22, Feb 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
By Virendra Kapoor
Anti-India issue receded into background due to sledgehammer approach
AGREED, Kanhaiya Lal is not, repeat, not an anti-national. And did not deserve to be slapped with the sedition charge. Still, the question is why did he have to convene a meeting on February 9, which happens to be the anniversary of the hanging of Afzal Guru, the man convicted, after a lengthy trial which had the imprimatur of the country’s highest court, for the attack on the sanctum sanctorum of Indian democracy?
If the intention was not to pay tribute to ‘Afzal Guruji’, as the Congress spokesperson addressed the terrorist the other day — just like Digvijay Singh had called Osama bin Laden ‘Osamaji’ — why was a meeting of students convened on February 9? Clearly, Kanhaiya was not devoid of ulterior motive, though he is certainly not an anti-national.
If despite their insistence that Guru’s hanging was a ‘judicial murder’, we are still not ready to believe that Kanhaiya is an anti-national it is because, it is necessary to give a lot of slack to students. Youthful insouciance is often reflected in open questioning of what others might consider accepted national cause. Challenging the authority, any authority, is the calling card of student-activists. And when it is the JNU Students’ Union, you have to make bucketfuls of allowance for the fact that the successors of Prakash Karats and Sitaram Yechuris need to burnish their ultra left credentials by embracing negation and negativism as core philosophy. Hopefully, neither Karat nor Yechury will deny that slogans raised at the meeting convened by Kanhaiya, who heads the Students’ Union, were in no way in advancement of the national cause.