All entries for Monday 21 November 2005

November 21, 2005

Rebels Without A Cause

The Telegraph, 21.11.2005

It is shocking to learn that one of India’s most upright and respectable prime ministers was greeted with slogans like “Manmohan murdabaad” during his visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University (“School of protest revives professor in PM”, Nov 15). That a large section of JNU students have left leanings is well-known. The prime minister, during his speech, warned against the “temple of learning” being held ransom to bigotry. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with most Indian universities.

Most striking was the reason behind the demonstration. The protesters’ concerns about India voting with the United States of America against Iran in the International Atomic Energy Agency are hardly pressing enough to call for such unruly behaviour. Why do the students never protest against the violence in Kashmir or the Maoist attacks in Bihar? Are these events any less important or are they not glamorous enough? What the students must understand is that Manmohan Singh is far more capable of managing India’s national interests than any one of them. If they really want to lend their lungs to a worthy cause, they should stage similar protests outside the offices of Prakash Karat or H.D. Deve Gowda who are more interested in stalling the country’s progress under Singh.

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