Roads to Ruins - JNU: Ultra Leftism, Congress opportunism and Intellectual Cowardice | 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.


“The agents of Pakistan have become vigorously assertive on the issue of Kashmir” - Wrote Badal Ghana Chakravorty on Feb 7, 1996 in a missive to the JNU Registrar….so things were coming!!

In contemporary setting for everyone – individual, a society and a nation – there are many roads those lead to ruins. Drink and Drugs is certainly one of them. The other one would be Blind Faith in Ultra-Communism fashion and the growing trends of  Intellectual Cowardice of middle class. As a Bengali, I can vouch that.

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

In JNU fracas, we have the third option and that assuming ominous dimension. This route is significantly a miserable way to a wretched end!

The stories coming out of JNU, labeled a premier university and a communist bastion, have all the classic marks – professionally trained anti-India slogan shouters, a large army of Narendra Modi-haters, an ambitious student politics of ultra Left wings and righter wingers ABVP, political opportunism of Rahul Gandhi and the ability to link a hanged terror mastermind to his religion (Muslim) identification.

Curiously enough one prominent student leader's father has been a former member of SIMI.

The two-page letter from JNU associate professor Badal Ghana Chakravorty’s missive in 1996 (see snap) had clearly cautioned: “Once again the campus is awash with poster campaign by PDSU (financed by Islamic terrorists from Pakistan) asking for withdrawal of army from Kashmir so that Kashmir can fully become an Islamic state outside the territorial jurisdiction of  India”.

Letter from JNU associate professor Badal Ghana Chakravorty
Letter from JNU associate professor Badal Ghana Chakravorty

On this backdrop we have a different regime in New Delhi. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi by inclination is not a coward and perhaps hates playing safe.

This is the sole reason that that a die-hard Congressman and anti-BJP Manishanker Aiyar today (in circa 2016) finds merits in Atal Behari Vajpayee, someone who would always try to inherit the Nehruvian legacy despite his RSS background.

The successful marketing had also often ensured him a title: “a good leader in a wrong party”.

It is altogether a different matter Atal Behari Vajpayee himself hardly cherished such description. Therefore in 1996, he had asked the united ‘gang of opposition parties – Left, Congress and socialists’ --- “Toh aap log bhale Vajpayee ka kya karogey (Let me see, what we all do with a gentleman Vajpayee)”. Within an hour, Vajpayee was forced to announce his resignation as the Prime Minister ending his term for 13 days!

In my previous blog entry, I tried to argue about political opportunism of Congress party’s leadership and the power-politics ploy of the communists.

Now let us pitch into the cowardice-opportunism of Indian journalism. There is a sustained and well thought of formulae to present a group of journos-celebrities as anti-hero of the JNU episode. This is why someone called himself ‘anti-national’ and the other plunges into darkness – but in both the cases the hope is they will succeed.

What should be a case of anti-national rhetoric has been camouflaged into a debate about freedom of expression !! Azaadi is no more ‘freedom’ or sought after liberation – it’s all put in a capsule of anti-Moditva phenomenon.

The average New Delhi journalist is a ‘joogadu’ (can manage things for himself/herself by hook or crook) ! I am always below average --- at least this is what my wife is convinced and so we still stay in a rented house in Delhi. And most celebrity journos are above average!

By the call of the profession itself, we journalists tend to be alarmists. But whatever we say or write – media – both TV and newspapers – is a mirror even if a defective one! The by and large deterioration in quality journalism is ultimately our making.

This brand of journalism has thrived in self-glorification. This brand has survived in self-justification of their theory that anything pro-Hindu is ‘bad’ and if they are ‘bad’ and rustic they have to be ‘pro-Hindu’. In effect they go a step beyond ‘minority appeasement’ – they thrive in customized selling of minority appeasement. It pushes their agenda – they are upheld as liberals and professional weaknesses are covered under that facade.

Under the grab of upholding Indian secularism (sickularism), they also conceal intellectual dishonesty. So Parliament attack convict and a hanged terrorist is a martyr and goondaism against journos is bigger offence than sedition.

The same group of intellectuals worked overtime to discredit post-2002 Narendra Modi. The Lok Sabha polls of 2014 not only frustrated them, it left them humiliated like a dozen of eggs on their face.

This school knows it pretty well that a single-minded man like Narendra Modi will try to PERFORM and DELIVER as he promised to Indian electorate. All these hangama are certainly tools in the hands of immature opposition parties like Congress and the communists.

They are part of a sustained tactic to keep Modi-led dispensation generally off-balance. The challenge for Narendra Modi is to brave through these hurdles.

He will do well to keep himself and government away from the JNU tamasha. Modi is still popular and has goodwill of  the people despite electoral setbacks in Delhi and in Bihar.

It will be erroneous – especially for Narendra Modi himself – to believe that he can govern India and also PERFORM for the rest of the term more peacefully than he has been in last 18 months.

Anti-Modi tirade will only gain momentum in the months to come. Haryana agitation is an example. When the time will come for reckoning 2019 – Modi might again be without friends. From 2002, often left alone and his support base Modi had refused to be a defeated man – either pitied or forgotten. He will have the same challenges yet again.