Srinagar, February 29, 2016 (PPI-OT):In occupied Kashmir, the renowned world academics and intellectuals perceive the present Jawaharlal Nehru University crisis as clash of nationalisms and maintain that the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party’s project of Indianisation is detrimental to the very idea of India.
They in media interviews said that the BJP was misusing state power to strangulate and stifle voices of dissent to achieve its goal of establishing a Hindu Rashtra. As intellectuals the world over are debating how the present socio-political crisis could prove to be a watershed moment for India, when its 1.2 billion souls should prefer free speech over intolerance, many renowned academics are batting for freedom for dissent in academic institutions.
Prof. Gull Wani, Director of UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies at University of Kashmir, sees the JNU crisis as a much deeper problem and a threat to India’s nation-building project. “It is not a small challenge for India. It is rather a warning for the Indian society. And India has to decide about its nation-building project,” Dr Wani said.
Prof. Wani articulated that the right-wing nationalism, riding on state power, was trying to undermine the institutional framework of a democratic set-up. Dr. Dibyesh Anand, Associate Professor at London’s Westminster University and Head of International Relations Department, quite in tune with Prof. Wani’s views also said that whatever was happening in India right now “reflects a wider malaise”.
Dr. Anand argued the manner in which the police, government and lawyers have reacted to peaceful protests in JNU against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru reflects a wider malaise in India. That malaise, he explained, “is of an intolerant territorial nationalism where anyone dissenting is seen as seditious and hence deserving of being punished and lynched.”
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