March 2016 \ News \ COLUMN: AMB. MALAY MISHRA
Like pebbles in the pond

By Malay Mishra

How did all that happen?

Kanhaiya had been released on interim bail from the close confines of Tihar jail after nearly three weeks of incarceration on grounds of ‘sedition’ and was coming home to the portals of JNU, which has housed many a rebellious spirit, past and present. It was a day of celebration for JNUites who rallied around their hero in thousands, defying all odds placed by the establishment in a convoluted manner, that went awfully out of hand and unleashed a furor in the country and abroad. A new discourse on nationalism was being forcibly injected into the liberal atmosphere of one of the top ranking universities of India and, in the process, clashing against the so-called anti-national thinking, with doctored tapes, false statements, jingoistic noises and senseless assaults and above all, rendering the organs of a functioning Parliamentary democracy, the executive, legislature and judiciary to near peril.

I have sensed the makings of a social revolution emanating from the bowels of the earth, penetrating to all crevices of a decaying society under a leadership who had only exposed its moorings and zeal to uphold a ‘manufactured’ truth. Truth be told, Kanhaiya has turned into the most exciting find in the political arena mainly because of the faultlines of the system which have been exposed so very effectively. For anybody who would have watched his performance that fateful night in JNU couldn’t have been left unaffected if he was reflecting seriously about what ails the system today.

In the game of power, which has played its virulent course in the portals of Universities, and I can name scores here, the sacred spaces of liberal thinking and expression seem to have been broken down into hollow cells, conditioned to support or perish. Is this now going to be a no holds barred clash of ideas and ideologies? Is it what the country was waiting for? When India was beginning to develop its muscle in the global arena and coming to be respected as a unique civilization and culture having housed so many diversities on its soil, here comes the most disconcerting episode in recent times.

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