Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal



As JNU is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year sangh parivar’s attack on our university post 9th of February we are again facing an unprecedented attack on our university – its democratic space, progressive admission policy, its inclusive character. The latter has been the heart and soul of JNU which the student movement has built over the last four decades. Last year’s attack was an attack on our right to dissent, to curb our democratic spaces and to implement the fascist Hindutva agenda on our universities. This year, in the name of “academic quality” and “excellence”, by reducing the seat intake & closing admission they want to ensure that none is able to access higher education in JNU.

We were members of ABVP previous to the events of Feb 9 last year, and we subsequently resigned because of our differences with this fascist, casteist, Brahmanical and patriarchal organisation. These differences, as we have earlier said, had been long standing ones. But after the orchestrated attack on JNU, we felt a limit had been crossed and we could no longer associate with ABVP.

Last year around this time of the year, we saw how the attack on JNU was completely orchestrated by BJP and RSS. The ABVP unit in JNU played a very important role in orchestrating this entire attack. They were the role of foot soldiers of the ruling scheme inside JNU and almost everything was planned to ruin our institution. The immediate context of the attack on JNU was the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula. At a time when the PM Modi was shedding crocodile tears about Rohith and saying that Bharat Ma Ne Apna Ek Laal Khoya Hai, internally in ABVP meetings Rohith Vemula was called a “terrorist sympathizer” by national and state leaders of ABVP. Rohith’s suicide note had troubled us deeply and when we raised questions in ABVP meetings, we were branded as casteists who were being unnecessarily concerned about the death of a “terrorist sympathizer”. The student movement post Rohith’s institutional murder had however shaken the entire regime, as the involvement of BJP and ABVP was clearly evident, and they were desperate to somehow suppress the movement.

It is already public knowledge how ABVP leaders invited Zee News inside the campus. And from next day after the media trial of JNU had begun, it was not some random online trollers, or even some paid trollers outside JNU that began the #ShutDownJNU campaign. Instead, it was leaders and office bearers of the ABVP unit of JNU itself who masterminded the entire #ShutDownJNU campaign on social media from the very premises of JNU itself. Which student, unless guided by very evil intent, would want to shut down the very university in which they are studying? But ABVP actually is that evil force – the agent of an anti-student government amongst students that can go to any extent possible to throttle dissent.

In those days, when every day some new development and unprecedented things would happen and surprise everyone for the worse, ABVP leaders interestingly had all the information much before something would happen. For example, the JNUSU President was arrested on the morning of 12th February last. But the ABVP leaders already knew it on 10th February and had informed their members about impending arrests in campus. Whom all to target and get arrested was also carefully thought about and finalized. The prime focus was to target left organization activists and defame the professors of the university by labelling them as supporters of naxal activities and portraying them as those involved in the so called anti-national activities. ABVP leaders were all through this period very diligently scanning the social media profiles of several activists and constantly informing those in the higher up to forward their names to the police. In fact, the students who were finally arrested had been on the target list of ABVP for many years and they used to constantly take their names saying that we would one day frame them.

We find it ridiculous when those who in our presence used to justify the witch-hunt of Rohith Vemula, abuse Ambedkar and defend Manusmriti and those who orchestrated the attack on JNU are today trying to fool students by saying that they are also fighting for social justice. We appeal to several students who are still part of ABVP to see through these things, and not become a part of the sinister game-plan of the government to attack our own university. Before publicly resigning from ABVP, it was not that we did not try to internally raise these issues and fight for reform from within. But over time, it became clear to us that an organisation like ABVP – which is built on the foundations of fascism and Brahmanism – cannot be reformed, and has to be rejected. They claim themselves to be the true nationalists, but in their understanding of nation and nationalism there is no space for dalits, muslims, adivasis, women and sexual minorities. Let there be no doubt, ABVP’s brand of nationalism is just upper-caste male jingoism masquerading as nationalism.

We appeal to the rank and file of ABVP to shun this organisation, and become a part of the overwhelming progressive and democratic sections of this campus who against all odds are fighting an extremely spectacular fight back. We appeal to students to isolate these forces who assaulted Najeeb and are responsible for his disappearance. The lines are clearly drawn and we have to choose where we stand – on the side of social justice, life and dignity or on the side of manuwaad, destitution and constant humiliation that the ABVP/RSS/BJP represents.

We are bringing this to public domain before 9th of February this year as we feel these fascist foot soldiers might once again want to orchestrate similar things this year with the same intentions – to defame the university, implicate student activists and break the ongoing struggle against the imposition of the UGC Gazette Notifications, against seat cuts and for social justice. Their lies and rumour mongering can never break student unity and resolve! We also appeal to all students to unitedly strengthen the ongoing struggles for social justice, against UGC Gazette and seat cuts, and also for Justice For Najeeb!

Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal were ABVP student activists in JNU. As is evident from this post, the widening differences that they had with the ABVP, which came to a head in the aftermath of 9th February, led them to leave the organization.

Courtesy: Kafila.online




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