Kanhaiya controversy: Punish those who doctored videos and stop targetting students

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Dr Kouser Fathima

Kanhaiya Kumar ‘s speech has not only awakened many but also rattled those, who tried to tarnish his image using doctored videos.

His live speech after his release raised many questions as he clarified that he wanted freedom in India and not from India. Clearly, he wants freedom from corruption, poverty, hunger, casteism and terrorism.

While many agree with him, some continue to attack him. The common argument used is that students should not be politically inclined and only concentrate on studies.

The critics forget that some of the present day politicians from all parties were once active student leaders. So separation of student movement from political activism holds no grounds.

Noted German poet Bertolt Brecht rightly quoted, “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He even prides himself on his political ignorance. He does not know from his political ignorance comes the robber, prostitute, orphaned child, worst of all corrupt officials and lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations.”

The second and most absurd argument is that the students are enjoying taxpayers’ money and, therefore, should refrain from politics. This is an elitist attitude, which looks down upon deserving students only because they are funded by the government.

Most of the students come from poor families but are academically bright and hardworking. The state is only facilitating their research and not doling out any charity. Moreover, the poor also pay indirect taxes and hence have a right for quality higher education.

The newly coined ‘nationalism’ tag being peddled is nothing but colonial  feudalism, wherein only who owned land or paid full tax were granted complete citizenship. But our democracy has no place for such feudalism .

People who make such stupid comments forget that taxpayers’ money is also misused by politicians, bureaucrats and defaulting companies but we seldom question them.

Never heard protest by the taxpayers against the powerful but it is easy to target student’s grants. These people forget that for a society we not only need doctors, engineers but also social thinkers and activists.

The staff and students in these universities have been working for years on research and development issues. Few stray incidents should not be the yardstick to measure the worth of a university.

And now after the ugly truth of the doctored videos is out; the need is to punish the actual culprits and stop targetting the students.

The author is a Bengaluru-based psychologist



  1. It is quite clear there was celebration on afzalguru. dancing and speeches will not earn him as he is not anti national. supporting anti nationals is his biggest misdeed . why Afzal guru was celebrated as martyr he is responsible to answer. PEOPLE OF INDIA NOT FOOLS they already disowned communists. and now it is turn of JNU president will never fetch any seat for whom he convasses

  2. The only doctored video was the one shared by Kejriwal purportedly showing ABVP students shouting “Pakistan Zindabad”.

    The videos shared by Shilpi Tewari were from TimesNow and they are not doctored. It is only the non-recognized “Truth Labs” outfit owned by Kejriwal’s associate that is calling them doctored.

  3. Is JNU a democratic or a Left hegemonic space: Professor Makarand Paranjape

    Paranjape also targeted Kanhaiya Kumar and the speech he made on the day of his return to campus.

    JNU row, JNU, kanhaiya kumar, kanhaiya kumar speech, Makarand Paranjape, English Professor Makarand Paranjape, afzal guru, JNUSU president, india news JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

    Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) English Professor Makarand Paranjape on Monday questioned if JNU was a “democratic space”, as was being projected, or a “Left hegemonic space”. He also questioned why Leftists had trouble accepting the “legitimacy of the Indian state”.

    Delivering the 15th nationalism lecture, “India’s Uncivil Wars. Tagore, Gandhi — JNU and what is ‘Left’ of the nation”, Paranjape also targeted JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and the speech he made on the day of his return to campus. Paranjape had earlier said the February 9 event on Afzal Guru in JNU was held under a “false pretext”.

    “Why is it so difficult to accept the legitimacy of the Indian state for many people in the established Left? Forget about the Maoists. They believe in armed revolution and we know that DSU (Democratic Students’ Union) is an offshoot of this Maoist party,” he said, even as the crowd shook heads in disagreement.

    “Look at the letter of resignation that Umar Khalid and Anirban wrote from DSU. You know what they said? We are resigning because there is no scope for dissent, there is no democracy in DSU. Look at the irony of these situations,” he added.

    Paranjape also questioned the democracy within the Left in general, and in JNU in particular.

    “When we consider ourselves to be a democratic space, we should ask ourselves if this is entirely true. Isn’t it possible that it is a Left hegemonic space, where if you disagree you are silenced, you are boycotted, you are browbeaten, or sometimes you’re brainwashed,” he said.

    He also said Kanhaiya’s speech had factual errors, “You said M S Golwalkar met Mussolini; but did you check your facts? It was B S Moonje who met Mussolini… I am not saying they were not impressed with the fascists, they were. They thought it was very good to have an authoritarian system. But please let us agree on what is factual and what is not,” he said.

    Paranjape also questioned why there were no solidarity statements from China or North Korea. “We have so many statements from everywhere. Can you show me a statement from North Korea or even from China? I have met many Chinese intellectuals… they will tell you how bad things are but ask them to take out a morcha, they can’t,” he said. However, a Chinese student countered him saying there were protests in China, just like in any other country.


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