wear a black badge in your mind, please

JNU to spread wings to SAARC countries
such an evocative headline- conjures up images of an institution of learning so brave, so noble that it refuses to bow down to man-made divides. the news report goes on to say:
'We want to attract students from all over the world to study in our university. Hence we are planning to open our entrance examination centres in Pakistan, and consecutively in all the SAARC countries soon,' H.B. Bahidar, chief proctor of JNU, told IANS.
and, it looks like, jnu does welcome students from all over the world:
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) attracts students from all over the country and abroad, and from diverse strata of society. JNU has come to be deemed the best University in the nation today and is among the better- known Universities of the world. In the academic year 2001-2002, JNU had 186 foreign students from 34 countries from all over the world, a fair chunk of them coming from South- East Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA.
students from 34 countries! jnu has, from the very beginning, reached out to the world. is there a nation or wanna-be nation in the world where jnu hasn't opposed imperialism or neo-imperialism or colonialism or neo-colonialism or fascism or neo-fascism or capitalism or neo-liberalism or apartheid...? a people that jnu hasn't embraced and empathized with or a 'people's struggle' that it hasn't endorsed or taken out marches to 'express solidarity' with?

and it's not just the jnu, many other 'premier' indian institutions have- through their research, students, faculty- scaled borders and oceans and let the world know, they're with them. be it nasa or the world bank or citibank or aereated beverage makers or universities or hospitals or governments or ..human rights organizations.

but the only people students/teachers/researchers etc from jnu and other premier institutions find it very difficult to reach out to, embrace, empathise with are indians themselves. other indians. students, teachers, researchers etc from communities other than those represented in one form or the other at jnu and the other institutions. of the 6000 castes/communities/tribes in india i do not think any aspirant who wasn't from a select group of 100-200 communities had ever stepped into any of these institutions other than by sheer accident. i do not think jnu has students, researchers, teachers from even 34 indian communities, right now.

nations are mostly endogamous, so are these indian communities. next time you take out a march or express solidarity with a nation at the other end of the atlas, you bloody hypocrites, remember that you never ever raised your hand in anything resembling a decent wave to even acknowledge the existence of these nations outside your gates. never ever uttered even a decent squeak of protest whenever they were stopped from entering. tomorrow, when you attend a class, teach a class, write a paper, read, debate, work in a lab, wear a black badge in your mind, at least. because i'd like to retain my humanity, because i'd like to be able to express my solidarity with you, some day.

1 comment:

Smoke Screen said...

Terrible post. And true.

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