The recent violence that broke out on the Ramjas College campus of the Delhi University carried several offshoots. Bringing to the fore vital queries: Is free speech or thought or even dissent to be controlled by right-wing brigades, unleashed that they are each time students want to put across their views and viewpoints? Why has this trend come to the fore from 2014, ever-since the BJP came centre — stage? Have the planners and police-wallahs pondered on the repercussions of throttling the voice of the young and also of the not — so — young? Are we becoming so weak that non-Hindutva opinions or comments will not be tolerated and will get crushed at any damn cost? Tell me, where do I go and express my disgust or anger or a combination of the two? Why are the right-wing forces determined to bring along divisions; polluting the very atmosphere?
As it is the pollution levels in New Delhi are suffocating us to death. Now with the political pollution hitting as never before, it’s a double whammy! It’s unbelievable how the political mafia is causing disruptions in the lives of the hundreds and thousands of youngsters of this country. What happened last fortnight on the Delhi University campus seems a repeat of what took place last Spring on the JNU campus. Yes, the similarity seems astounding yet the machinery did little to harness the situation or even to book the so called ‘outsiders’ — the right-wing goon brigades who not just gate-crashed but were probably all well prepared to disrupt and cause havoc on the campus.
The Ramjas College ‘incident’ also brought into focus the double standard at the very governance level. If pellet guns are used by the security forces to kill or blind or grievously wound even unarmed protestors on the streets of Srinagar then why were pellet guns not used against the ABVP students (affiliated with the right-wing ) when they threw stones and much more,at the police personnel and also on the journalists and faculty present on the Delhi University campus? Television shots were enough to relay that whilst all this havoc was on, the police did little to make arrests or detentions. Why?
Discriminations have always been there but never so blatant as today. In fact, if one were to ask a Kashmiri about discrimination, his first reaction would be: Why pellets were fired at unarmed protestors during the protests that erupted in the Valley in July 2016 ? Why were young apolitical Kashmiris treated as though they were a bunch of criminals or terrorists? Why pellet guns were not used on protestors in other parts of the country?
Also, why are Kashmiri students hounded in the universities of the various towns and cities of India. Hounded not just by Right-Wing goons but also by the police. Aren’t these discriminatory tactics! Read news reports of the illegal detentions and hounding of young Kashmiris when they set out of the confines of the Valley …There seems a pattern to this. The ground-work is well prepared along that typical mindset-cum-format of Muslims being potential terrorists and the situation gets compounded the minute the word ‘Kashmiri’ gets prefixed.
Discriminations were never so blatant as today. The government machinery, together with the police force, has to be made answerable to the ill-treatment meted out to Kashmiris
Reports of Kashmiri students humiliated and hounded in our midst is on the rise. Communally slanted comments thrown at them. Several called terrorists! Hotels and hostels don’t want to give out rooms to them. They have to first report to the nearest police station before approaching guesthouses for accommodation. Are Kashmiri students foreigners or are they arriving from an enemy country to be made to report to police stations? Why do we look at Kashmiris with some level of suspicion? Why are the cops trained to keep a watch on Kashmiris?
Last July two students (one of them a Kashmiri and one ‘looked’ a Kashmiri ) were beaten by political goons in Bhopal and Hyderabad. And around the same time, when the ‘beef scare ‘peaked as never before, it was painful to see the plight of four young Kashmiri students studying in Rajasthan’s Mewar, in the Chittorgarh region. They were made to stand as though they had committed a heinous crime. All that they had done was to buy 300 gms of mutton from the local market. Enough to trigger off ‘beef’ rumours, leading to their arrest and public humiliation. . . Kashmiri students and professionals recount how the local police keeps a watch on them — where they eat or where they travel or where they reside. And, of course, whom they meet or not meet!
Government machinery together with the police force, has to be made answerable to the ill-treatment meted out to the Kashmiris. There are no platform nor forums from where the harassed Kashmiri can speak of the treated meted out to him, or from he where can even lodge a complaint. There are no help line numbers which can provide some level of relief. There’s not just lack of transparency cum accountability but an abundance of communal slants which further compound the situation.
If chief minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti, has joined hands with the BJP, then it shouldn’t be difficult for her to tell her counterparts to be somewhat humane to the Kashmiris studying or working in the several towns and cities of this country. In fact, not just tell or telephone the political rulers of the day but pursue each such case. Why not? This is the least she can do, knowing that unlike her, these apolitical Kashmiris carry no security bandobast to protect themselves, and are the softest possible targets.
And in case she does so, that is, earnestly and genuinely does protect the rights of the Kashmiris stepping out of the Valley to work and study in different towns and cities, then, perhaps, Kashmiris’ anger against her and her government might lessen. Not to be overlooked this basic fact — till date the apolitical Kashmiri has not forgiven the PDP for joining hands with the BJP in their State.