A #FlowerPowerRevolution Blooms In JNU
19 February, 2016
When the Hindutva goons beating up anyone who looks like a JNUite, and the Delhi police are acting like the paramilitary wing of these goons, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students in true Gandhian style marched in their thousands through the streets of Delhi with flowers in hand and handing it out those who malign the institution. When 'nationalists' in news rooms call them anti-nationalists, these students handed flower to these same journalists and asked them not to spread rumours about JNU. This was a moment when the violence unleashed by the BJP government, and their goons on the students stood powerless before the nonviolent resistance of these students. A Flower Power Revolution has bloomed in JNU!
Thousands of students, teachers, ex-students and concerned citizens marched peacefully from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar. It is estimated that about 15 thousand people turned up to show solidarity to the striking students of JNU. They sang songs, danced and shouted slogans as they marched along the street. It was nonviolent student power on display against the brutality unleashed on them by the state , police and the Hindutva goons. "JNU is not a university, it is a dream" a slogan rang out in the street loud enough to be heard by the powers that be.
Students from Delhi University, IGNOU, Ashoka University, Delhi's intelligentsia, academics, activists from Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, trade unionists, members from various left parties and ex-students of DU and JNU also joined the march.
Ealier in the day, Dr M Jagadesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JNU issued a notice asking the students to ‘reconsider their decision for undertaking a march outside the campus.’ It only increased the resolve the students to turn out in large numbers. As one JNU student Shubhda Chaudhary wrote in Countercurrents.org yesterday,
Not only was it out-of-depth, it signaled that the VC did not believe in student’s protests, especially with the intensity that it eventually concluded. More than 15,000 students took part in the protest demonstration from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, shouting slogan of ‘I Stand with JNU’ and demanding the release of JNUSU President Kanhaiya, who would be in Tihar Jail till 2nd March.
Kanhaiya Kumar, president of Jawaharlal Nehru University's students union was arrested on 12th February in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy. Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested allegedly for raising anti-India slogans at an event organised by the students to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Tihar Jail on February 9, 2014.
He was arrested by the Vasant Kunj north police in south Delhi. Police took suo-moto cognizance and registered an FIR against unknown students.
Kanhaiya told the court that he was neither shouting any slogan nor saying anything against integrity of the country and said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent a clash between ABVP workers and students organising the event. He claimed in the court that this was a politically-motivated case and he was being framed by the police as he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential elections of the JNU students’ union (JNUSU).
On 17 th February, in blatant violation Supreme Court order to ensure the security of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar when he is produced in Patiala House court, he was beaten up by lawyers in the court premises. The lawyers also beat up a journalist and a student. Despite the Supreme Court putting restrictions on who can enter the court during his appearance, a group of lawyers assembled inside the complex shouting slogans and beat up Kanhaiya Kumar when he was brought to the court by the police.
On February 15 also a section of lawyers had beaten up JNU students and media persons inside the court premises when Kanhaiya Kumar was produced in the court to extend his police custody.
Photos By Joe Athialy
More photos here