I have no sympathy for the Maosists or their supporters, nor do I have any empathy for the para-military personnel who are charged with exterminating them.
I’m dismayed and angry at the extreme reactions that have been aired by the media and some teachers of JNU on the alleged `vandalising’ of a faculty member’s car while he was apparently mourning the deaths of CRPF soldiers at the hands of Maoists in Sukma.
Let me say, I have no sympathy for the Maosists or their supporters, nor do I have any empathy for the para-military personnel who are charged with exterminating them. While there are numerous problems with armed insurgency, there are equally serious problems when para-military forces or the armed forces becoming a law unto themselves. I’m also not concerned with the visual media, which is paid, compromised, and an utter travesty of journalism. What I’m dumbstruck is the by way in which a case of vandalism is being turned into a an ideological issue by the right-wing rump of teachers in JNU.
Let me say emphatically from experience that this is not the first time that such an incident has occurred in JNU.
I was the chairperson of the security advisory committee of JNU for four consecutive years, and dealt with many complaints of miscreants damaging cars by breaking wind-shields, damaging wipers, breaking side-view mirrors, scratching the body-paint etc. There were also complaints of thefts of parts.
Never, not even once did anyone insinuate that students had done it out of ideological hostility, or that they were a bunch of BJP supporters, or that the JNUTA ought to take a position condemning the incident. Neither the JNUSU, nor the JNUTA were even involved in the deliberations, nor were they accused of being a bunch of `anarchists’ for not taking a position. In the recent incident, one worthy has even gone on to say that he was shocked that if such things could take place with Modi at the helm of affairs, just imagine the anarchy that would be unleashed in his absence…sounds like an absolutely breathtaking Intellectual!
In my experience these incidents were generically treated as lapses of security, and the agency providing such security was pulled up and in many cases had to compensate for the loss after assessment of the damage.
We could do this those days because we treated the security service as service providers and not as hand-maidens of the administration to be used for its sundry nefarious and surveillance related activities. We could do this because the politics of the ruling party had not sunk to the level of the gutter. We could do this because we approached the problem from the perspective of what we’ve been appointed to be…teachers.