Home Blog Page 26

The Other Side: CAA & NRC in Retrospection


Every coin has two sides and so does the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and National Register of Citizens. With the utter rage created amongst the people of India due to social influence and mass protest going on in the country, the other side of CAA and NRC might be getting glossed over. Here’s a retrospective look at the CAA & NRC proceedings with another side in addendum.

During the proceedings in the Parliament, the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, said in his introductory speech for Citizenship Amendment Bill (now an Act) on 11th December, 2019 that ‘persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will get citizenship in India under this Act.’ These words surely show concern about humanity, however the amendment goes without the word ‘persecuted’. Moreover, had the persecution been ceased after 31st December 2014 in the aforesaid three countries? This criteria is violation of Article 14 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights as persecution is not done date-wise. On 10th January 2020, CAA has come into force as per the notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs. This means those non-Muslims in Assam who were stripped down from their citizenship after the Assam-NRC would acquire back their status.
Furthermore, not only is there a Citizenship Amendment Act but also a proposed nation-wide NRC, i.e., National Register of Citizens. On 20th June 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed both NRC and CAA in a joint sitting of both the houses of Parliament. In NRC, if the documents (unspecified as of yet) of a current Indian citizen falls short then they will be termed as illegal immigrants irrespective of their religion, caste, creed, age, race, etc. As CAA comes with pan-India NRC, likewise citizens/illegal immigrants will be queued to get themselves registered and out of the queue there will be many who will be termed as ‘illegal’. You would ask why, does CAA not provide them citizenship? The answer to that is no, it does not! To get citizenship under CAA, one needs to prove that he/she does not belong to India and rather an illegal immigrant from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.
National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act aren’t the only two knots on this string, there is another knot that has commenced its work in the country, i.e., the National Population Register (NPR). Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on 22nd December 2019 in his rally that there has been no discussion on a nation-wide NRC except of Assam. Although, NPR has a link with nation-wide NRC as per the questions answered (Starred – Q. No. 229: Integrating Aadhar Card Project with NPR of 23rd July 2014 and Q. No. 304: Linking NPR with Right to Vote of 30th July 2014; Unstarred – Q. No. 305: National Identity Card for Each Citizen of 9th July 2014, Q. No. 1586: Present Status of NPR of 23rd July 2014, Q. No. 378: Identifying Citizens while preparing NPR of 26th November 2014, Q. No. 1943: National Identity Card of 13th May, 2015 and, Q. No. 4583: Progress of NPR of 8th May 2013) by the Ministry of Home Affairs at Rajya Sabha website. However, there is Unstarred Q. No. 4583: Progress of NPR of 8th May 2013 which carries the same link. There is a statement of former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh of 18th December 2003 in Parliament proceedings which is as follows – “I would like to point out that with regard to the treatment of refugees after the Partition of our country, the minorities in countries like Bangladesh, have faced persecution, and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people, to seek refuge in our country, our approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be more liberal. I sincerely hope that the hon. Deputy Prime Minister (the then Shri L.K. Advani) will bear this in mind in charting out the future course of action with regard to the Citizenship Act.” The BJP-led government claims it to be an idea of previous Congress government. There is no mention of the word ‘refugee’ in the Act as such BJP is claiming on the basis of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s aforementioned statement neither a religious identity was attached to it.
In order to defy these three, protests are happening throughout the nation to convey to the government that these must be withdrawn which are unconstitutional and inhuman as they are a direct violation of Preamble of the Indian Constitution and Article 15 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen has told reporters in Bengaluru at the Infosys Science Foundation’s Infosys Prize 2019 that one cannot have certain type of fundamental human rights linking citizenship with religious differences. NRC proved to be a failure in the state of Assam as many illegal migrants were categorized as citizens due to the documents they possessed, through unfair means, and many citizens were categorized as illegal migrants due to lack of documents. Moreover, the Indian Economy is in a constant decline with the GDP falling from 5% in Q1 to 4.5% in Q2 of 2019-2020. The unemployment rate is the highest in at least forty-five years. There is also a steep decline in foreign funds in Telecom, Pharmaceuticals and, Power in 2018-2019, and $3 Billion is the total economic cost of net bans (2012-2017, all states). The implementation of these laws will further cost crores and crores of rupees.
As the protests go on throughout the country, there are bound to be supporters of these Acts and the Government. Those who are in favour of these laws are either not fully aware of these laws or are supporting to save their interests. Police invest their time to disperse these protests and to stop them from happening, willingly or not, only to save their own livelihood. One point of support is also seen from this side which says (repealing Article 14 of the Constitution of India from their minds) the Act as constitutional because the Constitution of India applies only on existing Indian citizens.
After what these CAA-defenders have tried is definitely not what state of Kerala has done. On 14th January 2020, Kerala becomes the first state to challenge CAA in Supreme Court under Article 131 and its petition suggestive of violation of Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India by the Act. On 22nd January 2020, the Supreme Court is going to hear all the petitions. Moreover, the Punjab government passed an Anti-CAA Resolution ensuing one by Kerala. With continually increasing Nation wide protests and stark opposition in political and popular front. Will this be CAA’s endgame? Let’s see.

Nabiha Fatima
B.Com, Jamia Millia Islamia

Khaki is the New Fear


The very ‘guardians of law’ took a monstrous form in Uttar Pradesh as the police maneuvered in establishing a soul stirring example of brutality by targeting the Muslim dominated areas of the state.

For the past two months, India has been seemingly swallowed up in the historic fire of the biggest nationwide protests in over four decades. The draconian bill, CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), which is evidently the purveyor of the divisive ideology of ‘one nation, one religion’ has been widely condemned by the most powerful entity of a nation; the people. The bill is believed to be clearly hosting a fascistic tendency and undoubtedly rips apart the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution. However, the dissent didn’t go down so well with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his Hindu Nationalist BJP Government. It met with blatant repression, with authorities imposing Section 144, and the police using batons and firing tear gas openly on the demonstrators.

Protesters throw bricks during a rally against CAA, in Muzzafarnagar.
Image Credits: livemint.com

The brutalities of the police and its ruthlessness shuddered Uttar Pradesh, more than any other region, as the state witnessed the highest death toll and the most intense police crackdowns. According to several accounts given to the media by the victims, police in the state is in the circle of many allegations : violence against the student protesters of the Aligarh Muslim University; attacking peaceful crowds with lathis, tear-gas and bullets; beating Muslim bystanders on the street; raiding and looting Muslim homes while raising Islamophobic slurs; detaining and torturing Muslim children. The allegations further includes filing criminal charges against Muslims who had never been to the protest.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said the government will take revenge from those people who damaged public property during protests against CAA. “They have been captured in video and CCTV footage. We will take badla (revenge) from them’, he said. And, the order seems to have come from the top. In Muzzafarnagar, the affect of the police brutality went on to an even higher degree and a series of unfortunate events unfolded on 20th and 21st December. The trouble began when a peaceful demonstration turned violent as police tried to thrash the protesters. Vehicles were lit on fire and stones were pelted, this led to the police open firing on the crowd. The police allegedly searched for the people who took part in the protest, entered the nearby Sadat Madrasa (orphanage), and started destroying everything on their way. Maulana Azad Raza Hussaini (66), and 35 of his students, 15 of whom were below 18 and mostly orphans, were taken to the nearby police barracks. Here, the cleric was stripped of his clothes and was brutally beaten, whilst the students were tortured using bamboo sticks, causing rectal bleeding.

According to multiple reports, the late night raids on Muslim homes, carried out in Muzzafarnagar and across the state. Over those two days, women, children, elderly, were not spared of the repercussions of police brutality. Similarly on December 19th, at least three people were hit by bullets during a protest against CAA, in Hussainabad. Two of those people were teenage boys who were just stuck between the violence occurring at the protest. Muslim residents of the area alleged that the police raided and vandalized their homes while beating several people. On December 20th, police in Meerut smashed the windows and doors of shops and destroyed vehicles in the Muslim dominated areas.

Protests taking a violent turn, vehicles being burnt in UP.
Image Credits: in.news.yahoo.com

Two families in Nazia Sarai area of Bijnor, claimed that the police entered their homes, vandalized and looted their home and also threatened to sexually assault one of the women. In Bijnor’s Nagina Town, the police arrested at least 100 people for alleged violence, 15 of them minors; the youngest being 13 years old. The children told The Huffington Post that they were physically abused in police custody for almost 48 hours. On the very same day, in Varanasi, police violence led to a stampede, that left 11 year old Sagir Ahmad, crushed to death. He was not a part of the protest but just happened to be there. The District Magistrate of Varanasi said, “such things keeps happening”, mocking the child’s death. In Firozabad, 30 year old buffalo seller, Mohd. Haroon, was shot on his neck by a bullet fired by an unknown person. He died in the AIIMS Trauma Centre, Delhi, on December 26th.

These are but fragments of the rampant violence and barbarism that has choked the very essence of humanity and the principles on which the foundation of this nation is modeled. The discordant and fanatic mentality manifested itself in the unconstitutional handling of the dissent, in the recent stroke of nationwide protests, which is not just morally shallow and inhumane, but also a testimony of our democratic framework being strangled at the hands of an authoritarian and absolute form of governance.

Nuzhat Khan
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

A Midnight Consultation


As another day passes with the ongoing struggle to even protest, some questions would normally arise in a half sane mind. Something on the lines of when men are given guns to protect, who do they choose to use the guns against or any weapon of so called defense for that matter? This is a conversation between two vulnerable ideals- a student and democracy- both unsure of the answer.

