Policing political ideas will fail

Vidya Bhushan Rawat at deekshabhoomi
Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Disturbing
to see how the government of the day want to maintain the Universities campuses
‘apolitical’ though jingoism, irrationality and Hindutva’s toxic thoughts are
being encouraged and promoted by the state apparatus.

when
Akhilesh Yadav, who is President of the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh
and a former chief minister, is invited to speak at a student gathering, then
the entire student fraternity would have got benefited. There is no point
stopping the students to discuss politics as they are already in the thick of
it. Better, it is to allow the political leaders to speak there but ask them to
speak politics without being any reference to political parties and I can say,
it will be of tremendous use. This was a principle and it was broken by the BJP
by terming everyone else as anti-national except them. Once you break these
norms, you will be isolated thoroughly in the political circles once your days
are over but the BJP felt that it is here to rule India for ever and every
politician in the party became megalomaniac.

The simple
question is why was Mr. Akhilesh Yadav not allowed to board his flight from
Lucknow to Allahabad to speak to the students. The argument that the chief
minister gave was that there is Kumbha fair going on and that Samajwadi Party
workers and he call them goons, were planning to disturb the peace and create
anarchy there to defame the state government. Now, this is not only absurd but
below the dignity of the person who hold chief ministerial position. After assuming
charge of Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adithya Nath have only spoken foul
of his opponents. He got the chief minister’s bungalow sprinkled by Ganga water
which showed his narrow feudal Brahmanical mind. To be fair to Akhilesh Yadav,
he has been among the most ‘accessible’ leaders in Uttar Pradesh who tried to
build up a modern agenda for the state even ignoring some of the core issues of
his party particularly the vast OBC reservation issues which he is now raising.
Akhilesh Yadav has certainly gone far ahead of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav,
though he remained the most acceptable leader with great network of old
loyalists.

What is
highly disturbing is that the UP-chief minister expressing ‘fear’ that Akhilesh
Yadav’s going to campus would create a riotous situation. Yes, it is possible
if those encouraged by his ‘toxic’ thought do not disturb the meeting. BJP
would be the last party to talk of sanity. Its cadres have become loudmouth and
a situation has now come when people will not have patience to listen to them.

Stopping
Akhilesh Yadav is a pattern which is being witnessed everywhere. Those who the
government think is opponent to its toxic ideology are being denied to speak at
the campuses. Veteran film actor Amol Palekar was stopped from airing his
political views at the MGA in Mumbai while Jignesh Mewani, the independent MLA
in Gujarat was not allowed to speak at a college he passed out from.

Universities
and colleges are the places where students discuss politics and should be doing
so. These are the places for high discussions and debates to see political
thoughts of students grooming. To stop them from thinking and denying people to
read particular books of ideologies are the fear of those in power that the
students will get radicalized. Now, there was a time when term ‘radical’ was
always considered progressive than those who are moronic and have no question
to ask for. It is only possible for those who have become ‘bhaktas’ or
devotees. Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar had famously said once that bhakti in
spiritual life may take you towards salvation but in politics bhakti will only
take you to destruction.

The power today does not want the new young to think and speak. They don’t want you to debate and discuss the politics, the issues confronting our society and nation. When our Parliament and assemblies do not discuss seriously the issues important for well-being of our nation, the campuses in the Universities or seminar halls of the institutions will have to take charge. You cannot stop the thinking process and questioning ability.

It is good
to invite political leaders to explain their political position. Let the
students speak to them and ask questions. Let these programme rise above party
programmes.

Moreover, I
would definitely want the campuses engaged with thought leaders, with thinkers
and ideologues more and more which will definitely good for all of us.

When we
engage with people on a discussion table, we have space to agree and disagree.
That space in democracy is the most powerful.

I can bet
people get violent when the space of talk is no more.

That space needs
to be not only protected but made available to all. When the space for
discussion and dialogue disappear then the age of ‘cult’ appears and we follow
mindlessly. We do not question. The leader only speaks to us. We listen and go
back home. It is a monologue which we have become habitual of for a long
period.

The Babas
speak on TV. That is monologue.

That is why
we say, technology can provide you information but it is still a monologue. It can’t
listen to you. You can share your sorrows and happiness with any one including
technology.

Therefore,
essence of dialogue, discussions and debate which strengthen our democratic
process as there is so much of learning.

The babas,
the priests won’t like you to think because once you become a thinker, you will
ask question. Their shops will be closed. They will have to resolve the issues,
raise those issues in Parliament and assemblies.

That is why
they want to stop everything which make the young think.

The question
is:

Can they
stop growing of students and youth?

Can they
stop the forces of nature where human being need interaction and talk to each
other?

Can they
stop our thinking process?

I am sure it
is not possible. None can do that. If it is possible then we are in stagnation
which means nothing can happen to us.

I am sure,
we all wish to speak, engage, think and act.

The Babas of
our politics must know that. The sooner they know it, better for them.

Change is
inevitable. It is the process of life. People will question. Young will rise
and rebel to change the system.

The day will
come when we will be the change for the betterment of society and no power on
earth has the capacity to stop that.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

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