The protests at the JNU would show that the Opposition would go to any length to use students to serve their political ambitions. We witnessed this in 2015 and we are witnessing the same even today.

It is an age old trick by the Left to begin a ruckus at a campus, knowing fully well that there would be a chain reaction. In 2016, the protests began at JNU and spread to Jadhavpur and Hyderabad Universities. It is similar even today and the protests at JNU have spread to other institutions as well.

Is it a legitimate protest?

In February 2016, a group of students had gathered at the JNU to mark the death anniversary of Afzal Guru. Anti national slogans were chanted, which then forced the public to act. 

The claim by the Left Wing unions was that they had a legitimate right to protest. While that is true, the question is can anti national slogans be raised while protesting against the hanging of Afzal Guru?

Afzal Guru was hanged on the orders of the Supreme Court. An accused in the Parliament attack, he was investigated, tried through a fair trial and only then sent to the gallows. 

Today, the Left unions are protesting against a fee hike. For starters, the fee was hiked after 19 years. The JNU had been incurring charges of Rs 10 crore per year on account of water, electricity and service charges. These charges were borne through the general funds received from the UGC.
The fee hike was aimed at the upgradation and upkeep of the hostels. It was decided to hike the hostel fee for a shared room from Rs 10 to Rs 300. For a single room, it was raised to Rs 600 from Rs 20. In addition to this, a service charge of Rs 1,700 a month was also proposed. The Delhi University and Ambedkar University charges around Rs 3,000 for the same facilities.

This has been the bone of contention and the students have been protesting violently. In fact, before the violence broke out at the JNU on Sunday, the Left-leaning students had disrupted the server system. The Left Unity was accused of hijacking the office of Communication and Information System and disrupting the internet facilities across JNU. 

Turning a blind eye:

Illegal acts are nothing new at the JNU. It has been taking place for several years. The only issue was that the governments in the past had turned a blind eye. The Opposition and the Left in particular have ensured that they use students to suit their political narrative.

Chants like Lal Salam or activities to back the naxalites are nothing new. Most students are used by the urban naxals to keep the narrative in favour of the naxal movement alive.

Back in 1996, a seminar was held, which spoke about the partition of India again. This issue was raised by Badal Ghana Chakravorty, associate professor, department of German. He had informed the Registrar about the rampant anti-national activities at the JNU. He further stated in a letter that there were agents of Pakistan on the JNU campus. Rampant anti-national activities of the agents of Pakistan on JNU campus, the subject of the letter read. He also said that these agents had become vigorously assertive on the Kashmir issue. He further said that during a seminar there was a declaration made for another partition of Kashmir.

This clearly suggests that such acts have been on for long and all decided to turn a blind eye. This also suggests that these agents of Pakistan had successfully infiltrated JNU in the 1990s, when terrorism was at its peak in the Valley. They continued to operate and over the years, the anti-India narrative began to set in.

Belittling India’s Kargil victory:

In the year 2000, permission was sought to hold an Indo-Pak Mushaira. In the letter, it was stated that it was a poetic event. However, the entire event only focused on the Kargil War and slogans were raised belittling India’s victory over Pakistan. India fought a valiant battle to regain hold over Kargil. However, 527 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice to protect the nation.

In this context one must also re-visit the arrest of Shahbuddin Ghori, who was a JNU student. The Delhi Police had busted a racket linking him to terror-related activities. Such students backed by the Opposition parties, who were then in power, have sown the seeds of hate against India for several years now.

Even during the 2016 protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru, pamphlets with anti-national messages had been found. One of the pamphlets read, ‘caged in conduit wires and faced with blood stained bayonets from all sides, turned into the most militarised zone in the world, Kashmir remains: the country without a post office. The snow that accumulates and melts and accumulates again keeping burying its history with thousands of mass graves’. 

A dossier submitted to the JNU administration in 2015 speaks about 300 Kashmiris and north-east activists living illegally in the hostel. These are the ones who are organising protests at the behest of the Opposition.

It may be recalled that in 2010, the JNU Forum Against War on People celebrated the killing of 76 CRPF jawans by the naxalites at Dantewada. The co-host of this programme was All India Students’ Association, which is affiliated to the CPI (ML). Further, it must also be noted that there is a commemoration for Afzal Guru every year at the JNU. 

A slice of history:

Not many are aware that there was a time when JNU was shut down sine die and the entire academic session stood suspended. This was in the year 1983 when the Congress was in power.
The students had then protested violently and the government had arrested 600 of them. All of them were put in the Tihar Jail for 15 days. During the violence, several officials of the university were injured.

The authorities have time and again raised concerns about the nature of protests at the JNU. The most common slogans are Pakistan Zindabad, Go India, Go Back, Bharat ki Barbaadi Tak Jung Rahegi and Kashmir Ki Azadi. There have also been calls for the liberation of Assam, Kerala and Manipur as well. Such acts provide perfect fodder for countries like Pakistan, which has a sole point agenda of destroying India.
Looking at how the events have unfolded since 2015, there appears to be a clear attempt to target the ruling party. The Opposition is using these students at will to create a rampage and set a false narrative.

Not just JNU, similar incidents were witnessed at the Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University too. Investigations have found that anti-national elements were introduced into the protest against the new citizenship law to fan violence and destabilise the nation.