I’ve put a picture of democracy in front of me; it’s your average mature lady, painted in different shades, holding a sickle in one hand and thresher in another. She has eyes encircled with black charcoal; if you look closer it becomes a beggars bowl, held out in anticipation. Outside my hostel room, it’s a mixture of cold and chaos. Our professors, seniors or any “scholars” for that matter have left the campus in the hands of this miscellaneous atmosphere. Education has taken a pause. But I have questions to ask outside of my lecture hall, I have thoughts emerging in my mind during these politically volatile times that need to be attended to.  So I have decided to have a conversation with this lady in front of my eyes; A dialogue of sorts.

“Who do you represent?” She asks me. I tell her “The truth”, both my answer and assertion. We look at each other with suspicious eyes, as history has taught us both to see this way. She settles her brows slowly into wedged tension less lines. So I go on with my questions, I tell her I have been alone. I have grown to see borders and barbed wires between houses of the common and the uniformed. She tells me “but barbed wires keep out intruders”. I sigh and let her know that they come at us with such sharp lines to keep our foot from stepping into their territories. “Oh you must be carrying an unsafe object in your hands, your feet must be ridden with blades?”  She tells me.  “No” I reply.  “We only come holding papers in our hands, an old revolutionary’s poetry on our lips.” “What do you point at them then?” she naively asks me and I tell her “our chests”.

She sees my hand rolled into a fist and asks me how as a student I hold a pen? “We don’t write often anymore” I tell her. “It is a ball of fear that I am holding inside of my hands, a slogan pitched at me from a reddened path by my comrades taking shelter from canisters of gas. We’ve all held it in” I whisper to her. Democracy eyes me down, funnels her words into a well known phrase. “Oh but they protect you. They wear our lands khaki on their shoulders; they would never betray any color of the flag” “The flag’s being repainted” I tell her. She refuses to hear the color. Democracy sits in silence with me, I offer her tea, as she tells me her throat is dry. I push aside my sketches of Kashmir to let her breathe a little. Democracy feels anxious in my hostel room.

“Why did you call me here?” She jabs at me.  “To ask questions” I soothingly reply. “Be done with it then” The uneasy democracy says to me. So I grab my phone and use it to show her my modernly acquired evidences. Her charcoal circles shut themselves up at the sight of broken heads and blinded eyes.  “They can be doctored” and as she says this I no longer feel surprised at democracy, she has given in too, her words have too been thrown into the machine and sieved through carefully vandalized thoughts. So I with all my years old sigh, ask her one last time “Who does democracy protect anymore?” She slowly crawls back into the 6×6 canvas lying unorganized on my desk.

In my quest to find the answers, democracy too falls short. There is a slight murmur in the air tonight again, that we’ll be going to sleep unprotected in our hostel rooms. That lathis and khakis are no longer peaceful. They can barge in anytime.  I lay back in my rectangular bed too short for me to fit in and look at my poorly painted democracy with the same questions in both our eyes- “Who protects us anymore?”

Babra Shafiqi
Department of English, Jamia MIllia Islamia

Political Apathy: Why a Necessity?


Choosing to remain deaf to the ongoing political revolutions in the country doesn’t make you apolitical but in turn puts you on the side of the oppressor rather. In this modern world, where every decision that’s made has a political conottation, pretending to be serene by unjust laws being passed in the country counts as nothing but political gaslighting, especially when the affected has shared most of the existence with you.

“It was shocking and to a great extent, hurtful to see my friends uploading stories of their meals, birthdays and other things while my varsity was vandalized”
“I spent a night in terror. They didn’t even call me to ask me how I was, instead argued with me offline and online.”
“My friends who belong to majoritarian identity are silent. Its as if they don’t care.”

Many of us may find ourselves relating to these personal anecdotes. Undoubtedly, the youth led movement against the draconian law has paved its way into the personal lives of youngsters all over the country, causing fall outs and conflicts in friendships due to ideological differences and a difference in political opinions. While the majority of the youth is out on the streets expressing their dissent over the regressive law, there is a huge section of youth following the ‘ostrich-burying-their-head’ approach, choosing not to comment on the happenings around them, even if it affects their friends from marginalized sections of society.
It is not new for the urban middle and upper class to follow the trend of being apolitical, a term which literally means ‘having no interest or involvement in political affairs’, or ‘having an aversion to politics or political affairs’. However, it’s a luxury few can afford. Those who choose to look away have the privilege to do so, because their existence isn’t ‘politicised’ for them-their socioeconomic backgrounds, gender or race allows them to live a life in which they will most likely not be a target of bigotry, systemic oppression, bullying, attacks or deportation. However, not everyone can afford to be this lackadaisical and disengaged- the recent JNU fee hikes that retracts the opportunity for education from weaker sections of society, the police brutality on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University and the regressive anti-muslim law have caused many that are directly affected by these to pour out on the streets to express their dissent over destruction of the secular fabric of the nation and the essence of the Preamble, which provides “Equality of Opportunity” to all.

The quote by Martin Luther King Jr is continually quoted these days.
Image Credits:goodreads.com

For the indian youth, seeing politics as a topic of ‘interest’ or ‘non-interest’, saying “indian politics is a mess and I don’t want to be a part of it” is a privilege reveal in itself, stemming from the benefits they reap by simply sitting high up on the pyramid of entitlement. Those who choose to go about their lives ignoring these struggles are the ones who have largely benefited from class structures in society and more often than not, it’s their ‘apathy’ rather that political neutrality. Its the choice to remain ignorant except for the exceptional cases where people choose to create an echo chamber simply because it is triggering or affects their mental health. They decidedly or unconsciously become desensitized and uninterested, sitting high up on the hierarchical pyramid, all the while being enraged when the protests led by the disenfranchised disrupts their everyday life.
A chunk of the cafe-going, retail therapy loving generation stays silent around people that say things that are sexist, homophobic, casteist, classist or xenophobic, simply because it’s ‘not their business’. They fear isolation and the possibility of being attacked online or lose a portion of their social media following. In turn, they actively perpetuate these bigoted ideas and cultures by not calling them out. The other chunk calls them out to break out of the fool’s paradise of apoliticism and understand that every choice they make is political. The ongoing civil resistance has seen youngsters call out their peers, classmates and friends who are so much out of the realm of reality that they cannot empathise with peers who have their lives at stake.

Shame on Bollywood was a trend for the silence of most of the celebrities
Image credits: twitter.com

We all have heard of the famous quote by Desmond Tutu that goes, “if you are neutral in times of injustice, you have already chosen the side of the oppressor.” Every single decision that we make is political. We are never as neutral as we wish to be- politics follows all of us, regardless of our earnest desire to look the other way. With the universities and its youngsters remaining as the last line of resistance to the complete fascist takeover of the country, choosing to stay apolitical is a political stance that only supports and encourages the state’s assault and the injustice unleashed on its citizens.

Sania Ansari
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia



At the turn of 20th century, Facebook was born and so were the many first-time student protestors lining up the streets today to protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration of Indian Citizens (NRIC). While, student protestors of Jamia Millia Islamia University took to the streets to raise their concerns, another group of students worked tirelessly behind the curtains. The latter group ensured that there was a steady flow of posts and information regarding the ongoing protests. Courtesy to Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook likeminded people and dissidents were able to organise and take collective action, which Turkish sociologist Zeynep Tufekci calls the ‘information cascade’.

The formidability of social media came to light when on 15th December, within a matter of a few hours post the brutality and barbarism of Delhi Police on the students of Jamia, a huge crowd gathered in front of the headquarters of Delhi Police at ITO demanding the release of detained students. These were not just students of Jamia Millia Islamia University but also students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, IP University and the locals. Probably, three decades back, this level of collectivisation of people and spread of information in such a short span of time would not have been possible. The spine chilling event of 15th December in which one student lost his eye, innocent students who were not even protesting were mercilessly beaten, and subjected to psychological and verbal assault acted as a ‘tipping point’. The police brutality could not drown the voice of the protesting students. The undeterred students rose stronger, more determined to fight against the unconstitutional and discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act.
Social media has played an important role since the fateful day of 15th December with posts not only spreading information about the schedule of protests but also criticising mute onlookers until their conscience screams at them. Born in 2004, Facebook was created to serve a coterie of elite students but now social media platforms have become mainstream. Whatsapp alone has 400 million users in India, which once again reiterates its formidability and fragility. In the era of information, where data is the new oil, the question arises that whether social media needs a watchdog. People have figured out ways to doctor videos and manipulate information thereby giving the narrative a 360-degree spin.

An image from 2016, that’s doing rounds of the internet as policemen being hurt in 2019 Anti CAA Protests.
Image credits: Facebook.com

Many fake posts, doctored videos have been circulating, which are not only misleading but also incendiary depict how powerful and dangerous social media can be. A fake post, which includes 4 pictures of one of the student protestors, Ayesha Renna, claimed that she has been protesting in different cities. All the photographs in the post were taken in New Delhi hence debunking the post as fake. Another post with a photograph of policemen with head injuries went viral on social media claiming that anti-CAA protestors have caused it. This claim is also false as the image has been in circulation since 2018. In the midst of fake news and rumours, a student at Jamia Millia Islamia University recorded a video depicting how easy it is to spread fake news and tamper with someone’s Facebook posts.

