The JNU Controversy – Where do I stand?

The incident after which JNU has been making headlines with every newspaper across the country, every single news channel’s prime time ‘show’ happened on the night of 9th February, 2015. And if you are wondering why am I coming up with this post after almost a fortnight of the incident, well I was waiting to get stories from both sides and not forming an opinion based on the sensationalized media reports.

Please read the complete post and form your own opinion. All that is written is my opinion and you are entitled to have a different view.


Afzal Guru was hanged to death for his act of terrorism and the attack on Indian Parliament on 3rd February in 2013. Students in the JNU, mostly from the political activities group and supporting the leftist ideologies planned to have a cultural event named  ‘A country without a post office – against judicial murder & Brahminism’ and have events like debates and skits. Students from the other political group ABVP were in support of the hangings and took the program organized as an insult to the country.

While the event was on, anti-India slogans were heard, chaos was created all around and the negativity that we do not need in our lives was the prime outcome of that event. BJP MP Maheish Girri and a few members from the BJP’s student political wing ABVP filed a complaint against the anti-national activities with the Delhi Police. The Delhi Police registered a case of sedition against “unknown members” and arrested Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU Student Union President who was also a part of the organized program.
Then started the media trial and you have witnessed it all.

I’ll list down a few things in points.

  1. The media came up with videos of Kanhaiya Kumar and a few of his supporters shouting slogans “Leke rahenge azaadi”,“Hame chahiye puri azaadi”,Pakistan Zindabaad, Zindabaad Zindabaad”. The media linked Azaadi to Kashmir while Kashmir was no where mentioned in those videos. Was it because of Pakistan? Did the media before scandalizing the video try to understand the before and the after of it?
    Arnab Goswami, I need not tell who he is, on his show labeled a student, Umar Khalid, also a part of the program and seen just next to Kanhaiya in the video, was branded as “anti-national”. And more so, because Umar Khalid is a Muslim, Mr. Arnab Goswami inferred that he was against Kashmir being a part of India, brought it up as an insult to the Siachen martyr,Lance Naik Hanamanthappa in his rant.
    The next day, a longer version of ‘the video’ was circulated on the social media where Kanhaiya and his supporters were seen shouting slogans that they do not need nationality certificate from RSS, ‘Azaadi Bhukmari se’,‘Azzadi Punjiwaad se’,‘Hum lekar rahenge azaadi,kuch bhi kar lo’. Another video showed the ABVP supporters shouting the ‘Pakistan Zindabaad’ slogans and not Kanhaiya and his team.
    Dear Mr. Arnab Goswami, why did you not show the complete video on your channel? Why did you now not reprimand the ABVP supporters causing a chaos and then filing a false case? Is it now against the law to oppose the RSS? Who were you to label Umar Khalid as an anti-national?
  2. The event organizers were not singing praises of Afzal Guru, they were against the death penalties. This is a discussion which has been going on since many years all across the country, and it was one of those discussions in JNU on 9th February, 2015. If this is against the law, arrest all the people who have ever disagreed to capital punishment.
  3. Why has the police now failed to arrest the people actually chanting anti-India slogans?
  4. Such was the hate spread against the students of JNU that when a student asked the auto driver to take him to JNU, the auto driver says ‘Why do you want to go to JNU, let me drop you to Pakistan’.
  5. Such was the hate spread against the students of JNU that people began pointing out that they were studying on tax-payers money. Would you say that if your child was studying in one such government funded university? Are you jealous that you could not make it to the list of one such college?
    Stop insulting the students who have worked really hard to reach there.
  6. I was always an active and a passionate debater. And of what I know about debating is that you need to come up with points to rebuttal your opponents, you need to convince the audience why your point is stronger than your opponents. Debating is not about shouting at your highest pitch, debating has never been about insulting your opponent. You must respect your opposition even when you do not like what they say, that is what is the essence of a debate.
  7. We believe in what we see around us. The media, the politicians are using this to control us. Stop trusting in what you see at a glance. Learn more about it, look into various other aspects of it. Do not start shouting because that is what your neighbor was doing. Form an opinion of yours. Respect other’s opinion. Accept when you realize you were wrong.
  8. You see a hashtag trending on twitter, but how many of you know that those hashtags are trended by people of their own. Be it Kejriwal or Modi or the JNU anti-national tags trending on twitter. Please understand that they have a section of people on the social media to this. They are paid to trend a topic. So stop believing in a trending topic, that is not all that is happening. There is an other side to a coin, even if you do not want to accept it.
  9. How many of you lawyers now attacking the journalists and the JNU supporters tag yourselves as anti-nationals when you take up cases for money and prove that the wrong is right?
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you throw garbage on the streets? Don’t you consider this act as anti-national? You are ruining the image of your country, you are against the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’.
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you refer to the people from North-East as ‘Chinkis’? You do not speak it out loud in the public now because you will be fined for it. But you still do!
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you hate someone only because you do not share the same religion? You now do not follow the constitution of India.
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you rape a woman/man or do nothing to help the victim but just stand there watching? Where does your morality go then?
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you see a child working for your comforts? Just think what if you were in that position.
    How many of you tag yourselves as an anti-national when you disdain gays? Don’t they have their rights to live as they want when you do what you want?
  10. India is a democratic country, you are given the freedom to express and raise your voice. Understand the power of ‘freedom of speech’. Please do not just play around this power given to you. Raise your voice against all the bad happening around you, but also learn to raise your voice to appreciate the positives.

