CONDEMN AND RESIST THE JNU ADMINISTRATION’S DRACONIAN CIRCULARS ‘RESTRAINING’ THE ACTIVITIES OF JNU FORUM AGAINST WAR ON PEOPLE!
Oppose the Witch-hunt of Students in the Name of Proctorial Enquiry!
DEFEAT OPERATION GREEN HUNT AND ITS JNU AVATAR!
The Indian state’s war against the people in the form of Operation Green Hunt launched almost two years back has been resisted and fought back by vast sections of the people across the country, including peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits, students, intellectuals, peoples’ movements and democratic organisations. Outside the country too, the Indian state’s war campaign in central and eastern India has been opposed by the pro-people organisations and individuals. The crimes committed by the Indian state and its armed forces in these regions on a daily basis – be it the murder of adivasi villagers and political activists in their hundreds, use of brutal torture, burning and loot of hundreds of villages, thousands of arrests and forced displacements in still larger numbers.
The JNU Forum against War on People, formed by the students of the campus two years back to oppose the onslaught of Operation Green Hunt on the people of this country, has consistently worked towards bringing out the ground realities of state terror and repression in these regions. Against the state’s and the corporate media’s attempts to hide this reality, the Forum has continued to acquaint the campus community of the ongoing war in India’s heartland, and the students and teachers responded positively by participating in its each programme in their hundreds. The huge mobilisation of the students of JNU at the call of the Forum, whether it is to protest the JNU visit of P Chidambaram – the main architect of Green Hunt – on 6 May 2010, the public meeting addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri on 5 March 2011, or various protest actions at the initiative of the Forum in the last two years seem to have become a cause of worry for the Indian state and its local representative – the JNU administration.
Seen in this context, the recent Proctorial Enquiry that has been conducted against the Forum allegedly for violating the Official Emblem Act, appears to be nothing but an urban extension of Operation Green Hunt. This enquiry is apparently carried out by the administration to probe whether an image used in one of the campaign material for the public meeting organised by the JNU Forum on 5 March, misused the official symbol of the Indian state. The image portrays the jackboot of the Indian state coming down to stamp out and crush the people protesting against its repressive policies. The administration claims that the emblem of the Three Lions on the boot amounts to the misuse of the symbol as per the Official Emblem Act. Hence has initiated this Proctorial enquiry against the Forum so that its members can be punished for this ‘crime’! This image is readily available in the internet, and has been widely used all over the country to depict the use of brutal force by the Indian state and its armed forces against the people resisting Operation Green Hunt. This is an artist’s impression which exposes the reality of Indian state’s war on people today, and was used by the Forum keeping in mind the context of a public meeting which was to discuss ‘Operation Green Hunt: Unmasking the Reality of Democracy and Development.’ This image and the public meeting – which was addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri with more than 600 students in attendance in Koyna mess – indeed unmasked the fact that there is no democracy and freedom of expression or political dissent for those who genuinely oppose the repressive polices of the Indian state, including the policy of Green Hunt. The right-wing ABVP desperately tried to disrupt and stop that public meeting, but due to the resistance put up by the hundreds of students, their attempts did not materialise the meeting was successfully concluded. Having no option or excuse to prevent the successful programmes of the Forum which has evoked such an enthusiastic response from the JNU student community, the ABVP has complained to the administration about this so-called violation of the official emblem. The administration too, finding an excuse to prevent and persecute the Forum, has now come up with this farcical enquiry almost three months after the meeting. It has chosen the vacations for this politically motivated witch-hunt with the hope that there will be not enough students to resist this authoritarian action.
Moreover, going a step further and using this farcical enquiry as an excuse, the administration has issued a series of draconian Circulars ordering a stay on the functioning of the Forum. The Circular from the Chief Proctor dated 19 May 2011 asks the Forum to ‘restrain’ from all its activities till the ongoing farcical Proctorial enquiry is over. Another Circular supplied to all the photocopy shops in JNU, has ordered the shop-owners not to print any pamphlets/posters of the Forum. This is nothing but an indirect attempt by the administration to effectively ban the Forum and to destroy it.
JNU Forum against War on People strongly condemns all these authoritarian acts by the administration aimed at curbing the democratic rights of the student community and to silence the voices of dissent. An all-organisation delegation comprising of AISA, AIBSF, DSU, JNU Forum against War on People, SFI and SFR and UDSF met the Chief Proctor Dr. Bohidar on 25 May and demanded that these circulars be withdrawn with immediate effect. A Joint Statement signed by most of these organizations along with CFI and PSU has also condemned the administration’s repressive acts.
At a time when the Operation Green Hunt is being intensified by breaking all laws of the land and by bringing in the army to Bastar and Odisha, the Indian state has also waged a war against even those who are voicing their opposition to it. This is being done not only in the rural areas of central and eastern India where the assault of Green Hunt is the most intense, but also in urban areas like Delhi. The unjust persecution of Dr. Binayak Sen and hundreds of democratic rights activists working in urban areas, or the recent branding of various civil rights organisations like PUDR, PUCL and CRPP as Maoist frontal organisations, is a clear indication of this. This is the urban manifestation of Operation Green Hunt. If Delhi has already come under the ambit of the war on people, can JNU be far away? JNU administration’s enquiry and repressive actions against the Forum is also a part of the Green Hunt, and therefore must be resisted and defeated. This resistance by the JNU community will be the most befitting expression of solidarity to the people who are facing the brunt of Operation Green Hunt and are resisting it with all their might. JNU Forum against War on People calls upon the students and teachers of JNU to come out to protest against the administration’s undemocratic, authoritarian and repressive attempts to silence the voice of the students of this campus.
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