False, Misleading posts circulated round the internet.
1st image is after the 15th December Protests, as in 4th image, the 2nd is from 12th December but in JMI, Delhi, 3rd is also from JMI, Delhi on 13th December.
Image Courtesy: Facebook.com

In the online world, social media sits on the thin line between private and public space. Fake news, tampered videos, rumours make one ponder whether we need a watchdog for social media. However, as one question leads to another, we may ask how will it be ensured that the watchdog will not become a moral policing agency? In the digital space, as it is said, “Nothing gets deleted completely and everyone is naked” who will ensure that the Right to Privacy of citizens is not violated? In addition, with the Citizenship Amendment Act and the newly tabled Data Protection Bill is the Indian State becoming Orwellian?
We may not have found satisfactory answers to such questions but we need to realize what we can do as individuals and politically active citizens of this country to curb the spread of fake news.

Maryam Ahmed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

When they stand, She leads them


The recent streak of protests in the varsity, provided a centre for nationwide movement against CAA and proposed NRC, but apart from the augmentation the protests will be marked for its leadership that was manifested in the women of the University. The Girls of JMI, did not only actively participate in the protests but at many instances led the crowd to shake the authorities and break stereotypes that were built around them.

“Jannat ek aur hai jo mard ke pehlu me nahi,
Uski aazaad rabish par hi machalna hai tujhe,
Uth meri jaan mere saath hi chalna hai tujhe.”

Even in the 21st Century, it is not very surprising to come across inveterate stereotypes established around women, and that of Jamia Millia Islamia are no different to it. The common perception about them is one of stubborn conventions: supposedly powerless and oppressed, all of them veiled, demure and largely apolitical silent figures, which not only reduces these women to a stereotyped singularity, but also plasters a handy cultural icon over much more complicated historical and political dynamics. However, the realization can only be drawn when a walk around the campus gives you sights of a palette of women with some tying their laces for sports practice, to some adjusting their robes for Moot courts; those who are carrying Arundhati Roy & Alice Walkers, to those who are arguing about the leadership of Margaret Thatcher & Theresa May. It’s not shocking at all to witness such strong inculcation of leadership skills and values at a place where keynote positions from Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Dean of Students Welfare, Heads of Department(s) , Club Conveners & Secretaries to Class Representatives and various other responsibilities are held by women with perfection.

Female students protect a male protestor.
credits: theindianexpress

In the wake of the recent protest, we found female students of Jamia taking lead against the authoritarian excesses, while they ventured forward to save the country from the very guardians in the world’s largest democracy. Girls who have become the face of the Jamia protests after a video of three girls standing strong to the baton weilding police personnel went viral on the internet, received wide attention from people all across the world.

It was only after the residents of the J&K Girls Hostel & Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Hostel voiced their opinions about the Citizenship Amendment Act & National Register for Citizens, the protest gathered a significant support from the entire university. Each day more people joined the protests and an exponential amount of girls from various departments, faculties and centres associated themselves as the movement went further.

I was to leave for her home after the winter break, but now after witnessing so much wrong against and in the country, I won’t go home.

says a student from Department of Economics, Jamia Millia Islamia

She will stay back and fight for them and their common tenets. Not only this, but women from all age groups, including the grandmothers and sisters of Jamia students took an active part in the ongoing protest. A few women, in their 60s, almost limped to the site of protest, while some accompanied their family members and friends.

Image result for Jamia protests women HD
credits: indiatoday

A sight that I am proud to have beholden was, female students from diverse medical fields who were residing in the hostel, relentlessly providing first aids, and medical care to the wounded students who took shelter in the hostel; saving them from the mishaps that were ongoing in the university.

The teachers surely proved to be the motivating force for the students be it from the Jamia Teachers Association (JTA) or female professors in specific who didn’t even hesitate to lie down on roads for the sake of the nation, this itself is a testimony of their courage and strength and can perhaps never be forgotten. Such was the splendor of women surging out to fight against the injustice.

“Tere maathe pe ye aanchal bahut hi khuub hai lekin,
Tu is aanchal se ek parcham bana leti to acha hota.”

This time we saw the women of Jamia tearing down the misconceptions hoisted around them bit-by-bit, as they resisted and fought the despotic act with equal strength and avidity. The gusto with which female students of the university are trying to spread the cause, both through words and actions, proves that staying silent is the last thing on the table. A student who was a part of the protest since day one said, “I, as a woman, felt stronger than I ever was. I went on the road, with several other girls like me, we were fighting there, we were standing tall against all odds, that made me proud of us all.

This one unfortunate incident definitely established the fact that women are in no way weak or oppressed, they are a symbol of power and the fuel for the progress of a society. They have yet again proven themselves by this glorious show of sheer bravery.

Nuzhat Khan
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

हम तो दीवाने हैं


सीनों में इरादे, लब पे नारा-ए-इंक़लाब लिए
चल पड़े हैं हम सड़कों पर नया ख़्वाब लिए
अब न रोको हमें हम नहीं रुकने वाले
हाथ आवाम के भी अब नहीं झुकने वाले
हमको मालूम है हुक्मरान का ‘वादा’ क्या है
हम तो दीवाने हैं और हमें काम ही क्या है?

तुम हमें लूटते रहो और हम बैठे ही रहें
ऐसे भी बुत नहीं हम कि सहते ही रहें
लोग जो ख़ामोश हैं उन्हें भी बोलना होगा
ज़मीर को अपने एक बार टटोलना होगा
हमको न बतलाओ जंग-ए-हुक़ूक़ क्या है
हम तो दीवाने हैं और हमें काम ही क्या है?

ऐ बड़ी इमारतों में बैठी हुई छोटी सी सोच
तेरे चलने से मुल्क के पाँव में आई है मोच
ग़रीबों का जुलूस अमीरों का कारवां उतरेगा
अब तो हिन्दू उतरेगा और मुसलमां उतरेगा
हमको ये इल्म है कि मानी-ए-इत्तेहाद क्या है
हम तो दीवाने हैं और हमें काम ही क्या है?

तुम हमें बताओ कब हम बोलें क्या बोलें
तुम कहो तो हँस लें तुम कहो तो रो लें
आग तुमने फैलाई नाम पर हमारा दो
बंदूक तान हमपे क़त्ल का इशारा दो
हम भी देखें ज़रा सियासत का नशा क्या है
हम तो दीवाने हैं और हमें काम ही क्या है?

बढ़ रहे हैं मशाल से औरत, बूढ़े और बच्चे
बढ़ रहे हैं आगे हैं जितने वतनपरस्त सच्चे
रुक नहीं सकती है ये आंधी बढ़ती जाएगी
दरख़्त सारे गद्दानशीनों के गिराती जाएगी
हम भी जानते हैं ज़ुल्म की इन्तेहा क्या है?
हम तो दीवाने हैं और हमें काम ही क्या है?

-सैय्यद फ़ारूक़ जमाल

आज उठा लो मुझे मेरे पुस्तकालय से


आज उठा लो मुझे
मेरे पुस्तकालय से
ले चलो उस अग्रिम तख़्त पे
जहाँ से केवल नीचे
धकेल दिया जाता है।

हाथ बाँध देना
आँखें धुंधला देना
शब्द बिफरा, बयान पलट देना
पैरों तले की ज़मीन खींच लेना

मुँह काला कर, नया नवेला
मुजरिम घोषित कर,
चैनलों पे तस्वीर घुमा देना
हाथों में बन्दूक दिखा,
जम्हूरियती ज़ंजीर गुमा देना
इस प्रतापी ढोंग की पराकाष्ठा
हर पेरोल पे एंकर फिर चींखा
“किसी संगठन से है हस्ती मेरी”
तुलना बिठा देना.
किसी बेरोज़गार का गुस्सा
किसी ‘भक्तीयार’ की व्यथा
करोड़ों की समस्या,
मुझ पे गिरा देना। मेरा, थूकदान,
शर्म ऐ मकान बना देना।

तुम चैन से रहना भाई
सभी को बरगलाते रहना
मेरे जैसे और कई हैं
उन्हें भी शौक कई हैं
बिलकुल नरमी न बरतना
ठोंकते पीटते रहना
मरम्मत करते रहना
खिलाफत की बू आते ही सर खोलते रहना
खून है पानी थोड़ी है, बहाते रहना।
सुना है खून के निशाँ फिनायल इनायल से बमुश्किल मिटते हैं
फिर भी है की सरकारी दस्तावेज इसमें रंग जाएं?
-मुश्किल है,
जो ‘ठीक’ किये गए वो संग जाएं, फिर बिगड़ने।

तुम लेकिन चैन से रहना भाई
सभी को बरगलाते रहना
संविधान की नई अफीम
सबको सुंघाते रहना
जो जाहिल हैं पूरे जानवर हैं
डीटेन ना, इन्हे इंसान बनाते रहना।

तुम चैन से सोना मोटाभाई
हमारी लाशों पे मदमस्त गुदगुदाना
जो बची कुछी चीखें मारें
टेबल ठोकना, तुम हड़क जाना
हर स्वप्नशील आँख को सुजा जाना.

तुम चैन से रहना भाई.

आज उठा लो मुझे
मेरे पुस्तकालय से
इस शहर-ऐ-यार से,
शांत बाजार से।

जीवन कहाँ अनमोल है सबका?
कुछ मोल लगाओ संस्कार से
कुछ पेट्रोल छिरको बदन पे
कुछ आग में झोंको मुझे प्यार से।
आप काहे अकेले गुमसुम हो
लोग अक्सर किताबी कीड़ों की
अर्बन नक्सल की भीड़ों की
बातों का बवंडर न सुनते।

सुनते तो हम यहाँ होते !?
आपके संग्राम कहाँ होते?
सुनते तो आप महान होते !?
यहाँ इकलौती पहचान होते ?

