It’s been a week of dramatic events since the arrest of JNU president Kanhaiya Kumar on frivolous sedition charges by the Delhi Police, an incompetent and partisan force, to say the least. The arrest and the attack on the student leader by lawyers inside the Patiala House court premises have enraged students and citizens across the country and have ignited a furious debate on the honest definitions of nationalism, patriotism and secularism. It is about time there was a national discussion on the meaning of these words because certain parties have misused them for narrow political gains for far too long.
But if one stands back and takes a wide-angle view of what happened in the past few days, it will seem that the chain of events was planned well in advance by the spineless JNU administration, led by the new vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, the vindictive Delhi Police, led by a police officer who is more keen to please the State than do his constitutional duty and the ABVP (words fail to describe the group) and, unsurprisingly, the chain of events now look like a symphony of lapses.
Here is why it could be a sinister plan: The V-C, who was quite certain of Mr Kumar’s involvement in the protests where participants raised pro-Afzal Guru slogans, now says that outsiders could have been involved; the Delhi Police chief, who is fortunately retiring in a few days, says that they will not appeal against the bail plea of Kumar though he still believes that there is something fishy and reports suggest that the home ministry thinks that the Delhi Police, which reports to it, does not have enough evidence to back their claim that Mr Kumar was shouting anti-national slogans.
And it was none other than home minister Rajnath Singh who set the cat among the pigeons when he said — erroneously — that the protests were being supported by Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
Last but not the least the lawyers at the Patiala House Court. What can one say about them other than that they behaved like thugs and did not think twice about their conduct even when the Supreme Court sent a team to oversee the security arrangements and report to it. It is evident that the lawyers, and not the ‘accused’, were sure of police protection.
The bar council has said that the guilty lawyers will be punished and they must keep the promise of cancelling the licences of those involved in the attack on Mr Kumar and journalists. Whatever is the outcome of the bail plea of Mr Kumar in the Supreme Court, which accepted that “something extraordinary is going on in this country”, the State has come out looking extremely hamhanded and unreliable.