He said that the BJP-led government at the Centre has made it an agenda to divide the student community.
It was exactly a year ago on February 9 that JNU hit the headlines after some students organised an event to commemorate the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The event ran into controversy with some Right-wing students alleging that some students had raised anti-India slogans on the campus. Then JNU Students Union president, Kanhaiya Kumar, who became the face of the students agitation, was himself arrested on charges of sedition. In a free-wheeling interview with Sushmita Ghosh, Kanhaiya Kumar spoke not only about the political crisis in the country but also hinted about the emergence of neo-fascism in world politics.
He said that the BJP-led government at the Centre has made it an agenda to divide the student community in universities so that multiple voices go out and people get confused.
Q: After last year’s much- talked about February 9 event, how has your life changed?
A: I believe that when there is a war of perception going on in the system, the authority in power is continuously targeting somebody and coincidentally, I was the target that time. That did not just dent my image, but it tried to ruin the image of the whole institution, its thought process and the society’s aspiration. The authority tried to dent the 40-year-old legacy of the institution. Being a part of the institution, I was brought at the centrestage by going to jail but the others were suffering more through the attack and the conspiracy against JNU. In terms of change, now I have to face challenges in the mainstream society and think of how to become more productive.
Q: What do you have to say about the world political developments?
A: Worldwide, the welfare society has been attacked while the democratic and liberal views are under threat. An emergence of neo-fascism ideology can be seen everywhere now. There is a right-wing assault having regressive ideas, hatred based authorisation which believes that we are white and this is our right is to hate black people. This is America so a Mexican cannot live in this country. This sounds funny. If I talk about India, the people calling themselves Aryan during the “Azaadi war” said that their first enemy is a Muslim and that they will not fight with the British. And the same, people have now become nationalist with a national flag in hand.
Even in Latin America, the Left liberal government has become weak and because of which a political formation of authoritative and regressive government is being increased. Just like if Congress would have delivered its promises, there would have been no space for Modi. Simply to say, the liberal establishments failure has given birth to class of different identities and both of them together has given birth to a favourable situation of the Right wing today.
Q: What do you think about the growing polarisation between the Left and Right wing ideologies?
A: There will be always two views in the society and will have contradictions too. The problem lies when one side’s view is not listened to and the other view is being imposed forcibly. So there is no normal war of perception and a growing phase of anti-demolition. I would say that the BJP-led government is more dangerous than I thought it to be, not only at university level but now at a world level too. This leading tendency in society is now dominating the global situation. There is no difference between Donald Trump and Modi.
Q: Now every movement in the JNU campus is raked up at the national level? Your take?
A: The attacks on JNU are one of the biggest attacks. From February 9 to Najeeb Ahmed to M.Phil/Ph.D seat cuts are a series of attack by the authority. There is a continuous right-wing assault due to liberal failure and lack of opposition. That opposition potentiality is in the university campus in terms of physical advancement. The student union has become a modern trade union because of which the attack by the government on them is just increasing. The authoritarian government knows that if they do not deliver promises, the students from universities will retaliate so in order to hide its weakness, the BJP government has made JNU a “villain”.
This is the future plan of the current government, whose conspiracy is to break the unity of the students in the university campuses.