OP Jindal Global University Students to Continue Struggle Over Suspension And Ban on Student Organisations

OP Jindal Global University

Interview of Ramnit, RSL with Editorial Board, Inquilab, The Central Organ of AIRSO on the Issue in OP Jindal Global University

Editorial Board: The series of events that took place in OP Jindal Global University, starting from the Show Cause Notice to the suspension and the assaults on Comrade Mukundan and you, were really shocking. Can you explain how it really started?

Ramnit: We were suspended after we organized a public discussion on the Ram Mandir being a farcical project of Brahminical Hindutva fascism. We were seeing that our campus was being turned into a propaganda space for Hindutva. A reading circle called the Abhinav Bharat was made in our university and this was organized by Think India, a think tank that works for RSS. They aim to create an ‘intellegentsia’ in support of Hindutva politics. They started focussing on private universities since this is the space we knowledge reproduction happens in the current times, because of the state reducing funding on public universities. The reinforcement of ruling class ideology by creating an intelligentsia that propagates this ideology has been how these universities have always functioned. These universities have till now been a hub of postmodernist thought, and it was because of this postmodernist thought perpetuating in this university that the fascists were able to penetrate. The students were asked to focus on discourse and not to focus on practice, creating a space were the right wing can easily rise up without much resistance. Thus, Think India started its unit in Jindal through Abhinav Bharat. The next step that they did was to attack any form of dissent and to perpetuate their ideology further. The campus slowly became unsafe for religious minorities and gender minorities. The university started having WhatsApp groups for Kshatriya ‘pride’. We felt the need to counter fascism and we needed to do that with an ideology that focussed not just on ‘creating discourse’  but an ideology that focussed on practice. This was Marxism for us. To reclaim the democratic space we needed to counter their propaganda, and therefore we organised a discussion on Ram Mandir, since Abhinav Bharat was creating propaganda on the Ram Mandir within the campus. Members of Abhinav Bharat had went for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony and had even participated in cultural programs there. We believe that this also points to the very nature of the Ram Mandir, people who were right outside living in Ayodhya were prevented entry but Jindal kids were allowed in and this was clearly because of the class nature of these students. They are members of the ruling class of the country.

On the day, that we organized the public discussion, members of Abhinav Bharat had come to disrupt our discussion we had decided that we will be democratic in our approach to them, letting them speak their points, but after their points got proven to be reactionary they started sloganeering and doing a Bhajan right beside us. We sloganeered back, and through agitation we were able to make them leave. Having failed at disrupting out discussion, they went on a social media campaign against RSL and our comrades. Making misogynistic, homophobic and queerphobic comments about our comrades. Making rape threats and murder threats in different social media platforms. People across the country were calling Mukundan to threaten him, since his number was released on social media. OP India and the organiser also released articles spreading misinformation. A video was also released online to malign RSL since statements made by Mukundan was taken out of context. They also stalked our comrades and raised genocidal slogans to intimidate us further. The university then send a showcause against us, we had raised a complaint against the actions of Abhinav Bharat but no disciplinary action was taken against them. When Comrade Mukundan and Comrade Ramnit was out of the campus, they then sent a notice for a hearing. The time given to us was just an hour, this is against the principles of natural justice and the procedure followed by JGU until now. They conduct the hearing without Ramnit or Mukundan participating and then suspends the two comrades. Both comrade Mukundan and Ramnit were pushed out of the campus by the administration, while manhandling them. The students who came in support of us had their rooms raided and were dragged and locked in their rooms, with female students being dragged away and manhandled by male security. After this, the university bans all democratic organisations within Jindal, at the same time they openly allow Abhinav Bharat to function. The university administration made an arbitrary distinction between ‘having politics’ and ‘doing politics’, this is not surprising since the university is being funded by big bourgeois who need fascism in this country to do aerial strikes in Bastar and displace people from Kashmir, and therefore they attacked all democratic forces within the campus and announced that the students are restricted from doing the latter, infringing upon the very democratic rights of the students.

EB: As per the reports, after calling your parents, you were manhandled, attacked and were forced to go with your parents. What all incidents took place at that time? Also, in what ways did the right-wing forces use social media attacks against both of you?

Ramnit: Having failed in their attempt to disrupt our event, the right wing students relied on a social media campaign to attack us. They made misogynistic, homophobic and queerphobic comments against with rape threats being made again out comrades. Comrade Mukundans number was released in social media and he also received death threats. We were also stalked across the campus by members of Abhinav Bharat. This was when the showcause was filed. The next day both Ramnit and Mukundan are suspended without a fair trial. They are first not allowed inside the campus by the administration, then when they threatened to call lawyers and journalists they were allowed inside. Inside they were asked to confine themselves in one location, which they refused and started protesting alion with a few other students for a fair hearing. The students who came in support had their rooms raided by the administration. Later on, comrade Mukundan was pushed out of the university by the administration. Then they dragged away the remaining students and locked them. Male security manhandled female security. Comrade Ramnit was alone at this point and was attacked by the administration. The right wing had released violent comments under our social media and went on a trolling campaign in Twitter.

EB: What is the way forward in your struggle against the administration?

Ramnit: We have appealed against the undemocratic suspension and will continue to struggle against suspension and ban on student organisations.

EB: How can you relate this incident with the fascist attacks going on all over the country?

Ramnit: This is not an issue isolated to the university space. This is part of the open terroristic violence unleashed by fascism and the saffronisation of campus space by the administration. The university supporting the right wing is because of its class character. It is opened by big bourgeois that is getting the fascist government to displce Adivasis in the country often by doing Aerial bombs, therefore it is in their interest that this open terroristic violence is continued and ideological consensus is built for the same. This is being done in the university by Abhinav Bharat and this maybe the reason why they are openly backed by the administration

EB: Usually, student politics is seen as a matter, which is confined to the public universities. Majorly, the issues of fee hike, campus democracy, better hostels and gender-friendly campus are the issues raised there, along with the countrywide political matters. What is your experience about the conditions of OP Jindal Global University, with regards to these issues? And what is the mass student reaction to such issues?

Ramnit: In Jindal Global University, along with students that come from a big bourgeois and feudal background, there is a section of urban petty bourgeois that feels threatened by this attack of fascism. They are often  people from national, religious and gender minorities. This section openly backed politics. They are affected by the fact that the university does not have a redressal mechanism for discrimination and has demanded an anti discrimination cell. Similarly, they have demanded that sexual harrasment be dealt with in a better manner sincpoliticale the university deals with sexual harrasment by shutting the people up. Just like how a caste organisation or a Khap Panchayat functions. The university students are ready to be political. They came when we organised in support of Palestine and have organised a protest in support of us. They are  and the students back us up.

Editorial Board, Inquilab, Central Organ of AIRSO

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