लेकिन जो हैं आज आप हैं!
अर्बन नाज़ी की छाप हैं
मैं पेट्रोल में नंगा नहाया हूँ,
अथवा अंधत्व का साया हूँ
गले में मेरे फन्दा है,
और हाथ में आपके डंडा है

अब भी झूठ क्या बोलूंगा,
जीवन से जी क्या तोलूँगा?

“विश्वविधालय तो बड़ा भ्रम है
स्वस्थ मस्तिष्क का आश्रम है
वकील शकील बनते रहना
क्या साहित्य में घुसे रहना?
क्यों चर्चा ये सब करते हैं!?
लाठी घुसे से डरते हैं?
मेरा तो हुआ है परिवर्तन
पढ़ने लिखने से पूर्ण पतन

अब हेलमेट पहने के घूमूँगा
अश्वत्थामा सा झूमूँगा
संशोधन में परिकाल नहीं
सम्बोधन में परिभाल नहीं
विष भी अमृत- हो भयानक दृश्य
लाठी से लहू बहता परिचय
यहाँ दुर्योधन जीता है रण!
हाँ दुर्योधन देता है शह!!
अब जाता हूँ आज्ञा दे दो
पांडव पुत्रों का वारंट है
पिस्तौल भी, गाली भी दे दो
यहाँ लाठी भर से काम नहीं
मुझसे भी कोई बदनाम नहीं
सदियों ठहरा हूँ नौकरशाह
मेरी अपनी पहचान नहीं, जु़बान नहीं.

आज उठा लो मुझे
मेरे पुस्तकालय से
मैं तैयार हूँ. शत प्रतिशत
मेरी प्रती बहा देना
ये निवेदन है, इसे धमकी बता देना
मैं तैयार हूँ, आखरी विनती पे।

बीस साल की समझ से
किताबों के इनकलाब व
इंसानी कश्मकश से
समझौता कराने मत आना
गांधी के प्रयोग से,
अम्बेडकर के योग से,
कृष्णा की काया से,
चे की छाया से
प्रेमचंद के हरिया से,
टैगोर की चारुलता से,
मनसौदा कराने मत आना

आज उठा लो मुझे
मेरे पुस्तकालय से
लाठी से तरबतर
अवसाद से ऊपर
मेरा भविष्य तैयार है
बर्बाद होने के लिए।

अभय यादव

When Trojan intruded Apolitical & Constitutional Protests at JMI & rest of India


Jamia Millia Islamia University has always been labeled as a shy university and has maintained this title until couple of months ago when a protest against the administration brought another scope of lens to the university. But, it was the passing of the CAA that led to further penetration into the eye of media as it led to protests. The narrative is multidimensional, subjected with blatant lies. We trace down, how and what are the students still striving for ‘the week that wasn’t’?

The trend of being apolitical is growing in India; politics is corruption, it is a vice, a sin. Facing the other side, having the head in the sand, thinking that if one doesn’t know it, it doesn’t affect them. People who talk about politics are seen as weird, and “Jantar Mantar pe chillanai walai.” The one person’s words the nation almost unanimously trusts; its Father, he once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” We wish a lot and do so little, almost everyone answers the question of what one thing would they wish upon the world as peace. We are dreamers, romantics, and so much more but humans, we hate conflict, stress, defeats, rejection – this is what it means to be political. Jamia has no student union, no political stand, but it took the side of it deemed right when it was needed, it stopped wishing and acted on the wish of all others. And with every action, as we know, follow consequences.

Policemen charge at the protestors.
Image credits: huffingtonpost.in

When we speak our truth with the people around us, we measure, we scale and we route in accordance of reality. Not sharing opinions makes one stuff their truth (which is truth according to them; could be false, could be misinformation) inside and work on it, without care. Jamia spoke its truth in the past week.

If you’re acting like the British Government then we will act like Bhagat Singh.

When CAB was passed in Lok Sabha on 10th December, which was ironically the Human Rights Day and the birthday of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, students held a talk on Citizenship at 1pm at central canteen while CAB was in legislation in the Parliament. Following the next day was the nod of Rajya Sabha and the students of Hall of Boys residence JMI protested at the central canteen to Gate no. 7 to 13, through Girls Hostel and then continued till Gate no. 4. On 12th of December the Hall of Girls Residence started a flash march from Ansari Auditorium rejecting NRC and CAA, the protest was led by the female students of JMI. On the 13th the Jamia Teachers Association, Jamia Administration and Staff Association, SRK Association and Jamia School Teachers Association organised a long march from Jamia to Parliament which was blocked by the police at Gate no. 1. The blockade created a menace, the peaceful protest of the students was infiltrated by a nuisance of locals. The police barricades were being tried and jumped over by protesters and stone pelting was initiated by the locals. Tear gases were even shot all over campus, there is photo evidence of police shooting the tear gas shells inside the campus, were there were no protests going on. The weekend shot up the atrocities of police on the students and locals alike, the policemen even beat up the female students whilst cursing at them. Though Saturday was comparatively silent as the administration released a notice that called for winter vacations from 16 December to 5th January. Sunday had the residents of Okhla Vihar calling a protest on the police action that was laid on students and against CAB. Locals joined them, gundas with baseball bats were also witnessed facilitating violence. With this catalyst and the burning of buses (allegedly done by police) spiked the protest and it tuned it to physical aggression and then havoc.

Multiple policemen thrash a protester.
Image credits: scroll.in

Later that evening more police joined in with witnesses claiming that members of unlawful organizations were with the police in helmets beating students up. The police authority entered the university premises without permission, entered libraries and beat up students who weren’t even a part of the protests. Dozens of students were brutally beaten up, tear gas was shot inside the libraries and hostels, all through this, verbal assault and inhumane attitude towards the students was prevalent. “Sari blindness tumhari aaj hei nikaltai hai” were the exact words of the policemen while they beat up a blind student inside the library. There are videos of police open firing at protesters, mercilessly beating them up. The detained students were being denied medical care inside Kalkaji Station and a colossal damage was laid to university property. It was a sport of power projection for them. Even the mosque was destroyed and the Imam was beaten up, the guards of the university account for the violence of the police. One video surfaced in which even the guards were physically and verbally assaulted.

Protests continue on 8th day
Image Credits: Milan Poudel for TJR

After all the violence, on Monday the university witnessed a silent protest, where the traffic got easy passage & ambulances faced no hindrances. At the Ghalib Statue of Gate no. 7 the students were singing the National Anthem and there was conducted a reading of the Preamble and the tricolour was hailed all around. The protests still on, silent, shaken but determined, the trojan got in because the students had trust in the authority, it was exploited, it was used to feed an ideology. Jamia spoke up and trojan has made them realise that it’s time to speak up, the time that they’ll embark either as victims or as perpetrators in someone’s eye, neither of which will stop them from sailing.

On Tuesday, saw more people joining the MMAJ Marg with Tricolor all over the place, Lawyers, Bureaucrats & many other organizations supported the protesters that included students & general public. Bollywood Actor, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub also joined the dissent demonstrations.

Zeeshan Ayyub with the Protestors

This Wednesday we witnessed Social Activist Medha Patkar at the Protest site, following which student leader Kanhaiya Kumar also joined the protesters against the police actions & unconstitutional bill.

The protests have found a pan India presence with leading personalities, academic intellectual & eminent institutions of the country expressing the resentment against the government and it’s actions.

This is surely one of the darkest hours of Indian Democracy with the most visible voicing ever since 70s.

Raafat Gilani
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Students of the World Unite


15th of December will be registered as a black day in the history of Jamia Millia Islamia when the students of the university were subjected to barbaric atrocities, but it will also be remembered as a day when we witnessed student solidarity throughout the nation as never before, only until we remember the protest disruptions like that of 1974 led by Arun Jaitley, J P Narayan & PM Narendra Modi himself.

It was 1974 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the Navanirmaan Movement as a young pracharak and associate of ABVP in a much more violent protest , while J P Narayan led the Sampoorn Kranti Movement in Bihar, in the same year Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley organised Sangharsh Samiti for students.

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”

Mary Mcleod Bethune

Mary Mcleod Bethune was very right what she said about our youth in the aforementioned lines. Our youth indeed has the power to move mountains and to bring on new revolutions to change the world for the betterment of the people of the present and of the future. Time and again we have seen the youth of our country to stand and voice their concern over these malpractices of the current Indian Government and have opened the eyes of the people that were earlier blind towards these practices. The youth stood and voiced their concern over the: 2012 Delhi Gang Rape, Shutdown of Kashmir, 2017 Unnao Rape Case and 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act. The youth of this country continues to voice their opinions and their views about these heinous acts in India and continues to seek justice for these happenings.

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”

Baháʼu’lláh, Mírzá Ḥusayn-ʻAlí Núrí

Jamia Millia Islamia witnessed this light of unity in the most scintillating form on 15th of December, 2019 when a peaceful protest outside the varsity campus had turned into a total chaos and a field of mayhem by Delhi Police.

credits: countercurrents

This monstrous and atrocious action of Delhi Police upon the students, faculty and infrastructures of Jamia didn’t go well for the Indian Government as soon the whole world was made obvious to the situation of Jamia Millia Islamia. Photographic evidences of this wicked act were soon spread across the whole world through social media and many news channels also covered this happening to broadcast it to the world. JMI was pushed into darkness as the night unfolded itself and numerous students were taken into detainment and several others were admitted to the hospital in Intensive Care Units. Streets within the Jamia varsity were piled with empty tear gas shells, stones and blood splatters of students that were beaten mercilessly; all in the name of dispersing this peaceful protest that showed dissent against the Indian Government, Bharatiya Janta Party.

