Saturday, February 13, 2016


Jawaharlal Nehru University has become a veritable battle field to settle political scores. The university has always been a training ground for would-be politicians. It has been a bastion of leftists for a long time. Leftists have always been known for their 'supra-national' loyalty. Communists in India used to proclaim their loyalty to the then USSR and the People's Republic of China. Communists were considered to be honest and incorruptible; this noble trait has deserted them in the recent past.

The university encourages freedom of expression hoping that this will lead to maturity of thought. When this freedom degenerates into licence for anti-national and anti-social expressions, the university gets into a piquant situation. Should it wait for better sense to prevail over time or should it immediately put its foot down and activate course-correction?

Some misguided students recently made anti-India statements supportive of criminals condemned as terrorists by the highest court in the country. Delhi police would have been derelict if they had not taken any action. It is good that the police started taking action. It is idle to speculate whether the force of police action was consistent with the scale of criminality. Police had the duty to act. They did not have the right to keep quiet and let the crime fester.

Freedom of expression cannot encompass perpetration of any crime. It is not an excuse that will provide immunity to a criminal, whatever the crime be.

Circumstances like these test not only the university, government and the police, but also the political leaders. Rahul Gandhi has wasted a golden opportunity to condemn the anti-national elements and abstain from criticising the government. He has once again fallen a victim to baser thoughts of leveraging any and every event to score political points. In the process, he has demeaned himself and the Congress party further. It is a pity that there is no leader in the Grand Old Party who is conscientious enough to reveal to Rahul Gandhi that he wears no clothes.

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