Muslims need not show support to any of the factions, ultra left or ultra right. They better remain silent and watch the events from outside while maintaining utmost vigil. Muslims are no less patriotic than any other community of the country. True patriotism demands that they should stay away, and let the ultras fight. If they can play any role at all, they must do it by trying to bridge the gap between the two set of ultras.   

The author is Delhi-based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society (First Vol: Health). He may be
contacted at

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2016 on page no. 2

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