New Delhi 14 Feb 2016: The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI) has expressed deep concern over the students’ turmoil in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in last one week where students belonging to different political dispensation are embroiled in a fierce battle of the worst kind to down each other group in the game of one upmanship.

SDPI national vice president Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, while condemning anti-national slogans having been raised in the JNU campus, has castigated the Delhi police for arresting JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar without taking permission from the JNU Vice Chancellor and following the legal procedures as laid down by law and slapping sedition charges. This was all done despite the fact that Kumar along with his fellow Union office-bearers had repeatedly made it clear that JNUSU neither organized the event nor raised any anti-India slogans during the said event. This amounts to be clear violation of fundamental rights.

Adv. Ahmad demanded that Kanhaiya Kumar should be released forthwith then only peace can be restored in the JNU campus. Thereafter, a thorough impartial inquiry conducted into the episode to get to the root of the matter. A dialogue can also be initiated between the warring parties to resolve the issue amicably. It appears that arrest of Kumar was done post haste by the police to please their super boss namely the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had exhorted them to take up action, he added.

Adv. Ahmad said that slapping sedition charges against a person who wasn’t even involved in the said protests is a gross over-reaction by the Union Home Ministry. It’s not only unconstitutional but also looks like the government is trying to do in certain key universities all across the country so that the right-wing youth organizations like ABVP could cement their place in traditionally left wing campuses.

He said the government is wasting precious time agitating over various student activities and should leave the detailed handling to the university authorities. Rather than invoking sedition laws against students the Govt should setup counselling centres with JNU who can advise the students to rely more on their speeches and written word rather than conducting agitations on various issues.

He said that NDA’s Modi-led government is openly indulging in double standards. On 26 January this year, the “Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha” observed Republic Day as “Black Day”. Is this not sedition? Why action against them was not taken. BJP’s dubious nature on “nationalism” is completely a mockery of the ideal of Indian Constitution. There should be Equality before Law. The government must take action against them immediately without bias. If not, then BJP’s Nationalism is selective and a fraud on the Constitution.

Adv. Ahmad said that is praising Godse, killer of Mahatma Gandhi, the biggest terrorist of India treason or not? Is glorifying of the murderer of father of the Nation by some persons a patriotism act? Is it not anti-national? Supporters of Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, are calling the students anti-national! What an irony. Why this double standard?

The statement stated: “The NDA Government should do well to remember what Voltaire, the French historian, and philosopher, had to say about freedom of expression. People are free to voice their opinion, even if it is anti-establishment. A dignified protest is far better than violence and communal violence. The police should be utilised for better things than arresting students. Or are they only fit to arrest and harass the weak and unarmed?”

The NDA Government is under dark clouds due to the mishandling of Hyderabad Central University matter of Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula, the ban on Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT Madras and long drawn agitation over the FTII Mumbai. The direct intervention by the Central Home Minister exhorting the agencies to take unproportionate reaction against the students leaders of JNU in midst of the controversy of anti-national slogans raised by ABVP workers is highly unfortunate and taken in a hurry. In view of the record of Rajnath Singh as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh handling the situation in Kanpur on 16 March 2001 when 16 lives of youth were lost due to the firing of the police makes a person think that under his stewardship guns speak more vocally and unproportionately.