The reasons why I would love to denounce the Left in the country is not because of its ideological positioning. Somewhere their philosophy stems from a rabid sense of anti-nationalism emanating from their stance. If the country will test a nuclear weapon, they will protest. If a communist state like China follows suit, they will bark about their philosophical glory. These left leaning elements have dominated the media and in the form of a cultivated bias, they have always been at loggerheads with nationalistic fervor.
These hyphenated ideological clashes have also found their way into college campuses. JNU or Delhi university become a hotbed of left and right leaning political outfits. Instead of becoming a platform for young leaders to emerge and take the baton of polity forward, they become a battle ground of sorts for political parties to use and nurture their own agendas. Last year, Kanhaiya Kumar became a darling of the anti-right establishment and today the daughter of a martyr is getting appraised to the same podium. Both are supposedly highlighting systemic loopholes and during this process they are aligning to a certain pole and politicising the same. Along with being partisan, the Left is also trying to save its influence in academia here which is one of its very few bastions remaining in the country. Both Kumar and Kaur again perfectly fit the bill to be used for the same.
Kanhaiya Kumar became a beacon of seething liberal and anti Govt block in the country.
As the leader of JNU and All India Student Federation, he was arrested in 2016 on the charges of sedition at a rally organised for the Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru where anti India sloganeering were raised. The freedom for the state of Jammu and Kashmir depicted with the chants of ‘Azadi’ became the bone of contention. Although he denied making these statements, his ire against the BJP or ABVP was clearly highlighted. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor praised him and a bankrupt opposition maimed under an effective majoritic central govt picked and propped him up to use as a counter weapon against the Modi regime. Kanhaiya Kumar spoke about the system and yet harboured a specific anti BJP stand. His foray into activism has a bit of resemblance with that of Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal although was into Lokpal agitation and an all-encompassing issue of fighting corruption, his political positioning was formed to provide an alternative which was strikingly anti right. His myth of giving a change dashed as he joined hands with the Congress. Kanhaiya Kumar in my view is fostering a similar political line. Finding a niche in this occasion and establishing base with a new exciting dais of activism seemed to be his hidden agenda. But then the euphoria created in his name just the way it was manufactured for Hardik Patel in Gujarat failed to register that impact and now it’s more than faded for the better.
As the Ramjas patriot war is engulfing student wing outfits, it is clearly playing out a much larger game of political polarisation. Just as Kanhaiya Kumar was the poster boy of the Left and the liberals then, Gurmehar Kaur with her now famous card of ‘Pakistan did not kill my dad, war did’ is supposedly occupying that place this year. There are no two doubts about Kaur and her family facing massive trauma at the time of her father’s death in 1999 at Kargil. Yet even her opinion about war and Pakistan however fallacious and hollow it may seem is finally her view and that must be respected. The problem lies in the way her detractors are being labelled as ‘trolls’ and the way ‘ABVP’ has being singled out as the only mischief maker when the campus is par amounting to all the student wings. Like secularism which dishes out a manipulative definition for politicians here to milk upon, ‘Freedom of speech’ is defined and applied the way liberals have always wanted.
Gurmehar Kaur has a right to express but if Sehwag counter expresses, he becomes a troll.
Put a bit of ‘right’ in those who disagree with her and they all become RSS agents. The fact is her opinion about the war killing her dad and not Pakistan is seemingly wrong as it tries to vindicate Islamabad in its attempts to seek adventures into India. If we abide by her stance, it means India is equally responsible for the war when it just defended itself against their aggression. Her arguments lack background and logic notwithstanding the fact that Kargil was a proxy war inflicted upon us to defend. When there will be too much of romanticizing, people with even a basic sense of nationalism will react. And those who disagreed with Kaur were counter argued by the liberals and the left leaning media who capitulated her into the same zone as Kanhaiya Kumar. As it happened in case of Kumar, Gurmehar Kaur became a bait of instant pollicisation and was hijacked by opposition to fire a tirade against the Modi govt. Congress spokesman made this issue as a reference in its attack on BJP with Kejriwal lodging his support too and it became more clear where the wind is blowing. A very recent video has surfaced which subtly demonstrated her affiliations to AAP. The outpouring sense of idealising relations between India Pakistan was outweighed by a subtle inclination towards a certain segment of political class. When activism is diluted and subverted by political ideologue, it loses it sheen. On the contrary, Kaur became a point where a debate was initiated and jingoism which was blamed on the right can rightly be attributed to the liberals who could not tolerate dissent. As the Ramjas episode is still in the firefight, Gurmehar Kaur gave a new dimension to it but like Kumar who became an intellectual pawn, she is on her way to assume a similar responsibility.
There is nothing wrong to be partisan. The problem lies in masking it to give a sense of revolution or systemic change when its nothing more than a political launch pad. Kanhaiya Kumar later advocating an anti BJP rainbow coalition supporting Laloo Yadav proves that point. Gurmehar Kaur may do so in future. Taking a political position masked under activism seems like the new emerging trend. Nevertheless, even if such figures are made into a temporary furor but in the long run such elements fade into oblivion.