The rage of JMI against their dying light of unity was held together by other universities across the state and soon people woke up to the atrocity that JMI had faced and came together to stand with Jamia. Midnight protest was carried out by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University which asked for the students of Jamia to be released from detainment and actions to be taken against Delhi Police. Soon havoc broke in Aligarh Muslim University as well where protests were held for Jamia and internet was shut down by the government amid protest and police officials were given orders to disperse the crowd by any means necessary and so they did.

credits: hindustantimes

Protests for JMI and AMU soon happened all across the country with 49 Indian Universities including Chandigarh University, Banaras Hindu University, Nadwa University, Darul Uloom Deoband, Jadavpur University, Indian Institute of Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Indian Institute of Science, Cochin University of Science and Technology, IIT Madras, Madras University, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, Loyola College, Patna University, etc. With the University of Delhi & Jawaharlal Nehru University leading the protests for students of JMI.

Solidarity demonstrations have also developed outside the country in as many as 21 universities according to sources; in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Yale University, Connecticut and Harvard University, Cambridge. Protests have begun in United Kingdom as well to show support for the wicked acts of 15th December done against JMI; Oxford University stands with Jamia to show their support.

Many like Film & Television Institute of India, Pune have also supported the students, Medical Colleges of Bengal like R G Kar Medical College, Kolkata which empowered a similar students protest earlier this year & Law Univerities of NLU Jodhpur, Bangalore, Nagpur, Mumbai, NALSAR Hyderabad, NUSRL Ranchi and IIMs of Ahmedabad, Bangalore also extended their hand towards students of JMI.

While esteemed universities and people from all around the world are requesting the Indian Government to reconsider their Citizenship Amendment Act. Marches have been organised all across the country to show sympathy for Jamia and AMU. Open letters have been written to the Indian Government to take proper legal actions against the injustice done to Jamia. The United Nations has also criticized India; calling this Act “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.

These protests are manifestations of the student power and the depth of student fraternity that we register all over the world, many say this keeps the hope alive and will continue to resist against the wrong.

Yusuf Aziz
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

We shall resist – A Report


At times when we felt anxious, when our hearts ached and pounded irregularly, we would go for a stroll inside the campus. Mostly, during the nights, we went, and sat on a green bench to contemplate the things around. The beautiful shadows, old buildings, the lush green lawns and libraries filled with students working hard with some objective in their minds; some dreamt of writing a book, others of building a home. It calmed us down like no other thing ever could. Jamia not only provides education, it is a refuge, and a home for ailing hearts to find peace. It does not ask about your identity but embraces you without discrimination.

On 15th December, when we were in our apartment, our friend Rabia was studying inside the reading room. She was stuck along with some other students, while those goons were unleashing unimaginable terror on whatever they came across. The police broke through, despite the failed attempts by students to block them by using desks as barricades they placed in front of the entry.

They barged in, destroyed the surveillance cameras, and targeted the boys. While they were busy breaking bones, some girls out there pleaded and tried their best to rescue them from their clenches. Some of the students were brutally injured and needed immediate intervention. The library was engulfed in wails, and those who were not wailing lay traumatised, and kept looking at the floor. On noticing a particular student gasping hard for breath, and almost on the verge of closing his eyes, and foam spilling out from his mouth, she leapt into action. She tried to keep him awake, slapped him, blocked his nose, and tried everything that she could. For him to survive, he needed to be taken to a hospital. She dragged him all along, with the help of some other students, through the corridor, pleading the policemen to let them through. At some points, she begged for her way, while at others she asked them to fuck off. Once at the road, not a single car stopped to help the injured person. They boarded a car only to be kicked out after not even travelling a mile. They finally managed to take him to a hospital where he was immediately declared to be very critical. Rabia retuned to the flat after a few hours. She had hurt her ankle, and had no energy left in her even to walk. She was accompanied by some boy, named Umar (name changed), still in his teenage, shivering and frightened out of wits. He was not a student of Jamia but accessed the library to prepare for his NEET examination. He could not close his eyes even for a second. His body was bruised, and he kept waking up with sudden jolts on even the slightest sound like the vibration on receiving a text. He gasped for breath, and complained that he felt like he was still inside the library, while those goons kept banging at the door. He left for home the next day. His text to us on Whatsapp read: “that reading room will always be a nightmare to me.”

A state in which libraries are destroyed is bound for calamity. Nothing is more poignant than a state in which the dreams of students are torn to pieces, and are consigned to oblivion. It is very unfortunate that a state which realised its dream of independence through the means of protesting, is itself silencing the peaceful protests and resorting to violence. Nothing is more degrading then that fact that students were ordered to walk in a line with their hands up like criminals. On frisking, those goons would have found books, not bombs. We protest against the rampage to which our university, our home has been subjected. They might break our bones, they might even charge us with sedition, but let us ensure that they do not dare to touch our libraries again. We shall resist.

Sameem Wani and Adil Manzoor
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

When Delhi Police protected the JMI Campus with Brutality & Force


It’s 15th of December when thousands of localites took onto the streets to protest against the NRC and CAA in a display of civil resistance. Little did anyone know, about the Delhi Police that was all prepared to test their brute forces and methods on every strand of Jamia Millia Islamia; students, professors and the harmless campus that beared the torture for hours. The politically shy university was turned into a war-zone by the police who apparently turned into genocide warriors.

In an educational institution which does not have a Student Union of its own to endorse any political ideologies; the libraries, hostels and places of worship were infiltrated by the Delhi Police on the evening of 15th December. Run by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi police carries out the orders of the Home Minister. Waseem Ahmed Khan, Chief Proctor of Jamia Millia Islamia told Asia News International about how the police broke in without permission and forced the staff and students to flee the spot. Horrifying videos and images have surfaced up amidst the display of gunda raj by the police to suppress dissent against the NRC and CAA. In the capital city of the nation where students from pan India come to receive education, a truly horrifying spectacle was created with a display of state sanctioned brutality on innocent students, both girls and boys along with staff members. Unarmed women were beaten up, boys were beaten up and humiliated while the police verbally abused them. Police entered the Central Library where students were studying peacefully and began the lathicharge. Videos show the Reading Hall room smoked up from tear gas shells and students being forced to evacuate. Students can be seen ducking under their desks, running without a direction in an attempt to escape the brutality. The current scenario there shows bloodstains on the stairs and walls with chairs, tables, books and bags strewn on the floor.

A widely circulated video shows a dark room with what seems like a crowd of students trapped inside. The person making the video, a female student, can be heard pleading for help and saying they’re in danger as she claims the police broke the glass and threw tear gas shells inside the dark room. Thousands of girls inside Begum Hazrat Mahal and J&K, girls Hostel(s) , waited with bated breaths as the explosions continued outside. They were asked to stay in their rooms, switch off the lights and push the bed against the door.

Delhi Police Detaining Students on 13th December Protests
Image Credits: Arsh Mehdi(@tenplusthree)

“We were all downstairs in the reception area where the medical students administered first aid to the injured. We were all scared, we could hear the tear gas shells and the explosions. It was scary, horrifying, to be honest.” says a resident of Begum Hazrat Mahal. “Suddenly, someone said we have to run. We all ran upstairs. It was truly frightening, we felt we would be left behind. After reaching our rooms, we switched off the lights, put our beds against the door and our phones on silent and waited. Just waited.” She further adds.

It is almost as if the police carried enough ammunition for a heavily armed enemy, when in reality they had to monitor unarmed students of a university that has remained largely apolitical. Could it be because the protesters were viewed as vermin? Did the police receive orders to weed them out or did they act on their own will?

Delhi police even broke into the Mosque in Gate Number 8 and beat up people offering Isha prayers. The Imam (priest) leading the prayer was beaten up. A video recorded by a student of the university shows the university guard narrating the incidents of brutality, how the police verbally abused him while he stopped them from beating up the Imam. The security guard, an ex Army Jawaan was beaten up by the police. He suffered injuries on his shin and forearm. The explanation given by them goes: since it didn’t look like a mosque, they barged inside. But what explains beating up people offering namaaz, the priests and an ex- army personnel other than an inherent bias and a sadistic pleasure from the chaos?

Earlier in the afternoon, vandalism at its finest was seen with Delhi Police setting fire to a bus before they framed the students for creating mayhem and disturbance in society. Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia condemned this act as he told the news channels about this heinous act, said it was they who set the buses ablaze.

Police reportedly used rubber bullets to fire at protesters. There were also videos of open firing inside the campus. The barbaric behaviour reached its crescendo with police opening fire to disperse the crowd. Guns carried inside an educational institution which houses unarmed students by no one other than the ones supposed to be the protectors.

The university students reported their phones and WhatsApp groups flooded with pictures of friends who’d gone missing during the turbulence. Hundreds of students have been injured, owing to hits and blows on vital organs. Several lie in intensive care units. Several were hoarded like cattle into buses and taken to unknown locations, over hundred students were detained and kept in police stations. Lawyers, advocates and social activists were not allowed to intervene or even enter the police station. All of it happened in the course of a few hours.

Police Brutality on Students

The pandemonium was followed by the BJP IT cell circulating doctored videos of students chanting anti-Hindu slogans and several twitter users changing identities to Muslim names to support the CAA and NRC, all of it while #jamiaprotest trended #1 on Twitter.

