That is to say, Ask Me (Almost) Anything. Or in other words, open thread. Off for the day, see you guys tomorrow.


Nelson’s eye

In this context, Jaitley responded to criticism that the BJP was doing business with PDP, which has also declared Guru as a martyr. He said that cooperation with a mainstream political party of Kashmir was necessary to fight separatists in the border state.

“Congress has believed it and we believe it too. If we have to fight separatism, national parties will have to work with the mainstream parties with the mainstream parties of Kashmir despite our ideological differences. This is a compromise for national interests,” Jaitley said.

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Bharat Mata and all that…

A less noticed report:

However, while she was busy ‘playing mother’ Rohith’s mother was being dragged on the streets of Delhi by the police. She went to India Gate with other well wishers to pay respects to Rohith, in a candle light procession. She was dragged by the police and later detained by the Delhi police along with others.

Worth remembering what Arun Jaitley, current #2 in the government, had to say about the right to dissent.

PS: Rohit Vemula’s mother, who along with some of his friends is addressing a press conference in Delhi as I write this, asks Smriti Irani and Narendra Modi a couple of pertinent questions:

“I want to meet Smriti Irani and ask her ‘On what basis did you declare my son to be anti-national? Your Ministry had written that my Rohith and other Dalit students were anti-national extremists. You said that he is not a Dalit. You accused him of getting a false certificate. Should I say it is because you got false certificates for your educational qualifications that you think others do so too? You stopped my son’s stipend, you got him suspended from the university. You are the Minister for HRD, but you have no value for education. You can never understand how difficult it is for a Dalit to reach the stage of doing his PhD. You can never imagine the hardship, the struggle, the tears and sacrifice to reach that position. In three months, you destroyed what it had taken me 26 years to build. I am talking about my Rohith, he died at the age of 26.'”

“I want to tell her these words. I want to ask Modi ji, ‘For five days you remained silent. You went to Ambedkar University and when students protested you said ‘Bharat Mata has lost a son’. If you believe what you say, then why have you not taken action against those who called that son anti-national. Who is right? Is the Minister right? If so, then why did the Prime Minister call an anti-national India’s son? Who will give me these answers?’

#TIL, that Rohit Vemula had informed the vice chancellor of his intent to commit suicide, three full days before he hanged himself.

Vemula’s friend also produced a letter the scholar had written to the vice-chancellor of the university on December 18, in which he said he was going to commit suicide. “I want your highness to make preparations for euthanasia for students like me,” he said, quoting from the letter. Claiming that Irani had a copy of the letter, he questioned why she was reluctant to bring up the statements he made against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.


The JNU lectures: #3

Professor Tanika Sarkar of JNU, in the ongoing series of lectures on nationalism.

In passing, Sarkar begins by talking of how she has learnt more from the students than she has taught them — and raises a laugh with a reference to the Delhi police now being subjected to some of what she has had to go through. The reference is to this news story of what happened during the police interrogation:

The cops had a tough time quizzing Khalid and Bhattacharya after they surrendered on Tuesday around midnight. By narrating in detail the concept of subaltern studies and development concepts in south Asia when asked what they did at JNU, the two left the team of an inspector and two sub-inspectors befuddled. A three-member team headed by an ACP was constituted to ask them specific questions.

(See Professor Nivedita Menon’s lecture earlier).


Lawyers attack JNU protestors

Old headline. But what to do?

…a group of about 150 to 200 lawyers attacked a protest demonstration organised by Left parties, their affiliate student organisations and civil society and women rights activists in Allahabad on Thursday.

The attackers allegedly hurled abuses at the women and other protesters and assaulted them with sticks and rods, leaving many of them injured. The protest had been called to demand a fair probe into the Jawaharlal Nehru University incident and Rohith Vemula’s death, and to seek the release of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and other arrested students.

This is from a news report today.

JNU as rape capital

BJP president Amit Shah, reportedly “furious” at MLA Gyandev Ahuja’s risible remarks re the number of condoms and such found in JNU trashcans, has supposedly summoned the man for a meeting.

How’s that working out for Mr Shah? Because now, this: (Emphasis mine)

Gyan Dev Ahuja, a BJP legislator from Rajasthan who has earned ridicule for suggesting the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was a sex den, said on Thursday that 50% of the cases of rape and molestation in New Delhi were committed by the students of the institute.

The statistics are from the annual report of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), the MLA from Ramgarh in Alwar district, who drew flak earlier this week over claims that more than 3,000 used condoms and 2,000 liquor bottles are found daily at the JNU campus, said.

What to say? Must be true — after all, he says he had it from the DCW, and the DCW has given him precise information. 50%. No more, no less.

Seems a good time to remind you of this post from a day earlier.


Oops, she lied about that too?

An excerpt from Ms Irani’s famed speech — the one endorsed by Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh et al:

“In our text and syllabus, we continue to perpetuate the colonial legacy of portraying ancient India, as synonymous with Hindu and Medieval India past with the Muslim.” I quote from this book, Madam Speaker. Arvind Sawantji is from Maharashtra. This book was given to Don Bosco, Matunga. The school of my colleague Piyush Goyal.

“When we teach Shivaji, Akbar, Aurangzeb as responsible educators and animators, we need to ask which Shivaji do we need to take into the classroom.”

It is not only against Shivaji that is taught. Congress politicians allowed the killings for three days during the Sikh riots. That is also taught.

“Hindu-Christian riots in Kanya Kumari. How the propaganda of Hindu organisations target Christian minorities.”

You are teaching this to a child in the 4th standard. This is their idea of secular education. History taught to standard 6th. I quote, madam speaker.

“Kashmir is a much demonised land today…{pause} that the State militates against. The atrocities of the Indian State.”

Are we shocked that our students go to universities and say “Kashmir ki azadi tak jung ladenge..”?

A response from Don Bosco:

School principal Father Bernard Fernandes confirmed the school had stopped using the textbook around 2004. “These books were used by some of our schools on an experimental basis for a year,” said Fernandes. “But they were discontinued after a year. Today, none of our teachers use these books.”

The school authorities were surprised how Irani got a copy of the book. “Our teachers don’t use the book anymore, so we do not know how the HRD got a copy of it, claiming it was from our school,” said an official from the school.

Apparently it is not only condoms and empty liquor bottles that the BJP roots through trashcans for. Old pamphlets, textbooks unused for more than a decade — anything you can flourish in Parliament to make absurd allegations and beat the nationalist drum.