• kewal sethi

jnu – some thoughts


jnu – some thoughts


i am not going into the issue of the actual incident at jnu. this will be determined by the law courts in due course. i am trying to think why some persons have come out in support of the sloganeering persons (i do not know if they were students). this is not the first time that people in kashmir valley have shouted pro afzal guru slogans. i do not know if sedition case or any other case has been registered in their case. the main point was about the slogans against the country. many persons have come out in favour of the action for registering case. these persons are not politicians who are notorious for fishing in troubled waters. i also count out legal luminaries whose task is to argue in favour of client and not in favour of truth or justice. i am referring to the man on the street.

one thing is obvious. their upbringing is different from ours of old generation. we were trained to regard the country as motherland and as sacred as our own mothers. the euphoria of newly bestowed independence still lasted. but the new generation is born and brought up in the era of internationalism. the world has become a village is an adage which may not be true but it has definitely become smaller. we are influenced by happenings any where in the world. we sympathize with the palestinians when israelies bomb them. we are with israel when an israeli is stabbed. we weep for the children who die in iraq or who died when twin towers were brought down. the events nearer home also affect us but to a lesser degree as they are familiar happenings familiarity breeds contempt, or at least indifference. the slogans in kashmir valley do not bother us and we have become so used to them that when they came a bit closer, we could not judge the distance. the question of judging their effect on polity does not arise.

one problem is that we have become used to packaged thinking. just as the pulses and even vegetables are now available off the shelf in ready made packages and we love the ease with which we can get the diverse material at the same store, so also with the opinions. they are available off the tv screen and we lap them. it is just a matter of liking one store because we like the ambiance of the store or the girl at the encounter in preference to another. but whichever it is, we accept the goods as they are. we refuse to think for ourselves when we are at ease with it being done by some one on our behalf.

depending on which store we like, we are with those who call it sedition or we are with those who call it assault on freedom of expression. we are sure that just as the pulse and the rice we purchased at the store will be over shortly, so also the outcry about the incidence will be over soon. as for law taking its course, it is a long winding course which may end in the ocean or in a desert. in any case it will cease to interest any one by that time.


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