The bravado of the students of Jamia did not go unnoticed; Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University students hit the streets and marched to the Police Headquarters to oppose the brutality exhibited by the police. Where international media from The New York Times to All Jazeera adressed the Jamia protests, journalists and public figures like Rana Ayyub, Swara Bhaskar, Rajkumar Rao, John Cussack and Umar Khalid expressed their dissent over the violence.

Today, just a day later, students of the whole nation stand in solidarity with Jamians as AMU, AASU, TISS, IIT Madras and Bombay, BHU and Presidency College protest against the police crackdown. Jamians continue to protest silently, with perseverance and strength that looks injustice in the eyes and gives it a challenge.

Sania Ansari
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019: A deliberate Assault on Constitutionalism and Secularism


The Citizenship Amendment Bill, an instrument that allows the leaders to acclaim a position to question a person’s citizenship and it’s targeting of a certain community, namely the Muslim community who is the primary target of the NRC exercise that can be deemed as unconstitutional, unethical and manifestly arbitrary.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAB) is brazenly discriminatory and it is only a matter of time before its constitutionality is subjected to severe judicial scrutiny. In both its content and working, the proposed amendment singles out a community for hostile treatment. The act aims to ensure that Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhist, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are no longer considered as illegal immigrants even if they enter the Indian premises without a valid visa/document before 2014 and fast track their citizenship for the same. This is done in accordance with the amendment of the Citizenship Act of 1995.
In 2016, a similar attempt was made by the BJP led NDA government, when it met with a opposition in the Rajya Sabha due to significant opposition in North East but on the 10th of December this year, the act was passed in the Lok Sabha with a vote favour of 311-80 and the following day in Rajya Sabha with a margin of 125-105. While, the Indian Muslim League has challenged the constitutionality of this Act, the suo moto interference of The Supreme Court of India seems like the only available option. If this act is not struck down by the Supreme Court, it will further dilute the secularism policy of the Constitution of India.
During the Rajya Sabha proceedings, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said that the bill is against the constitution made by Bhima Rao Ambedkar, preamble of the Constitution and the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh.

Comicstrip on CAB
Image Credits: Cartoonist Satish

What is the Constitutionality of the CAB???
The CAB is liable to be struck down by the Supreme Court as it is in direct violation of the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which says that the state shall not deny any person equality before the law and the equal protection of the law within the territory of India.
Although there are more grounds but the Article 14 will be substantial enough to strike down the act, it is also in violation of the Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination), Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and Article 25 (right to practice one’s religion).
There are two broadways to argue that a law violates Article 14. Firstly, the law provides for differential treatment of a class of person but this classification is not reasonable. Secondly, the law is manifestly arbitrary.
While introducing and defending the Act, Home Minister Amit Shah, used the term reasonable classification several times to defend the content of the CAB. However, as per the law their reception of the reasonable classification is entirely flawed.
“A reasonable classification is when the object of the classification bears and access to the classification itself. Here we are looking at refugees on religious ground. If that is the object of the bill, then the all refugees who are fleeing religious persecution, irrespective of their religion or lack of religion should be allowed in.”
It is evident that the act is arbitrary on the ground that it considers Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan as neighboring countries but simultaneously fails to consider Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar as same.
“Arbitrariness of a nature which is an outrageous defiance of logic will also come under judicial scrutiny… the Indian Constitution is religion blind.It provides equal weight for all religions.”

CAB as Anti-Muslim?
It is clear that the whole exercise of CAB is based on religious excuse and is flimsy with the probable inability to stand thereof when the matter goes up to the Supreme Court. It is explicitly clear that the CAB is demonstrably anti-Muslim, it is not even in hold when it is viewed in conjunction with the proposed National Register of Citizens or its implementation with regard to the entire nation.
India is a Secular country; our citizenship was never based on religious grounds but a collective commitment to equality liberty and justice to all. But, such religious persecutions seem to dwindle this significant aspect of our Constitution and move us away from the idea of Constitutional India.

What is the change?
Refugees running from religious persecution without documents from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be granted Indian citizenship within 6 years of their living in India instead of the early bar of 12 years. The law is only applicable to those refugees who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Christians.

Hence, it can be said that this Act is targeting a community without naming it and the theory of two nation, which was propagated by Savarkar will be duly fulfilled through this Act.

Mohd Altamash
B.A. LLB, Jamia Millia Islamia

Caste System: A Blot on Human Rights


In times when basic rights violations are at it’s peak with examples like the Citizenship Amendment Bill in India & Xinjiang Reeducation Camps in China, caste Discrimination takes a jab in it’s most nascent form this International Human Rights Day.

International Human Rights Day is observed globally on the 10th of December every year. This date was chosen to fete The United Nations General Assembly’s proclamation on the 10th of December, 1948. It was the first body which worked towards the recognition of Human Rights as a vital means of basic survival, the enunciation of human rights was probably a humongous take at developing a subtle form of life by The United Nations.

“The rights of every man are diminished if the rights of one man is threatened.”

Living in a society, where we encounter people from various spheres, trying to cope with their lives, trying to make ends meet with utmost efforts and diminutive resources, we are bound to reflect the fact that Human Rights are still not a piece of cake for every living individual. The deprivation of Human Rights is a factor which is very evident in our very own country. A country, known for its diversity, regionalism and secularism, shows this bereavement wearing a mask and being prevalent in every nook and corner. The filthiest form of human rights abation is the baby of the infamous caste system of the country.

Image Credits: Scroll.in

The caste system in India is the most pristine form of Human Rights violation which has been widely accepted and recognized by the people of the country since the very beginning. According to it, the people of a particular society were divided into various groups, one being on top of the other, and the lowest of them would be at the sake of the ones above them. The system is so rigorous that the sect which lies at the bottom of this establishment are considered untouchables and are not even regarded as human beings.They are not allowed to sit with the upper caste people and not allowed to visit or enter religious places. They are expected to lower their gazes while talking to someone from the upperhand community. Their daily earnings come from jobs which a civilized human cannot think of performing. They are forced to live an inhumane life, a life they don’t ask for.

Recently a movie named Article 15, starring the prominent actor Ayushman Khurrana depicted the struggles of people belonging to the lower faction. The movie was a clear representation of the negligence and the hypocrisy showed by the government as well as by the civilians when it comes to the maladies suffered by these people.The prevailing caste system has been so ramrod that it has devoid human beings of their rights to justice, to freedom, to speech and even to live with dignity. It’s persistence is an engraving on a tombstone. Something that is very difficult to get rid of.

Roots of Caste Discrimination in the country.
Image Credits: India Today

It is a blot on the society and the Society wears it with pride.
“Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean,
man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives.
Man’s life is independent.
He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”
-Dr. B.R Ambedkar

Hadiqua Jabeen
B.Sc., Jamia Millia Islamia

A talk on ‘EDUCATION FOR ALL’ – A Report


Sunday, 1st December: On account of delayed opening of AMU Kishanganj Centre, Sabir Alam, Huzaifa Abdur Rahman, Soban Mustansar Ahmad, Subhan organised a ‘Talk on Education for All’ with special relevance to AMU Kishanganj, Issues of Students & Residents of Bihar and grievances & concern over poor literacy rate of Simanchal which was held at Pahalwan chowk, Batla House, New Delhi.

The talk was presided by the organising committee and Manzar Imam commenced the felicitation function with a welcome and keynote speech. The felicitation of Chief Guest Master Mujahid, MLA, Bihar followed the welcome note.

Speakers from various parts of the country presided over the talk which includes Chief Guest Master Mujahid – MLA Bihar, CA Soban Mustansar Ahmad, Sarfaraz Ahsan – Deputy Register Jamia Hamdard, Manzar Imam -Phd. Scholar, JMI, Farooque Alam – Students Activist, JNU, Hozaifa Amir Rashidi – Honorary Secretary, Students Union, AMU, Dr. Raquib – Professor, JMI, and Hasnain Raza – Students Activist, JMI who even looked after the management and is credited for the successful completion of the event.

The talk laid emphasis on education and its importance in our daily life.

” Getting proper education is the birthright of everyone and restricting it is a heinous crime. Education is the ultimate way to get victory over all of our personal and social problems. Education is very important as it plays very important roles in shaping our thoughts and actions. In order to live a better and peaceful life, we need to be educated. It transforms us completely from inside to outside by changing our mind and personality as well as improving our confidence level. It changes our life completely as it is constructive in nature.”

Spoke the CHIEF Guest – Master Mujahid, MLA, Bihar

Apart from importance of education, the talk also stressed upon the problems faced by Bihari Students and residents living in Delhi.

The talk was attended by a large number of teaching and non-teaching persons from Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Hamdard, JNU, DU and Bihar. The talk was followed by a Dinner Party.

TJRxPress Team

Sadhvi Pragya: Controversies from Sangh to Sabha


BJP MP and Terror Acussed Sadhvi Pragya has stirred another controversial remark by referring Gandhi’s assasinator Nathuram Godse as a patriot. But, this isn’t the first time that the newly electedMP has made such polemic; with a long history of controversies to her name let’s trace her history of remarks and that of herself.

“Evil does not arrive from outside our civilization, from a separate realm we are tempted to call ‘primitive, evil is generated by the civilization itself,” writes Michael Mann in his 2004 book The Dark Side of Democracy.
This is not the first time that the Bhopal MP has found her amidst a controversy in her seven months political career.

