The Delhi Police has filed a 1200-page-long chargesheet against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and several others, including many Kashmiri students of JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia, for participating in the event opposing the hanging of Afzal Guru on the fateful evening of 9 February 2016, which created a stir in the country, thanks to the incessant propaganda and vitriol spread by the lapdog media houses of the Modi regime and his toady TV anchors like Arnab Goswami, Sudhir Chaudhary and others.
It took the police nearly three years to file the chargesheet, which should have been filed in 90 days. Maybe the Modi regime will call it a coincidence that the chargesheet is filed 90 days before the Lok Sabha polls. Also, they will claim that this filing of the chargesheet by the Delhi Police, which works shamelessly to implement the Hindutva fascist ideology of the RSS as an orderly, has no relationship with Kanhaiya Kumar’s scope of fighting the polls against the Modi regime or the continuous political campaigning by Umar Khalid against the politics of hatred and bigotry spread by the BJP.
A Delhi court has rejected the hurriedly submitted chargesheet by the Delhi Police as the Delhi Government’s permission was not taken before filing it. As the chargesheet accuses the students of being involved in ‘anti-national’ activities, which actually makes it a case related to national security and not regular law and order disruption, therefore, the Delhi Government’s approval is required before filing the chargesheet in the court.
The Delhi Police didn’t care asking the Delhi Government and now there are chances that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government may not allow the Modi regime to derive political mileage over the three-year-old case in which the Delhi Government’s magisterial enquiry found no illegal activities done by the students.
Chargesheets are usually filed within 60-90 days of registering an FIR by the police. Though the accused, who have been charged with sedition, got bail in March 2016, the Delhi Police, then under BS Bassi, who’s a hardcore RSS supporter, couldn’t file the chargesheet on time as the tide turned against the BJP throughout the country and the tirade of the BJP using the subterfuge of a crooked version of ‘nationalism’ didn’t fare well.
The ‘nationalist’ (government stooges) vs ‘anti-nationalist’ (opponents and critics of the regime) binary couldn’t make the situation better for the BJP except that it instigated its pugnacious upper-caste Hindu supporters from the elite and urban middle-class sections. This dismal performance of the ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ narrative that Arnab Goswami, Sambit Patra and their ilk concocted by forging data, fabricating information and by using sheer jingoism to incite the hardcore Hindutva fans of Narendra Modi, forced the BJP to sweep the issue beneath the carpet in 2016.
As the general election is knocking the doors, the BJP is keen to find out shields and swords to win and return to power for the last time, as the party is determined to change the Constitution by 2022 using the brute majority it’s expecting in the 17th Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. For the RSS’ agenda of a Hindu Rashtra, it’s imperative that the BJP sweeps the 17th Lok Sabha polls and like any other time, the xenophobia over ‘Pakistani conspiracy’ will play a crucial role in propelling its victory in the election.
Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others are politically lucrative scapegoats, prosecuting whom, for a media-manufactured crime, by instigating jingoistic hysteria can help the Modi regime and the BJP to project itself as a ‘patriot’ Hindu organisation fighting to save a ‘Hindu motherland’ from the obnoxious conspirators who are blamed for dividing it.
The usual Hindu-Muslim, India-Pakistan and Kashmir tirades will be used unapologetically by the Modi regime to bake the minds of its fanatic supporters by using the media extensively in the bid to label opprobrious charges against these student and youth activists. But can the BJP gain the required mileage by attacking these activists with virulence? Can Narendra Modi simply ride to power once more by employing chauvinism and xenophobia?
There have been many changes in the national and international politics since 2014, which have triggered different waves of movements. Throughout the world and even in India, the common people, the working class, the peasantry and the toiled people have been suffering due to the severe economic crisis that has cast a dark shadow on the lives of those broad masses at the bottom of the pyramid.
At a time when job creation is at record low, unemployment has reached over 7 per cent, consumer and wholesale price indexes are turning volatile, the country’s balance of payment book is in the crisis zone, fuel prices are skyrocketing and when the agriculture sector is shivering due to the massive crisis caused by the neo-liberal economic policies, then talking about RSS’ version of ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’ will not fetch any real political mileage for the BJP. It will rather expose the fact that despite ruling the centre and most of the states of India, the BJP didn’t even try to resolve the burning issues of the country but simply played its trump cards of Islamophobia and mob lynchings to stay in power and sweep elections.
The people are in dire need of a tectonic change in the economic front and it’s clearly not possible to take place under the BJP, which is determined to worsen the situation. To cover that failure, which is caused by the Hindutva fascist Modi regime’s servility to the big foreign monopoly and finance capital-owned corporations and their Indian comprador lackeys, the government will keep resorting to diversionary tactics, of which the JNU row is the most infamous one.
This attack on Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and other activists is actually an attack on the democratic conscience of the country, the rights of the marginalised people enshrined in the Constitution and a veiled attack on the concept of opposition in a democracy by a despotic and sclerotic regime. It’s an inalienable part of the series of attacks that the police state under the BJP has unleashed on the intellectuals and rights activists, who have been arrested since the mid of last year on charges of being ‘Urban Naxals’.
It’s also closely linked with the arrest and torture on Professor Dr GN Saibaba, former JNU student Hem Mishra and others, who have been imprisoned on false charges of abetting the Maoist movement. This chargesheet is also a part of that bigger game plan according to which the NIA arrested more than 10 Muslims from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and accused them of waging ‘Jihad’ against India using country-made pistols and Diwali fire-crackers.
While the Modi regime is preparing its pawns even though the election dates aren’t announced, the resistance movement is not yet prepared on a pan-India basis to inspire people, awaken them, organise them and empower them politically to march towards their victory against Hindutva fascism and its masters, the enemies of the Indian people- comprador capitalism, feudalism and foreign monopoly and finance capital. The internal strifes, the major contradictions between different self-styled anti-fascists and other sectarian issues are still preventing the forging of a strong alliance against the Hindutva fascist camp led by the RSS.
The issue of pressing false charges against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others can unite the genuine anti-fascist forces, even though many will have ideological differences with these accused. The largeness of mind is a quality one should always imbibe to forge greater unity with other forces that aim to fight against a common enemy. Uniting with even those with whom one may have political differences to serve a greater cause is a sign of the largeness of mind.
Time truly is a luxury for the anti-fascists of India and wasting it is equivalent to pushing the country further towards a darker future. It’s time to act assertively and awaken the masses before the Hindutva fascist regime launch another series of attacks to muzzle free voices for the sake of its political victory. The JNU sedition chargesheet is a stark reminder that the fascist powers and the forces of reaction aren’t going to rest anytime soon. The victory of democracy and progress depends on the intensity of the people’s resistance against the juggernaut of Hindutva fascism, driven by the Modi regime.