The Indian political life has seen no less “kurukshetras”, where great political wars have been staged by great political pioneers in the temple of Indian democracy, and eventually they have reverberated all over the country. The 2016 political story has changed the trend however, and made politics a generic dart-board for students, and this system has brought newness in the over-saturated political market-place running inside the country. Evidently, as Trump has stormed into the US political arena with a never-known Presidential-candidate figure, and is making news every single day with his crazy pronouncements, the Indian socio-political picture too adorns the new poster-boy Kanhaiya Kumar, the brand-ambassador of “Azaadi in India”. This very new home-grown, critical product has shown an unintelligible tenacity to challenge the great political pundits who sit on their padded posts and according to him trade in the name of nationalism.
Ever since his arrest, Kanhaiya has become the darling of Indian media, and his associates call him a saviour India so truly needed. While his detractors call him a big-mouth speaking utter non-sense, we won’t feel abashed in stating that Kanhaiya is the outcome of a time-long suppressed democratized voice wanting to experiment the very fundamentals that our Constitution guarantees us. Nevertheless, we came to know who actually explains to us the Constitution. The seminal speech he rendered, and the giants he so exclusively spotted, the cynical censures, he so deliberately made, must have one day, figured in our daily political gossips. However, he heroed out with the same thoughts that cross across our minds, and cut the strands that highlighted the “Aam” in the “Aam Aadmi” that we all define. What beleaguers a student like me is the cycle of incidents that brings a Leftist student leader under the lime-light. The questions that haunt me are about the pervasiveness of the terms that my most revered senior journalist Barkha penned in her letter to the PM, “multiple manipulations, doctored videos, police excesses, government heavy-handedness, brazen hooliganism and ominous environment of intimidation”. Why can’t the rigidities of legalism bear the frontier of humanism, when it was the same weapon that Vajpayeeji propagated during the reconciliation of the Kashmir Valley!! Why does an entitlement of a question on our independence or the exercise of our freedom to dissent lead us to earn blood-curdling remarks from powerful post-holders to an extent of linking us to dreaded terrorists like Hafiz Sayeed?
I am not a “defensive Kanhaiyan” or another one to raise any sloganeering in my university to echo the same ideals that he did in JNU. But I won’t mind introspecting into the politicisation of student community, and the very professing of “intolerance of anti-national dissents”. The dramatic turn-over of certain events, like the sheer aggression shown to the student outside Delhi court house and the minister who embroils himself into open conflict have severed students’ relations with the politics of the country. Nationalism is not that which is written for us to follow, it is rather what we write for ourselves in love with our nation. And I don’t think, just as Barkha doesn’t, that any of us are not aware of what ‘Azaadi’ literally stands for, and none of us Indians need a counselling by any second to feature the real meaning of it to us, because we are the citizens of a truly Independent India and there is no Indian who doesn’t get goose-bumps while singing the national anthem. I am against the very maudlin parroting of “deshdrohi” titles that ministers render to students and questioning their patriotism very often. This reminds me of Gurudev Tagore’s words that patriotism should never outrank humanity. If we could give a 26/11 perpetrator, Ajmal Kasab the protection of police cover so well that not even a single public outrage could physically reach him, then how could we allow an Indian student, who was arrested because of some disturbing slogans, to be beaten up by the mob and pushed around in front of the court? Has the humanity taken a beat here? We give everyone (even a foreign terrorist) a fair and patient trail, then can’t we bear up with a “seditionist” (as he was branded) until he is tried at court?
While I was listening to Smt. Kirron Kher’s vociferous speech regarding intolerance, in Lok Sabha, I just filtered out one sense she spoke amidst the clamour of ‘no-senses’ in her speech; and that one sense she described was of ‘perception’. Indeed, as she said, our perception has become dangerous for us, and that is the source for all intolerances that we are harbouring. So, in the view of the same perception of Mrs. Kher, I think that the situation amateurishly lacked that. The actions taken by the government including the deploying of police forces into the university premises, and those subsequent to them seem more like taken in the view of making viral the outburst of something so ‘anti-constitutional’ and the urgency of suppression of such things, when it missed out total pragmatism and scrutiny or any follow-ups. Had it been a concerted effort from the side of the ministry, then the matter could have been mollified much earlier.
We never know how long the picture of Kanhaiya would loom large in the context of political edifice of the country. May be after some days, he would be a second name of a rarely talked about legend. But, somehow during such climates of distrust between people and politics, Kanhaiya calls would surely echo. Ever in the galaxy of such upheavals, the names of Kanhaiya, Khalid, Anirban and even Rohith Vermula would remain effervescent poles where many controversies would derive reference from. Nevertheless in these diversified public stirrings, we will find new solace to make our India a more responsive democracy.