Liberals versus Conservatives : Really?

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The illiberalism shown by liberals may end up harming their cause significantly.



Liberals versus Conservatives : Really?


Ramjas College at Delhi recently saw an ugly battle between two warring camps : One, the self-styled liberals, and Second, the Conservative nationalists. Ramjas is known for a rich tradition of students coming from a diverse background – affluent to modest income groups, private schools to government ones. It has a glorious history. What do all parties agree on?  That violence is bad, that violence has no place on campuses, and it has to be condemned. Agreed. What will everyone never agree on? That Umar Khalid, the main character responsible for instigating the passions of both the camps, is not an academic at all (despite being a Ph.D. student), as compared to other participants in the talk. His main draw (attraction) is that he is being investigated in a sedition case, and is a central figure in the violence that wracked the JNU campus in 2016. So what was the college administration thinking? That no one will be offended? Or did they want to inflame passions? What does the Delhi Police FIR say against these characters? That the protest meeting was about – (1) Judicial Killing of Afzal Guru etc. (killing?), (2) “History of occupation of Kashmir” (occupation?).  [FIR was about a poster] 

Everyone agrees that “nationalist” is a tricky word. We can all differ about that. India has been accommodating people of multiple colours since centuries. But the JNU protest was by those who saw India as a “jail of nationalities” bound together by coercion! Nothing can be farther from the truth (just compare what’s going on in Tibet and Xinjiang). A moot question : If it is ok to invite Umar Khalid, then what is wrong in inviting Sadhvi Prachi (saffron brigade)? Freedom of speech cannot be selective but has to extend to everyone. Otherwise what kind of liberalism is that? An illiberal one? It is clear that the college administration (or some activist faculty) has made a big mistake in allowing such an event. This can severely harm the college.  

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उदारवादी बनाम रूढ़िवादी : वास्तव में?



दिल्ली के रामजस कॉलेज में हाल ही में दो विरोधी गुटों के बीच एक द्वेषपूर्ण लड़ाई का अनुभव हुआ : एक, स्व-घोषित उदारवादी और दूसरा रूढ़िवादी राष्ट्रवादी। रामजस को विविध पृष्ठभूमियों : संपन्न से लेकर मध्यम आय समूहों, निजी विद्यालयों से लेकर सरकारी विद्यालयों तक - से आने वाले विद्यार्थियों की एक समृद्ध परंपरा के लिए जाना जाता है। इसका एक गौरवशाली इतिहास रहा है। सभी दल किस बात पर सहमत हैं? यह कि हिंसा बुरी है, यह कि महाविद्यालय परिसर में हिंसा का कोई स्थान नहीं है और इसकी निंदा की जानी चाहिए। मान्य है। वह कौन सी बात है जिसपर कोई कभी सहमत नहीं होगा? यह कि चर्चा में आये अन्य प्रतिभागियों की तुलना में उमर खालिद, दोनों गुटों में जूनून को भड़काने वाला मुख्य किरदार, कहीं से कहीं तक "अकादमिक" नहीं है (एक पी.एच.डी. छात्र होने के बावजूद) । उसका मुख्य आकर्षण यह है कि उसकी राजद्रोह के मामले में जांच की जा रही है, और वह वर्ष 2016 में जवाहरलाल नेहरु विश्वविद्यालय को विकृत करने वाली हिंसा का केंद्रीय किरदार है। तो महाविद्यालय प्रशासन क्या सोच रहा था? यह कि किसीका अपमान नहीं होगा? या यह कि वे भावनाएं भड़काना चाहते थे? इन किरदारों (पात्रों) के बारे में दिल्ली पुलिस की एफ.आई. आर. क्या कहती है? यह विरोध बैठक निम्न से संबंधित थी - (1) अफजल गुरु इत्यादि की न्यायिक हत्या, (हत्या?), (2) “कश्मीर पर कब्जे का इतिहास”, (कब्जा?)। [ एफ. आई. आर. एक पोस्टर के संबंध में थी ] 

सभी मानते हैं कि “राष्ट्रवादी” शब्द के अनेक मायने हो सकते है। इसपर हम सभी में मतभेद हो सकता है। सदियों से भारत भिन्न-भिन्न वर्णों के लोगों को आश्रय देता रहा है। परंतु जेएनयू विरोध प्रदर्शन उन लोगों द्वारा क्या गया था जो भारत को जबरदस्ती एक साथ लाई गई “राष्ट्रीयताओं की जेल” मानते हैं। इससे अधिक झूठी अन्य कोई भी बात नहीं हो सकती (तिब्बत और शिनजियांग में जो हो रहा है उससे केवल तुलना करके देखें) एक मौन प्रश्न : यदि उमर खालिद को आमंत्रित करना सही था तो साध्वी प्राची को आमंत्रित करने में क्या गलत है? अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता चयनात्मक नहीं हो सकती, बल्कि यह सभी को उपलब्ध होनी चहिये। अन्यथा यह कैसा उदारवाद है? क्या यह एक अनुदारवादी उदारवाद है? यह तो स्पष्ट है कि महाविद्यालय प्रशासन (या कुछ कार्यकर्ता प्राध्यापकों) ने इस प्रकार के आयोजन की अनुमति देकर एक बड़ी गलती की है। यह महाविद्यालय को भारी नुकसान पहुंचा सकता है।

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Bodhi Saar: Liberals versus Conservatives : Really?
Liberals versus Conservatives : Really?
The illiberalism shown by liberals may end up harming their cause significantly.
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