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Mockery of ‘Freedom’ & ‘Culture’


“Many a time we confuse license for liberty and lose the latter. License leads one to selfishness whereas liberty guides one to supreme good. License destroys society, liberty gives it life. In license propriety is sacrificed; in liberty it is fully cherished. Under slavery we practice several virtues out of fear; when liberated we practice them of our own free will.” (CWMG 42:380)

Freedom of Expression and Culture of Protest are buzzwords these days. In the name of democracy, blaming the nationalist organisation for anything and everything is in fashion. From artificial debates of intolerance to award wapsi have been created to  vitiate the atmosphere. For the misconceived notions of  freedom and culture, what is being attacked is very ethos, integrity and security of this nation. What happened on the Campus of Delhi’s Ramjas College was in a way just continuation of this larger conspiracy.

First, let us put the so-called literary event in perspective. Much of water is flown through Yamuna River after the infamous incident of ‘commemorating Afzal Guru’, one of the key terrorist in the Parliament attack, on the JNU campus almost year ago. After debate over sedition against the Kanhaiya Kumar and associates and when cases are still pending against the same people, a plan was made to take the debate outside JNU.

The Literary Association of Ramjas College, affiliated to Delhi University but guided by the faculty with the same seditious ideology, organised a seminar on ‘Culture of Protest’. The star attraction was ‘Breaking Bharat’ project fame and open supporter of terrorists, Umar Khalid, who is also facing the charges of overnight confinement of the vice chancellor. His topic was also very cultured and sophisticated, ‘The War in Adivasi Areas’, needless to explain, openly arguing in favour of Maoist violence against Bharat. When the organisers were presented with official protest in writing to avoid calling this known anti-national elements, instead of taking it seriously they decided to use it further to publicise the event for ‘ideological’ cause. When the students protested against it, sloganeering and violence erupted. And as usual, hue and cry of ‘freedom of expression’ also erupted. No wonder, even Amnesty International that is under the scanner for funding sources and furthering the ‘selective’ human rights agenda, came with a statement that, “the growing threat to Freedom of Expression on Indian university campuses”.

The Communist ideology essentially believes in the strategy of violence. It hardly believes in any Constitutional provisions or institutions. To defend this  malicious ideology of ‘revolution’ intellectually, certain theories and conceptual tools are created in the academic realm. The divisive ideas perpetuated among young minds. These Gramcian  Communist, conveniently separate themselves from the State coercion used by dictators like Stalin and try to challenge popular cultural norms by creating ‘false icons’. Glorification of Mahishasura to Afzal Guru is part of this strategy. Interestingly, this is being done in the name of ‘people’s movement’, the same people who have rejected this set of ideology time and again through democratic right of  voting. Being the followers of Marx they not only denounce everything that is national, but also do not believe in Constitutional restraints on ‘Freedom of Expression’. But they will surely give legal arguments from the same Constitution to save Afzal Guru and Maoists, forgetting the fact that it is the same law that put unity and integrity of the nation above Freedom of Expression.

It is the expression of people’s feelings that are reflected in overwhelming support to Prime Minister Modi or consecutive victories for Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthy Parishad in DU campus. The recently held UDAAN cultural festival demonstrated that youth are interested in a constructive idea of culture and not the destructive and deconstructionist one propagated by pseudo-liberals. Communists of all variants anyways do not believe in democracy, so they do not have right to about liberty. Even if the so-called ‘progressive liberals’ of Bharat refuse to understand what is ‘freedom and culture for people of Bharat’, then like communists, they will also shrink with the jargons in the corners of academic islands.

By Prafulla Ketkar

Couresy: Organiser