JNU fracas: Instinctive Resistance and Tyranny of Power-Politics - Nirendra Dev

Nirendra Narayan DevEditor's Note: Nirendra Narayan Dev (nirendev1 [at] gmail [dot] com), an acclaimed political journalist, is a special correspondent of The Statesman, New Delhi and author of acclaimed books including Modi to Moditva, Ayodhya : Battle For Peace, The Talking Guns North East India and Godhra A Journey To Mayhem. Nirendra was born and brought up in India's northeast and his father served with paramilitary force Assam Rifles. His blog is at bestofindiarestofindia.blogspot.com.

We have previously had an opportunity of talking to the author and have posted the audio recording of the interview.

WBRi also has the pleasure of publishing a series of short stories by Nirendra. Search with keywords "Nirendra Dev" to read his prior stories and articles on Washington Bangla Radio.


‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ is one of the best known novels that portrayed brilliantly the scathing indictment of Communist tyranny and an eloquent affirmation of the human spirit.

Written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962, the book talks about the protagonist Ivan – who in the story goes to bed to sleep happy “one day” – as he did not suffer brutality. The brilliance in writing lay in the fact that delightfully Ivan forgets that every minute of his life was a reflection of brutality.

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This is what is considered ‘normal’ and this is what communists are capable of doing with millions of Ivans. The repression than becomes part of your life. That’s normal. That’s obvious. Film maestro Satyajit Ray portrayed that in his satire-children film ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’ where he shows Magaz-Dholai (brain wash) of commoners.

Such magical is the spell of the machine-room that oneliners come in:

“Janar Kono shesh nai, janar chesta bretha tae (There’s no end of knowing….and so there’s no need to know more than what has been passed onto you)”. That’s better understood today as Left Intellectualism.

Jawaharlal Nehru had mastered that and used it selfishly to foster his party’s and his political growth. Have not we heard, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a communal – who went away with Pakistan?

In circa 2016, we are face-to-face with the fallout of that communist intellectualism. The twist to a simple case of anti-national exercise – slogan shouting in favour of a convict terror mastermind - is unique but not unprecedented for those who know Leftists and their culture. This is better given out as Left liberalism. Something turned Radicalism and for historical reasons suited Congress party and even so called socialists. In December 2011, an article in ‘gfiles – Inside the Government’ ---- summed up the irony in MASTERLY MANNER:

“The rest of India did not know, and hardly cared, when during the three-and-a-half decades of communist rule, the people of West Bengal bled without realizing they were bleeding” – wrote Diptendra Raychaudhuri.

It is reflection of this finesse that made students scream “Manipur maange Azaadi”….at Jadavpur University campus --- who till the other day would have dismissed people of northeast India as “ora toh chinki…noodles khae” (Oh, they are chinky and eat noodles) description.

The hoopla or ruckus thus created after pro-Afzal shouting over a discredited student Kanahiya Kumar’s arrest is no surprising as for long a group of ‘intellectuals’ have made it fashionable to slam Indian system, Indian religion and Indian culture.

They are the same stuff who would even oppose even progressive tool called computers in 1980s. But equally discredited political leadership of Rahul Gandhi is too desperate to look for legitimacy after the 2014 rout. Hence Left-Congress tie up is actually a natural business. The business of self-seekers and power brokers.

Can anyone forget the illustrious Harkishan Singh Surjeet who in 1996 even ensured someone called B S Raamowalia (perhaps not known even in his village) a CABINET berth ?

This is precisely what we understand by ‘power-politics’.

Power is what defines the thrust of politics. And in our parliamentary democracy, communists have mastered the art of exercising the same power even staying aloof from the corridors of power – on the face value. Late Marxist leader Surjeet epitomized this game pretty well. Surjeet was the power behind the throne behind Prime Ministers like H D Deve Gowda! He would merely pick up the phone and dial the Prime Minister and dole out advice. People called him king maker. Marxist doyen knew that’s power!

This ‘power factor’ had weighed significantly when India got independence. People like M N Roy, a true picture of radical humanist believed that neither he nor Mahatma Gandhi or even Rabindranath Tagore could later influence the course of development of post-independence India.

In fact, instead of phrases like ‘welfare of the common people’, it was power-game that decided the course of Indian history from 1946 onwards. Partition was just one feature of it. Irrespective of ideological affiliations since then ‘power game’ is dominant force in Indian politics.

The recent happenings with regard Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is essentially linked to this paradox of Indian politics. The fear of Narendra Modi is not mere fear of unleashing of Hindu fundamentalism. It is the fear of loss of power game both by Marxist Sitaram Yechury and ‘sickular India’s’ permanent crown prince – so called Rahul Gandhi.

“Nationalism is in my blood” – assertion is in effect a test case of the established norms of secular political class to divided the world into “us” and “them”. If a group of journalists – failed print journos-turned-celebrities in Idiot Box – and the groups of former editors and (Nira Radia famed celebrities) fall in one category and the rest of India into another.

Ironically, the same Divisive yardstick suits the flamboyant Narendra Modi and his ilks too. Hence the lawyers’ drama at Patiala Court. But in all probability the ‘sickularists’ are fighting a lost battle – at least this is what country’s best known pragmatic politician Ram Vilas Paswan believes.

In other words – comparison between Nationalism and Afzal Guru, who led the Jehadi game and its ugliest violence face, is certainly a difficult proposition.

But importantly what has happened in the name of ‘freedom of speech’ debate vis-à-vis JNU and protecting journalists from lawyers in Delhi is that none is realizing what actually the confrontation all about is.

It is not merely singing glories to a hanged Afzal or opposing Modi. Probably it is linked to an attempt for establishing a hegemony of Islamic fundamentalism. But do Indian communists and power-thirsty Congress party realize what they are into?

Islamic Fundamentalism that is being propagated today is not simply against Narendra Modi or his Hindutva politics. On the global sphere Islamic Fundamentalism is essentially seen as an ‘instinctive’ resistance to the American dominion.

Notwithstanding whether Modi and his government can bring in ‘acchey din (Good Days!!)’ or not; Islamic Fundamentalism is in effect an insane hostility happening world over. That’s a face of aggressive intolerance.

Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury are unknowingly turning mere pawns. Hundreds of those who dislike Narendra Modi are also falling into this trap. That’s the bigger tragedy.