Universities becoming incubators of jihad virus
When, under the cover of free speech, elite institutions such as the Jawaharlal Nehru University, become breeding grounds for a vile ideology, it’s the state’s moral responsibility to intervene and draw the line
While the media was excited about the events at Jawaharlal Nehru University, an important event in Pampore in Kashmir was swept under the carpet. In Pampore, Pakistan-trained terrorists infiltrated a Government building, took hostages as they hit hard at the security forces, killing two senior Army officers and several jawans as they settled into a long-drawn struggle.
Now, such incidents in Kashmir have become common enough and may not deserve screaming headlines. But this time there was a speciality that the media, by and large, seemed to ignore. As the Army was seeking to flush out terrorists from the building and also rescue the civilians trapped inside, hundreds of agitators lined up across the building, separated from the action spot only by a rivulet.
The mob had wanted to rush to the encounter site and form a human wall to protect the militants from the Army’s assault. When the police stopped them, they started shouting slogans hailing Pakistan and running down India. As police used teargas shells to keep the stone pelting mob at bay, a mosque nearby used loudspeakers to supplement the anti-India tirade.
Is the Pampore incident anyway different from what happened in JNU recently? What happened in JNU was Step One: Hailing terrorists as ‘heroes’. The Army in Pampore witnessed Step Two: A motivated crowd willing to risk its own life to save its ‘heroes’. The third and final step which gets enacted every other day in one or the other part of the globe is that some of the faithfuls emulate their ‘heroes’ and end up as terrorists or suicide bombers!
This is one of the several recipes the masterminds of terror use to transform common people into killers. This step by step process exposes how thejihadi mental make-up subdues every other consideration among people. Impressionable minds are fed a concoction of class war or religion or both. The right to freedom of expression is being used to create a mindset that will destroy this very value for good. Remember, neither any Islamic society nor a communist one allows its citizens luxuries such as free speech.
In fact, JNU students’ championing of ‘freedom’ is limited to freedom for them to decry the country, even to the extent of hailing convicted terrorists and chanting slogans in support of the India’s arch rival. If one section of JNU students have been brainwashed into anti-India sloganeering, the other section should also have the right to expose what it considers as ‘anti-national’ on the same campus.
But when the other group of students raised slogans countering anti-nationalism, they were condemned as communal and fascist. This is an attempt to paper over the fact that communist ideology is most opposed to free speech. In communist China, dissident writers have been jailed, tortured and prevented from speaking or writing freely. In fact, one of them — a blind one at that — was heroic enough to climb the walls of his prison-home and reach out to the US Embassy. The JNU students’ so called clamour for freedom includes euologising Maoists, communists who themselves suppress all freedom in the jungles of Bastar and elsewhere, where they are run parallel Governments.
It is claimed that universities should be allowed to remain breeding grounds of new and conflicting ideas to irrigate the stream of democracy. No one can quarrel with that proposition. But when in the seat of learning, from where ideas in governance and progress should emerge, slogans praising terrorists, terrorism and ideologies that promote mass killings arise, is that a desirable development?
After all how does an entire community begin to believe that it has the exclusive right to divinity, take up arms against all and sundry, and impose its will on other communities — even if that means mass elimination of anyone, even innocents? This has already happened across the world from the cityscape of Paris (where the world revisited the horrors of 26/11 last year) to the jungles of Bastar (where the entire State leadership of the Congress was eliminated in particularly deadly Maoist strike) to the urban centres of Pakistan (where Islamists killed school children and university students on a mass scale).
Thejihadi virus that breaks down the conscience has its origin somewhere. And when elite institutions like JNU become incubators of such virus, in the name of free speech, should not the state intervene and draw the line somewhere?
How unreasonable the leaders of the Left and the ‘secular’ movement have been, is exposed by the JNU incidents. The Left demands that the state’s strong arm — that is the police — should be kept out of university campuses, except when requested by the vice-chancellor. But what happens in situations when criminals and terrorists are praised and the demand rises to break up the nation? Note also that the Left, which otherwise opposed police presence on campus, wants the police to intervene by forcing itself in court premises without the judge’s permission, when its own student leaders are manhandled by their opponents.
Across history, there are innumerable instance of such happenings. Notably the French revolution, with the commendable slogan of ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ degraded into such chaos and indiscriminate execution of opponents that Napolean’s dictatorship was considered a blessing.
Various communist revolutions ended in bloodbaths of innocents as well as of other leaders be it during the Stalin era in Russia, the Cultural Revolution in China, or in the killing fields of Cambodia. In all this, tens of millions lost their lives, as recorded by history, and entire communities have had to flee. Right now, those who euologise terrorists like Afzal Guru and secessionists like SAR Geelani are seemingly blind to what is happening Lebanon-Syria-Iraq — the brutality, the massacres, the mass executions and the enslavement of women.
Reports from behind the bamboo curtain in North Korea expose horrible executions under the miasma of a communist revolution. Will the self-styled leaders in JNU, who sing hallelujahs to Afzal Guru and/or to Mao Tse-Tung, and chant Naxal ideology, take responsibility for the mass deaths happening in West Asian crescent or in the jungles of east India? Why is there a huge gap between what elite students learn from history and the viruses they incubate in the name of freedom of expression?
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