Since past few weeks, the events that have unfolded have once again brought back the scary nostalgias, of the 1990s anti-Mandal agitations, which was led by the Delhi University students. Even in JNU there were groups that came up in support of this agitation. This, Mandal-II, is because of the recent announcement, by the HRD Minister, of the implementation of the 27% reservation to the OBC’s in the institutions of higher learning.
Once again the debates on ‘merit’ ‘efficiency’ and now the ‘division’ of the nation, have come to fore. However we don’t want to explain the reasons as to why there should be a Reservation- Affirmative Action or Positive Discrimination. This is very much clear to those supporting the cause and perhaps to those opposing this. What we really want to look at is the role of a students’ movement on this issue- and here we refer only to the progressive students’ movement and particularly to the JNU Students’ movement. Although there is no need to mention how progressive this movement has been and how it has been able to maintain its progressive character- although in a limited way but far better than any other campuses in the country- there is a need to take recourse to the events that unfolded recently.
As this time it has not really been able to grasp the issue of OBC reservation. Because the Brahmanical forces have come on the streets using all means to pressurize the state to withdraw the implementation of reservation for the OBC’s, there has not been equally strong reaction from them, which is expected. The Brahmanical forces are doing their ‘job’ but what about the progressive movements, where are they? So many protests have been carried out by the Brahmanical forces, but till date there is no movement on the JNU campus on this issue.
The JNU students movement, which is known for responding to any issue that unfolds in the world, on this issue there is no procession that is being organised in support of the implementation of the reservation policies; no pubic meetings are arranged by any of the ‘progressive’ student’s organisations in order to sensitize the students community (although today as a part of tokenism some public meetings did take place but how far they will go that alone the time will decide). It is only when the Brahmanical forces decided to take out a anti- reservation protest on the campus, last night, that all the ‘progressive’ minded students had no other option but to protest against the protesters.
An interesting thing that was noteworthy regarding the anti-reservation protests was that, apart from the fact that there was participation of few JNU students, there were students in the protest who till yesterday were known as ‘progressive.’ This shows that the progressive students’ movement has not just failed to smash out the Brahmanical forces that exist on the campus but they have also failed to wipe out such Brahmanical students that exist in their organisations. This is primarily due to the fact that there was hesitation till recently, due to some reasons, amongst the ‘progressive’ minded students to accept Brahmanism as an equally important evil, along with Capitalism, that the Indian society is faced with and that needs to be smashed.
Although we know that we have to attack the Brahmanical forces who in the name of ‘Equality’ are assaulting the very democratic character of this nation, our first task is to remove the mask of the Brahmanical forces who call themselves as progressive. It is then only we can fight a real battle against the Brahmanical forces and save India’s democratic character. A silence on the part of the JNU students’ movement is giving wrong signals to their sympathizers, as well as to the reactionary Brahmanical forces. It is high time that all the progressive, democratic minded students come together to fight against these Brahmanical forces who are ready to subvert the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, on which the Indian democracy is based.