The Weekend Leader - JNU student protest taking partisan hue

JNU student protest taking partisan hue

New Delhi


 The agitation by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is getting increasingly politicised as the battlelines are now drawn on ideological lines over the "gaushala vs paathshala" debate.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammed Salim remarked on Sunday during a JNU protest that: "Paathshala mein kharcha nahin karenge, gaushala mein karenge". He was referring to what the Left leaders are terming a threat to public funded education by raising fees in universities and colleges and instead trying to promote saffronisation.

It is becoming clear that what started as a protest on hiking of hostel fees by JNU students has turned into a political slugfest with the Opposition attacking the policies of the Narendra Modi government while the government conscious of the ideological baggage of the protesters is also digging in its heels.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet: "JNU under seige; such a massive deployment of forces was not seen even during the Emergency. A peaceful protest march to Parliament against the unprecedented fee hikes is being focibly stopped by the police. Strongly condemn this denial of basic democratic right to protest".

The JNU students march to Parliament became a huge controversy as it was stopped just before the main building by the police. The visuals of police and students clashing in Lutyens' Delhi on a day when Parliament was on its first day of functioning led to a huge political uproar.

On Twitter, the comments around the protest march are as much around a "fascist mindset" as they are about keeping education affordable for poor students.

The Left leaders especially are seeking to attack the Modi government and the JNU administration for tactics of "Hindu Rashtra fascists" who are trying to curb democratic protests.

With the students also asking other universities to join in, it is becoming a protest against education policies of the government but also a protest against the alleged biases of the right wing. IANS 

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