This game of controversies began in mid-April 2019 when Pragya Singh Thakur official joined the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). The very next day she was fielded as the party’s candidate from Bhopal against Congress’s Digvijaya Singh. This unique recruitment by the BJP saw a great number of backlashes coming from the Indian political circle. Unique, because it was for the first in Independent India that a political party had fielded a terror accused as a candidate for the Parliamentary Elections. She defeated Digvijaya Singh with a margin of 364,822 votes and won her debut election.

What is her History?
Born to Chandrapal Singh, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, in the Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, Pragya Singh has a long association with the Sangh Parivar (an umbrella term, to the collection of Hindu nationalist organisations). She has done her post graduation in history. Durning her student days she was an active member of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS. She has also worked in the Durga Vahini, women’s wing of the Bajrang Dal.
She is one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts which killed nearly 10 people. She was arrested in 2009 for the same. Pragya Singh was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2015. Special public prosecutor, Rohini Salian had told The Indian Express that the NIA was putting pressure on her to go slow on the case. Though she was given a clean chit by the NIA, the trial court refused to discharge her from the case.

NIA Court Appearance
Image Credits: Economic Times

The Sequence of Controversies!
Pragya Thakur is not new to controversies. The Hindu ascetic’s provocative speeches and statements have often made major headlines. She has often referred Nathuram Godse as a patriot.

It was the first time during the run up for the General Elections, when she referred to Godse as a deshbhakt. A disciplinary committee was formed by the then BJP President Amit Shah to probe into the matter, but no adequate action was taken against her. BJP just issued a showcause notice to her and the matter was brought to a standstill. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he would never be able to forgive her for the remarks. During an interview to the News 24 in May he said, “Whatever has been said about Gandhiji or Godse, whatever statements have been made in this regard, are extremely bad, in every way worthy of contempt and criticism. Such language and thinking isn’t part of any civilised society, and it can’t be allowed. Therefore, those who are doing this have to pause a hundred times. Though she has apologised, I won’t be able to forgive her in my mind”

During her campaigning she also made a controversial statement about the Late Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare who was killed in 26/11 Mumbai attacks. “Hemant Karkare falsely implicated me and treated me very badly. I told him your entire dynasty will be erased. He died of his karma,” she reportedly said.

What did the BJP do?
For all her controversial statements the BJP has distanced itself and asked her to tender a public apology. However, no official action was taken against her by the party. Avinash Rai Khanna – the BJP’s disciplinary committee chair had earlier told The Wire that, his committee had submitted its report and recommendations to the party president but it was up to him to decide what has to be done. “We had submitted the report a while ago but received no word since,” he said. This clearly shows that PM Modi’s claim of never being able to forgive Thakur was just another jumla and it had no meaning behind it.

The biggest irony was when earlier this month the terror accused BJP MP was nominated to a parliamentary committee on defence. The BJP removed her from this committee after her controversial statement on Godse in the Lok Sabha. But the question remains, that why was a terror accused even nominated to a committee which is to look after the nation’s security? Pragya Thakur has not once, but several times referred to the assassin Godse as a deshbhakt. Isn’t this an out-of-line insult to the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi?

2019 is the year when the whole world, including India is celebrating Gandhiji’s 150th Birth Anniversary. It is a matter of utter shame that we have an elected MP who praises Gandhiji’s assassin on regular occasions, and that too in the parliament itself. In my opinion, Pragya Thakur’s apologies have no meaning behind them. They are just made to bridge over the embarrassment which the Bharatiya Janta Party has to suffer. She is actually not at sorry, but is indeed proud in calling Godse a deshbhakt. She is a proud member of the political mindset of the Sangh Parivar, which even Godse was a part of.

Party Leaders Shah & Modi during a Press Conference
Image Credits: FirstPost

Sahil Kazmi
BBA, Jamia Millia Islamia

The Irishman: An Adieu by Scorsese?


Just when the world thought they had had enough of the ‘Italian-Mob’ based movies and shows, Martin Scorsese, The King of Crime genre, delivers us with the much awaited Netflix’s The Irishman. The Irishman delivers us another one of Scorsese’s masterpieces with our beloved actors like Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, etc. but with a tint of old-age on themselves.

Credits: Netflix LLC

The Irishman, directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese, is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt. The screenplay is written by Academy Award® winner Steven Zaillian and stars many Academy Award® winners like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci & Anna Paquin. The story begins in the 1950s, when a truck driver by the name of Frank Sheeran gets involved with a “made” man by the name of Russell Bufalino and his Pennsylvania Crime Family. The plot thickens as Sheeran, aka The Irishman, is shown to climb the ranks to become a top hitman and also goes to work for the well known Jimmy Hoffa who is a powerful Teamster with ties to the organized crime. The plot continues on to show the developments in the life of Frank Sheeran and the inevitable end he has to deal with when his life finally comes to an end.
The first few frames of the movie begin with an aged Robert De Niro (Frank Sheeran) sitting in a wheelchair at a Catholic convalescent home. The story is narrated by Sheeran to us as he flashes-back on his life which began as a truck driver delivering steaks and then blowing up cars and warehouses and then finally blowing up people for the “made” men and for his bosses. Although the movie might seem like any other of Scorsese’s mindless murders and crime related movies but The Irishman is actually not that at all. The Irishman is a tale of men who see murder as inevitable but eventually see it as a sign of failure and seek for grace within the arms of God.
As much as the world was looking forward to Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on the big screen, Joe Pesci’s return to the big screen was more to look forward to. Joe Pesci, who had retired from acting in 1999 with occasional cameos here-and-there but in Scorsese’s The Irishman, Pesci returns in somewhat a leading role and delivers a performance that will be remembered for more than a decade or two. His aging look didn’t stop him from being himself and giving us a performance, he once gave us in Goodfellas. From the hard-shelled gangster (in the beginning of the movie) to the shivering-shell of a man (towards the end of the movie), he stays top notch in his acting and forces us to praise all the Gods existing for his return from the retirement.

Scene from The Irishman (2019)
Image Credits: Netflix LLC

The Irishman seems like a goodbye by Martin Scorsese to this specific genre of movies. The characters undergoing a looming fear of mortality, a sense of self-righteousness about crime and the crushing guilt over the fallout on friends and family are the characteristics of a well-defined classic gangster movie. The Irishman accommodates all this but with a force of intensity so hard that you can not help but think that this might be a final goodbye by Martin Scorsese as he delivers us one last masterpiece from the bottom of his heart with a cast full of actors we have grown up to love and admire.

Yusuf Aziz
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia



Thursday, 28th November: On account of 129th death anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule the New Socio-Economic Research and Development (NSERD) organised a talk on Mahatma Jyotiba Phule’s 129th death anniversary and Relevance on Contemporary Society. The talk revisited his teachings reiterating their historical value and relevance on contemporary society.

The event was held at Don Bosco Hall, Sukhdev Vihar and was presided by Mohd Kaif, the chairman of NSERD and Mr. Khalid Saifullah, NSERD Secretary. Mohd. Kaif and Mr. Javed Iqbal Khan commenced the felicitation function with a welcome and keynote speech. The felicitation of Chief Guest Mr Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP, AAP, and Guest of Honours Mr. Ajoy Kumar, Ex-MP & National Spokesperson, AAP; Mr. Syed Yasir Jilani, President, MRM; Miss Preeta Harit IRS, National President, BSS; Mr. Aaley Mohd. Iqbal, Councilor, INC; Mr. K.K. Dixit, President, Rashtriya Viklang Party followed the welcome note.

Speakers from various parts of the country preside over the talk which includes Dr. Y.S. Alone, Asso. Professor, JNU; Dr. Veeramani S, Asstt. Professor, JMI; Mr. Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, Asstt. Professor, Lucknow; Dr. Firdous A.S., Asso. Professor, JMI; Dr. Sushma Suri, Asso. Professor, JMI; Dr. Shambhu Kumar Singh, Journalist, National Dastak; Mr. Hukum Chandra/ Deepak Kumar, Research Scholar, DU.
We often take for granted the rights we enjoy assuming that they just happened to exist. However, the struggles endured by the social reformers of antiquity made these rights possible. Jyotiba Govindrao Phule along with his wife Savitri Bai Phule was one such social reformer of the 19th century who pioneered women education and worked for the welfare of the depressed classes. Mahatma Phule denounced the caste system and the injustices it perpetrated and made relentless efforts to eradicate the social evils that plagued our society. He scorned the rules of purity and pollution, which divided the society into a hierarchy that was both unjust and inhuman. In Pune, he set up the first school in the country for girls with his wife who became the headmistress of the school and devoted her life to educating women and Shudras. She also went on to establish a night school for agriculturists and labourers. In 1873, he founded the Satyashodhak Samaj or the Truth Seeker’s Society, which fought for the rights of depressed classes, inspiring other people to join it and work for the uplifment of the depressed classes. He contributed greatly towards the abolition of untouchability emancipation of women.

Eminent speakers from different universities and scholarly backgrounds underlined the contribution made by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.

Every culture has faults in terms of gender inequality, marginalisation of communities, discrimination and untouchability. Mahatma Phule was the first to talk about reservation. He also held revolutionary ideas with respect to society, politics, and religion. He believed that there was no need for priests.”

Spoke one of the speakers, Mr. Abdul Hafiz Gandhi (Assistant Professor, Lucknow)

Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was a harbinger of change who dreamt of an ideal society where all members of the society were equal regardless of their caste, race and sex. The event underlined Phule’s teachings and contribution to a equal society and its relevance in contemporary society.