Please try to gather more information about an incident before you form an opinion and go out to degrade someone. If you still did not get the gist of this post – These are my opinions, you may tag me as ‘intolerant’ and ‘anti-national’ because I know these are the words in trend now. Well, I won’t be one just because you say so.


27 thoughts on “The JNU Controversy – Where do I stand?

  1. Some very valid and slap-in-the-face questions raised. I commend you for coming out and voicing your opinions. Frankly I do not understand our people and the only word that comes to my mind when I try describe them is ‘hypocrisy’. On top of that media seems to be the mother of all evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankyou so much for voicing your opinion so succently. The night is still young, and there is a long struggle ahead of us. Would you mind if I shared this post with the larger Jnu student body. I am sure your words would make their day. Even if one voice out there amidst the white noise understands what has happened, we are better than we were earlier. Thankyou. It means the world to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with you totally. It was a shame how most media houses muted the march and showed the video footage with the caption – Pro Afzal voices rise. If you can, do watch Ravish Kumar’s Prime Time coverage last night. I had tears by the end because it finally felt that we were heard by someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dude, are you like- stupid? Littering and racism is always bad for the society. And is a punishable offence at that. But threatening a nation is much more a grave offence. How can you be so dumb as to compare the two? Imagine someone shouting at you “i will destroy your family’, will you happily let it go? It’s his freedom of expression after all! And if the same theory does not apply to the nation, then you probably don’t consider it as ‘your’ nation. And hence the ‘anti-national’ tag.

    And no matter what the provocation, there is NO argument for threatening the WHOLE nation, even if one part of the video says ‘bukhmari se azadi’.

    How do you know that the video is doctored? And even if the video turns out to be doctored (which by the way, has not really been proven so get your facts rights), did Umair or Kanhaiya deny that it actually happened? In fact Kanhaiya Kumar has gleefully accepted that it SHOULDN’T have happened.
    Grow up, and choose your sides wisely.


    • No one speaking against the nation should be let gone! You have the freedom to speech, but you cannot say anything you want to. I did request in the beginning of the post to read the whole post first and then form an opinion. There are evidences of people shouting anti-india slogans, will be glad if action is taken against them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did chose a side after a lot of thinking Mugdha. I looked into all the versions as an outsider. Kanhaiya Kumar said that the anti-national slogans was wrong and he condemns it. But do you know, who was raising those slogans? Check out the truth, do not accept it just because someone wants you to. πŸ™‚


  5. Hey Neena,

    Thanks for coming up with such an informative post.
    Before reading this article, even I was in a dilemma, of supporting/opposing the JNU students who were Spreading disharmony and tension across d country. But, after reading this, I went through a lot of articles and hence came to a conclusion which agrees with yours, totally.
    These students were against the judicial killing (and not in support of Afzal Guru) and they have got the freedom of expression to do so. Just like other issues/debates, this also could have been let go instead of bringing this to everyone’s attention.
    The video which showed kanhaiya as the convict, was a fake one, as confirmed by the forensic officials. Irresponsible role played by the media and everyone following what they saw through these.
    Thanks to Bar council of India, who apologized for the misbehavior and took necessary action to get it investigated further.
    We must be raising our voices against the culprits and not the JNUites. We should not stand for #ShutDownJNU but #ShutDownTheCulprits.


  6. Neena, a well researched article. But there are a few points I would like to add. The protests were staged against the practice of capital punishment and not A fzal Guru’s death per se. But don’t you think selecting his death anniversary for such a protest just gave it away. I am not saying this was their intention or so but then as mentioned by you these are one of the best talents in India… good enough to get admissions in a school funded by tax payers money. So don’t you think they would have had a fair idea about what’s going to transpire?? Of course they did…. but then no protest is successful unless it grabs enough eye balls, and hence the date. But an intolerant nation with an irresponsible media is not a place where such risks reap benefits. So would the protests have been more successful if conducted on a different date??


    • Hi Manas, Thanks for stopping by and reading the post. Well, I too had the same thought but after a few days the date seemed irrelevant to me. Let me tell you why. These kinds of events, debates and discussions are quite frequent in JNU, it did not happen there for the first time on 9th Feb. It turned ugly because it was pre planned by the abvp supporters. The presence of media during the program, those anti national slogans and then the chaos related to it. Well, again this is what I have gathered after reading a lot and articles supporting both the sides. As of now, I really wish the police takes the real culprits into custody, give them the protection and safety and let the court decide on them. Things are turning real ugly.


  7. I appreciate the time and thought you put into this post. Many of the questions you ask, and the points you raise, apply to situations and trends occurring world-wide. I wish more people would engage in meaningful debate on these issues rather than just trying to be the loudest.


  8. You clearly have good processing to research beyond the media. Many years ago I went to a media reform conference and it was quite eye opening. The media grabs for headline, attention. The truth takes more equity and heart. You are right for speaking up trying to find it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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