Witch-Hunt Of JNU Students In The Name Of Proctorial Enquiry!
In a leaflet announcing speeches on campus by Arundhati Roy and Amit Bhaduri, campus activists used this image to depict repression in India. The university administration says the image is offensive and a crime against the Indian state under the Official Emblem Act, and those responsible "must" be punished.
By JNU Forum Against War On People
28 May, 2011
The Indian state’s war against the people in the form of Operation Green Hunt launched almost two years back is aimed at facilitating the corporate plunder of peoples’ land, forests, and resources. In the process the state has unleashed a spate of violent repression of the people fighting against this corporate loot. Braving extreme forms of state repression, Green Hunt has been resisted and fought back by vast sections of the people across the country, including peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits, students, intellectuals, peoples’ movements and democratic organisations. Outside the country too, the Indian state’s war campaign in central and eastern India has been opposed by the pro-people organisations and individuals. They have all vocally protested the crimes committed by the Indian state and its armed forces in these regions on a daily basis – be it the murder of adivasi villagers and political activists in their hundreds, use of brutal torture, burning and loot of hundreds of villages, thousands of arrests and forced displacements in still larger numbers.
The JNU Forum against War on People, formed by the students of the campus two years back to oppose the onslaught of Operation Green Hunt on the people of this country, has consistently worked towards bringing out the ground realities of state terror and repression in these regions. Against the state’s and the corporate media’s attempts to hide this reality, the Forum has continued to acquaint the campus community of the ongoing war in India’s heartland, and the students and teachers responded positively by participating in each of its programmes in their hundreds. The huge mobilisation of the students of JNU at the call of the Forum, whether it is to protest the JNU visit of P. Chidambaram –the main architect of Green Hunt– on 6 May 2010, the public meeting addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri on 5 March 2011, or various protest actions at the initiative of the Forum in the last two years seem to have become a cause of worry for the Indian state and its local representative – the JNU administration.
Seen in this context, the ongoing Proctorial Enquiry conducted against the Forum allegedly for violating the Official Emblem Act, appears to be nothing but an urban extension of Operation Green Hunt. This enquiry is apparently carried out by the JNU administration to probe whether an image used in one of the campaign material for the public meeting organised by the Forum on 5 March misused the official symbol of the Indian state. The image portrays the jackboot of the Indian state coming down to stamp out and crush the people protesting against its repressive policies. The administration claims that the artwork on the boot amounts to the misuse of the symbol as per the Official Emblem Act. Hence it has initiated this Proctorial enquiry against the Forum so that its members can be punished for this ‘crime’! In their eagerness to take punitive action against the students, the officials in the administration have forgotten that this image is readily available in the internet and other public domains. It has been widely used all over the country to depict the use of brutal force by the armed forces of Indian state against the people resisting Operation Green Hunt. This is an artist’s impression which exposes the reality of Indian state’s war on people today, and was used by the Forum keeping in mind the context of a public meeting which was to discuss ‘Operation Green Hunt: Unmasking the Reality of Democracy and Development.’ This image along with the public meeting – which was addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri with more than 600 students in attendance in Koyna mess – indeed unmasked the fact that there is no democracy and freedom of expression or political dissent for those who oppose the repressive polices of the Indian state such as the Green Hunt. Continue reading