Universities Under Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi
I was a teacher at a University in Bihar in 1974, and played a very active role in the J.P led movement.
I along with a few colleagues was detained under the dreaded MISA and was suspended from service under the rules.
After release from the jail, we were not discriminated against. Even thouh it was well known that JP had asked the students to give one year to the country and discontinue studies, the University treated us as any other teacher and not like an enemy who might be influencing students to respond to J.P.’s call. Even the students’ organisations affiliated to the Indira Congress and the CPI did not treat us disrepectfully or interfered with us in any way.
When the emergency was clamped, we continued our activities to oppose Indira Gandhi and the emergency and were detained under the Defence of India Act. Following our release on bail. We were placed under suspension, which was withdrawan only after Indira Gandhi’s defeat and the lifting of the emergency.
The suspendion order passed at the instance of the State government. However, the University did not impose any restriction on our entry to the college or interfered with our movement inside college or the university .In fact, even the students ‘ organisations affiliated to the Indira Congress and the CPI did not treat us disrespectfully .
Under Narendra Modi ,educational institutions are under attack in a planned manner .With Modi coming to power ,ABVP has suddenly sprung into action. It creates a conflict and then complains to univerisity authorities, who act either on their own or at the instance of government to suppress the other organisations .It happened in IIT, Madras, in the Central University, Hyderabad and many other places .The most outrageous was the wholesale attack on JNU . The Union Government went on full attack, and allowed its goon brigade in black to beat Kanhaiya Kumar in the court and other JNU students in Patiala court campus with hundreds of policemen looking the other way . ABVP and the authorities acting at tandem has become a familiar pattern in the educational institutions by now .The organisations affiliated to the ruling party and the agencies of the State collaborating in suppression of the opposition is a well known strategy of fascist organisations .
The latest and most naked show of the power of the State is the order to Prof. Saibaba of Delhi University not to enter the college without permission. He is physically (90 % ) disabled. What are the authorities afraid of ? They have nothing to fear, but the order is meant to display the iron fist which Modiji had kept concealed in democratic gloves before coming to power .The same was done when the CBI raided the residence of Himanchal C.M. just when he was leaving for a Mandir to perform a Puja on the day of his daughter’s wedding .
Autonomy of the universities and an atmosphere in which hundred flowers may bloom and hundred thoughts may prevail* are indispensable for pushing further the frontiers of knowledge, and should be protected from Modi’s brutal attack.
* Though he did not live up to it, the sound and magnificent call was given by Mao.