From JNU to Ramjas: What we need to understand
Last year, when the videos of students raising anti-India slogans in Jawaharlal Nehru University aired on television the whole nation was shocked and surprised. For them it was an accidental case and it must not happen again. But, then something similar happened in Bangalore and now the same thing is happening in Ramjas College. So, it’s clear that it was not an accident, but an action deliberately done and what we need to understand is the mechanism behind it.
As we know the persons as well as the slogans it is not difficult to identify that what are the forces behind these incidents. But what is difficult is to understand that how the Communists and Jihadis who were once at the loggerhead in Afghanistan are moving hand in hand in India or at least in the university campuses. The answer lies in the understanding that how after the disintegration of Soviet Union the communists scattered all over the world, who were in a desperate need of financial and international support, joined their hands with the Islamic regimes as well as the radical Islamic forces.
This gave them a reach to the petro-dollars and political support of gulf countries and the despotic rulers of these countries got advocates to defend their misdeeds on the international forums. The very first thing which came out from this alliance was that the Sharia rules were justified saying that western democracy doesn’t fit with the eastern traditions second that Islam became an ideology of opposition to the west. As per the use of force by the rulers of gulf countries is concerned, communism never had a problem with that as it is equally comfortable with the use of violence on their own citizens and is equally intolerant of opposition.
In India as recognized by B R Ambedkar also that there are certain elements in Muslim society who use to think that the Hindus and Muslims must perpetually struggle; the Hindus to establish their dominance over the Muslims and the Muslims to establish their historical position as the ruling community- that in this struggle the strong will win, and to ensure strength they must suppress or put in cold storage everything which causes dissension in their rank. So, for the communist the only thing which they needed to do is to fit this idea of communal struggle being advocated by the radical Islamists with the idea of class struggle. And, they did it successfully by shifting the blame of backwardness of Muslims on the state and brand it as a Brahmanical state. With this new conceptual tool the communists got a new strength in their fight against the Indian State. With which they are fighting right from the independence.
There always has been a debate within the Muslims over the idea of Qaum and Watan. Islam calls for only one loyalty (or at least supreme loyalty) that is loyalty towards Allah and it considers all Muslims as brothers belonging to one Qaum. But at the same time, they are also divided in different countries i.e. Watan. So, there has always been a debate between Qauamparasti and Watanparasti and nationalism sits comfortable with Watanparasti but not with Qauamparasti. So, for the Muslims it is a matter of which comes first? Is it religion or nation. But this debate of religion or nation is a not an universal debate within the Muslim community.
Here radicals are very clear that for them it is religion. And this is what makes them a strategic ally to the communists. Who has always been ready to make alliances to fight against nationalism.
Ernest Gellner says that Marxist basically like to think that the spirit of humanity or human consciousness made a terrible boob. The awakening message was intended for classes, but by some terrible postal error was delivered to nations. In the words of Eric Hobsbawm, “There is not much likelihood that peasants would identify with a ‘country’ that consisted of community of the lords who were, inevitably the chief targets of their discontents”.
Now this whole design is coming face to face with the nationalism almost across the campuses, where the radical Islamists are using communist framed arguments against the Indian state to propagate their hidden agenda of communal struggle and communists who has been wiped out in the terms of number is trying to make a comeback with the help of cadres of radical Islamists. The evidences for these arguments can be found from the demography of the mob who was raising the slogans at JNU as well as Ramjas and the leadership. In both the cases the mob was not from any single university and the presence of radical elements cannot be denied. As per the question of leadership is concerned, in both the cases it was provided by the communists with one difference that in JNU the people leading the mob were communist students whereas in Ramjas where they don’t have much standing in the students the provocation of Azadi slogan came from the comrades in faculties.
And what makes this fight most interesting is that this is the centenary not only of the greatest success which communism ever got, the Russian Revolution but also of the period of the first World War in which in whole of Europe – except Russia – communism was defeated badly by the nationalism.