Maryam Ahmed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Bala – The Bald with Balls?


‘Presenting a subject so craftfully, the filmmakers have balanced the struggles of a bald man with hard hitting comic situations that Bala’s predicament creates. The strong cast has done quite a commendable job.

Bala, is a 2019 movie directed by Amar Kaushik, and stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam in lead roles. The plot revolves around the story of a man (Bala) who struggles with premature balding. The story follows his love story with Pari (Yami Gautam) who is a tik tok star, and his conflict with his childhood classmate Latika (Bhumi Pednekar.) Bala torn by the insecurity of his physical appearance tries several methods to regain his falling hair. His failed attempts include applying all sorts of oils, eggs and even bull’s semen. After several failed attempts he resorts to wearing a wig. He meets Pari with the wig on and they fall in love, with Pari in absolute dark about the fake hair. Bala’s adventures trying to keep his secret promises a hilarious, joyful ride.

Cast of Bala
Image Credits: Economic Times

The director has presented the subject beautifully, balancing the struggles of a bald man with comic situations that Bala’s predicament creates. The strong cast has done quite a commendable job. Ayushmann Khurrana is amazing as Bala, portraying the emotions of struggle and insecurity with pure finesse, his comic timing is also impeccable. Bhumi Pednekar is fierce in the role of a lawyer. She plays the role of a dark complexioned girls who fights against the odds of the society that aims to downgrade her for her compexion. Yami Gautam plays the character of the girl who is an internet sensation. She delivers the extreme emotions felt by her over dramatic character perfectly. While some may call it overacting, but I will call it demand of the character which she delivers stunningly. My favourite is the scene where she finds out that Bala is actually bald. Her over dramatic tone makes the emotionally tense moment hilarious. Her running as she shouts ‘Mera Pati Takla hai’, was one of the most tickling scenes.
The script writer has quite brilliantly made the movie relevant to the current times, by including TikTok in the love story. There are no unnecessary Item songs, romantic songs inserted forcibly in between. The flow of the movie is quite natural, with no boring moments. The movie will not let your attention flatter.

Bala watching Yami Gautam aka Pari Mishra’s Tiktok videos
Image Credits: Lighthouse Insights

Bala is a story about flawed people, dealing with their physical imperfections, a story about their realization of real meaning of beauty. While Bala has a strong cause behind it, it falls for the same hypocrisy that it aims to fight. Casting Bhumi Pednekar as the dark skinned girl is inappropriate on so many levels. If the skin colour of the lead actresses was so important to the story, why not cast a girl with the same colour? Here also the dark skinned girls have been side lined, denied the opportunity of a role that could have been fit for them.
Bala may be a unique concept but it delivers a flawed message. The movie ends with Bala realizing that he should not change his appearances rather get comfortable with how he looks.
The movie reinforces the culture of people making fun of each other in the end. Bala asks his audience to not get affected by the jokes made on their expense, which is quite ignorant. Urging the person to change from within rather than asking the society to rise from the shackles of regressive thinking is where Bala fails.. He also pleads the audience to not change and get comfortable in their skin which was good advice.
Bala end with the dialogue Badalna Kyu hai, has my heart.
Bala is a fun ride which deserves your time. A movie that balances social message with comedy is worth watching. In the age of remakes and sequels we need fresh movies like Bala.
I will give it a 4/ 5 stars.

Rutba Iqbal
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Who should decide for a Nation?


Guardians decide for their wards, they’re trusted. For a nation, we choose a representative; one who we believe will make the right decision. If there exists none, we have a poll. But what if we aren’t given either of the two options? How will we know that the decision was made in our interests and not for personal conquest(s)?

Hitler once said, “Jews are not people, they are animals.” Viewing humans with a pejorative sense of animals with no rights to justify their killing; the creator of holocaust. In his mind he was killing ‘animals’, we kill animals all the time, not detouring to the morality about the matter of killing animals, but the blind eye that is set upon another “killing of animals.” After all he did, we would never allow him to choose for the Jews, or in fact any nation.

We all know that the partition of 1947 was a brutal encounter with human evil and how the realization of absolute non-existence of accountability soaked the brown with red. There exist plenty a books on it, some criticizing the politicians, some the religious ideologies that were in the silhouette, some Lord Mountbatten and some close the book with the good-old phrase, “spontaneity and chaos”, all of which can be debated very well to close-in on one or the other, but we all know that Hitler was clearly responsible for the Holocaust. How did we distinguish the two near equal loss of lives? How is the responsibility divided? Information. We don’t know, we assume, we move on. Reason behind reading history is to realize patterns and not repeat them. We at least don’t know about two, in India itself.

The “cancer in India’s belly” was annexed into the Indian Union through “police action.” The terminology used by Patel and the one used by the government describing the route taken to ‘battle’ the “cancer” shows the demeaning nature that could exist in a government to take control. The tens and thousands of lives are washed over by the satisfaction of a new territory. The report that wasn’t made public then, which contains the number of deaths, rape, arson and looting is now available at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. A sense of righteousness flowed in people that their leaders “successfully” integrated a state simply because they didn’t know the entire story.

A newsbill that reads about the state of Kashmir
Image Credits: kashmirwatch.com

The Jammu massacre differs from the Hyderabad one as the Indian government didn’t directly play a role in it. The communal wave was spreading in J&K after the news of partition. The suspicions of Maharaja towards his Muslim people led him to have the arms of Muslims in his army surrendered. The mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs from Punjab and NWFP to the State was taking place. The imposing of heavy taxes on the people of Poonch led to protests. The pressure of choosing between two newly formed Nations had the Maharaja in panic and the order of Dogra army being sent to subdue the protests resulted in massive atrocities. People were forced to move to Pakistan, they returned with arms and killed over sixty thousand Hindus and Sikhs. This Poonch rebellion led to the “Azad Kashmir” we know now. The mishandling of the situation by the ruler led to the transformation of a non-communal struggle to a communal strife. The Dogra ruler knew that a state plebiscite would probably lead to the annexation into a Muslim nation and the termination of his position. The other side of the coin is documented in a letter sent by Nehru to Patel regarding the Hindu protests that were ongoing; “the whole of Kashmir is bound to be lost and, therefore, let us save Jammu at least.” What’s really striking in his report is that he makes it clear that Jammu is in their favour and if they “present” the Kashmir valley to Pakistan, the situation will be solved in a few days, but what they want is the Kashmir valley. This crux for the desire of the land of Kashmir encapsulates the dispute that has caused an unimaginable bloodbath over the years.

As the Maharaja laid his foot on Bhimber what followed was extermination. The Pak-Kashmir border erupted with the depopulation of two Muslim villages, six miles deep into the border. The Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu outnumbered the Muslim population there and there started the extermination amounting to five lakh people and around two lakh just vanished, remaining untraceable. The violence was also added to when the non-Muslims of Pakistan migrated into the State, carrying with them the stories of violence from the Muslims. Media reported this issue and insane levels of communalism was broadcasted by a Jammu based Hindu paper boasting that ‘a Dogra can kill 200 Muslims.’ The annihilation of trust took place at Talib Khatikan were Muslims were asked to surrender and shifted to the police lines. They were then loader into trucks ostensibly to be migrated to Pakistan. On their way armed-men of RSS and Sikhs pulled the passengers out and started their savage killings. Talib Khatikan’s Muslims saw the betrayal by surrendering and while ostensibly being migrated to Pakistan were subjected to savage killings by RSS and Sikh armed men.

Sheikh Abdullah
Image Credits: Quora.com

In The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (vol 90, page 115 and 298) he reflects on the situation, “The Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu and those who had gone there from outside killed Muslims there. Their women have been dishonoured. This has not been fully reported in the newspapers. The Maharaja of Kashmir is responsible for what has happened there.” These are the words of the Father of the Nation of India, respected all around the world for his notion of reciprocity and means of achieving the ever-desired goal of freedom. Now, Sheikh Abdullah said the following on the matter, “Jammu Muslims are to a large extent themselves responsible for what has happened to them, because though in a minority, they had, by their words and deeds, let their tongues in favour of Pakistan.” So much for the ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’; a person demeaning the carnage and so much for the freedom of speech and the right of self-determination.

With the sense of urgency hoarding in because of the Pathan invasion who were allegedly incensed by the savagery of the valley. The panicked ruler signs the instrument of accession, thus starting the first Indo-Pak war.

Maharaja Hari Singh
Image Credits: LIFE Magazine

After the reading down of Article 370, the celebrations were ‘sold’ to the common man of India and had the Kashmiri Pandit exodus a major part of it. Politicians used the Hindu exodus to its last drop for its political gain whilst turned a blind eye towards the Muslim one. We read number of deaths as if we’re reading ingredients, we seldom realize that each one of them was ‘us’, a child, an old couple, a newly wed. The flow of Modia towards just one side of the spectrum of the loss of lives, is, if not for the exploitation of the dead and religion-based politics, then what else. The right to self-determination has long been a cry of the supposed “crown” of India; a ruler was incompetent when it counted, got his own people killed, cared for his own life more than justice was given the “right” to determine the choice of the same people he so selfishly dehumanised. After all Hitler did, we would never allow him to choose for the Jews, or in fact any nation.
One might say that the Nawab was to be dethroned to save the people he killed, but was it right to take the choice of the oppressor over the oppressed for their own “good” or “safety”? In any case we would be having a discussion on the favouritism of land over its people; here clearly, people were not chosen.

Raafat Gilani
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

The Jamia Review