A Voice Of Dissent Register Through Jashn-eAzadi In Delhi University
*By Tahiba khan*
17 February, 2012
Being the university student one wants that every sort of thought should be
reached to the student community but this is not happening around the
campuses. Being in India which is said to be largest democracy in the world
has failing to do so in many respects.
A student group called AISA has organised a screening of the documentary
Jashn-e-Azadi directed by Sanjay Kak, who himself belongs to Kashmir, at
department of Sociology, Delhi University which have created an immense
hurdles in DU. It has also been disrupted as well in Symbiosis University
and Presidency college at Pune and Kolkata few days back. But despite the
threat from ABVP and Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena( BSKS) to the organizer that
the film will be disrupted if screened, it was screened in DU, which was
failed to be screened in Symbiosis University. This is not the first time
that ABVP has tried to oppose such democratic and acedemic activity on
pro-people issues but they have been doing all this in various universities
from years. But despite taking any action against them university
administration supports them.
Recently a member of BSKS had attacked Lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his
remark on AFSPA.
ABVP members had barged into and vandalised the History Department in 2008
demanding that the essay Three Hundred Ramayanas should be withdrawn from
B.A Course, from Delhi University and the essay has been withdrawn from
syllabus in 2010 despite huge protest from the professors, teachers,
research scholars and students from Delhi University on illogical grounds.
A group of ABVP activists went on a rampage at Delhi University,
vandalising the venue of a seminar in protest against presence of S A R
Geelani, acquitted in the Parliament attack case, and spat on him. Around
50 youths damaged property and hurled abuses on Geelani at the seminar on
'Communalism, Fascism and Democracy Rhetoric and Reality', disrupting the
programme briefly. But Still nothing had been done by the administration
against these hoolinginism. They are curtailing our freedom to do any thing
in campus. So what can we think about largest democracy, does it exist,
when there are no forces to protect it??
Before the screening the representative of seminar have been getting
continuous calls from the Delhi Police since early morning, stating that
the Police has been receiving “threats” from ABVP and Bhagat Singh Kranti
Sena. These forces openly told the Police that they would disrupt the
screening, if it was allowed. Instead of giving protection and preventing
the hooligans from the entering the premises of Delhi School of Economics,
Delhi police kept pressurizing the organizers to cancel the screening. The
DU administration initially also tried to pressurize the sociology
department and the organizers to cancel the programme. But the film was
screened and this screening became a political and historical event and the
event became the resistance against these fascist and anti people thoughts.
Kak, in his documentary 'Jashn-e-Azadi'-- 'How We Celebrate Freedom' is as
explicit to speak of violence in Kashmir as the violence itself.
Jashn-e-Azadi, is not only a rear glance of life with military, it is a
smidgen more, in and out, interlacing the cowed survivals and the recurring
pangs of death. It shows how people registering their resistances. The film
shows people are celebrating the death of there brothers, fathers, son who
have been martyred by the army. They see them with proud and want more
martyr to liberate themselves from oppression.
But to ask question that why these right wing forces are interested in
these activities in so demonizing manner?
Why there is so much problem or threat about such a screening which is
based on Resistance and Expression. Why do they scare? There must be logic
to it. But I don't see any logic behind these oppositions. Who are in
favour of the people, who are criticising brutal torturing and killing of
people in Kashmir they termed them as anti-nationalist. They support Army
who is raping women Shopian? They are supporting army who are indulging in
fake encounters to get reward from state? What is so anti-nationalist? Do
nation exist without people? Do nation has to survive by killing torturing
and raping their own people? What kind of nationalist ideas are these. If
supporting people's voices is anti-nationalist then we don't want these
nationalist ideas. Nation becomes nation with the people. The film shows
what the people says, what the people of Kashmir have experienced..how they
are resisting the hegemony of sate terrorism which has entered in their
everyday life. They can't rid of it. Are these expression and resistance
are fake..are killing of someone brothers and fathers and raping of Women
in Kashmir is something not to be shown or hurt someone sentiment who are
not Kashmiri How they have been apathetic towards the state. They are
registering their resistance. How much they feel hurt when they have been
stopped and asked for their identity cards. They face death in everyday
There is need to think about these issues critically and these thought for
freedom from oppression should be reach out to the people through any way.
There is need to indulge in political discussions and activities. There is
question to ask does we like our freedom? Then why to keep silence when
freedom of others are in dangers... It reminds me of the poem by Pastor
"they came first for the Communists, and
I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and
I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and
I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and
I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and
by that time no one was left to speak up”