Why is The Sedition Charge in JNU Justifiable and Necessary?

I’m not a Hindu extremist, which means apart from not asking my children to not celebrate the Valentine’s Day because it isn’t fit for our culture’, I won’t ever be one of the many enthusiasts equipped with a napkin who would wipe the ass of any political party driven by Hinduism every time it takes a dump. Having said that, I would now assert that I am a nationalist. It is likely to confuse you a bit because a major percentage of India’s young writers and thinkers seem driven by a belief in the fact that supporting any cause that is against the government or protests against its actions and demands justice will eventually make them look politically sound and more importantly, pro-human rights, which in turn has made them write in a manner that has merged the picture of an Indian nationalist and a Hindu extremist completely and which has since then reflected this merged picture as that of a ‘Hindu Nationalist.’ However these two entities are entirely exclusive of each other and therefore when I say I’m a nationalist, I want you to read it without any prefix.

Since Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the JNU Students Union was charged and arrested for anti-nationalist activities that mainly included protesting against the prosecution of Afzal Guru, a lot has happened in Delhi and a lot of people have raised their voices against it. The orientation of these voices is in many directions but primarily, while some are protesting because the motive behind his protest was accurate, some others who may not agree with that particular idea are protesting because it is against democracy and damages a person’s freedom of speech. I must agree that the argument here point on. If a government arrests a particular person for voicing his opinion, it sure is a damaging act to both – the democracy and the person’s freedom of speech. However in a situation like this, where the temerity of the speech goes on rising just because the democracy is lenient and allows it to rise, and goes beyond a certain level where it can become a reason to provoke anarchy, I wonder if freedom of speech still remains a right or does it become a privilege that has been misused? As a writer and a person who finds freedom of speech a basic right, it hurts me to call any kind of freedom a privilege but in cases as such, it becomes essential and just the right thing to do.

When a person is charged for a terrorist activity which precisely happens to be a violent attack on the nation’s parliament and after an imprisonment of 12 years – a time span in which no evidence of his complete innocence is found or collected in his defence, I believe he can rightly be declared as an enemy of the nation. And any enemy of the nation who tries to thwart the peace of its people rightly deserves a death penalty. I don’t think anyone would want to conflict with this idea. And further, that is what exactly happened in the case of Afzal Guru. Many Muslim Kashmiris believe that he was a hero, a martyr. The intensity of their words honestly keeps me from calling him a villain because I respect their opinions, however I won’t hesitate to say that Afzal Guru was an antagonist. In that respect, he was rightly sentenced to die for that would safeguard the conscience of the nation and I don’t think anyone would disagree with the fact that no individual is at any point of time, greater than the nation. That’s my stance about Afzal Guru’s death.

Now, when we come to think of the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the JNU Students’ Union, for protesting against this very death penalty of Afzal Guru, I would repeat and ask you, how much of his protest looks like an act under freedom and how much of it looks like the misuse of a privilege? While reading about this incident in the newspapers, I came across a statement by Kanhaiya Kumar’s father in which he had asserted that his son wasn’t an anti-nationalist, but only a leftist. It was funny because the term leftist covers a wide segment of ideologies and as much as it represents communists, it also as much represents anarchists and Kanhaiya Kumar’s protest indeed seemed to be fuelled with some kind of anarchic motives, if it wasn’t for just instant popularity. And that exactly is the biggest tragedy of any democracy. Due to the wide freedom it imparts, a democracy knowingly and sometimes even helplessly, boosts speeches and expressions that are a threat to its own subjects. In such cases I wonder if democracy should continue playing by its rules or not. Sometimes, to crush anarchy, a democracy requires to be reckless, restricting and even suppressive. And if that is going to safeguard and guarantee peace and order, as a nationalist, I believe that is the exact thing a democracy should do in such times – not because it is right, but because it is necessary.

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Don’t Want

Don’t want your harrowed eye-sockets

Don’t want no stuffed pockets

Don’t want that all ‘hey look at me’

Don’t want what you want me to be

Don’t want battered dreams

Don’t want motel-room screams

Don’t want twenty years

Don’t want happy tears

Don’t want life in a veil

Don’t want what you can so easily steal

Don’t want restaurant shows

Don’t want pointless rows

Don’t want to cope

Don’t want the life-saving dope

Don’t want fragility that you’ll mend

Don’t want the postcard love you send

Don’t want to wear a bitch-face

Don’t wanna pretend running the lost race

Don’t want to prove it to you

Don’t want to get validated by a few

Don’t want to tell you won’t fall

Don’t want nothing to do when you walk tall

Don’t want the visions on the hand

Don’t want your castles in the sand

Don’t want Christmas sweaters to smell

Don’t want to stand listening when you yell

Don’t want the false promise of a better dawn

Don’t want anything that makes me yawn

Don’t want you to fear

For I am not falling, I am right here

Don’t want you to think I will run

No, I am not searching for more fun

I only don’t want you to come and take

My solitary moments, of which the most I make

Let me be as I let you be

And we’ll live together happily.

The Sidekick

Can the hero become the writer?

No he cannot, brooding boy

For the hero has to play his part. He has to be the hero. He can act and do and go.

The writer is the sidekick – the one who observes, who sits in cars in April nights, waiting for the hero, waiting for him to drive them out of oblivion.

He tells the hero that the bay is clear, that there is no danger, Ameya, and you can walk out, winning the mission, jumping the roof in the ecstasy of your heroic being.

The sidekick is the one who tells the tale, making men gleam in sheer joy in hotel parking lots.

He is the one who cherishes the past, reminiscing stories and incidents that happened, when the hero and the folks wish to reminisce. He is omnipotent. Present everywhere, recording every move, putting his crude equations of right and wrong and good and bad to test.

He evaluates. He understands. He improvises.

He filters the necessary, letting the dark matter of insignificance wash down the drain.

He walks when he is drawn to walk by the irresistible aura of his best friend, the hero.

He smiles and shakes his head and bends down on the coffee table to write what he understands – to justify the hero’s deeds, to justify his absolute, entire being.

‘He sings and is known through centuries with different names – a bard, a poet and a playwright and a writer.

He is questioned for the obscurity of the hero while the hero sits and listens in silence.

He is the absolute proof of what happened there and it is his word that the listener chooses to have.

For he may not be the hero, and may never have the mettle to be one,

But without a sidekick, every hero ever, would be left unsung.

Home

Why is it that you refuse to look

beyond this field, across the brook?

 

Why does the beauty of this field

satisfy you, when beyond, the world has a spectacular yield?

 

What is so special here

that you would not get there?

 

Why, when there are places full of kicks and fun,

are you looking but only at one?

 

Is it the bonds that you hate to break?

Is it why you put experiencing the vastness at stake?

 

Broaden your vision and for once, see

all that there is, all that you can be.

 

You can chain yourself tomorrow if wish

but look at the creeks today, is that would you want to miss?

 

Why shackle yourself to four walls and one dome,

When there awaits an entire world you can call home?

The Wandering Whore

There once was a whore

he was not an ordinary, nothing they would tell in lore.

 

The whore wasn’t your plastic kind;

and yet, solace he could never find.

 

He wandered from street to street,

looking for that reason to get his heart to beat.

 

He looked in European joints and he looked in the trash

and he looked until it made him want to crash.

 

Years of it, looking at the rouge and red,

and he couldn’t find it until he sank in an ill, drunken bed.

 

And when he then took the pen

it dawned on him, in a moment making him zen.

 

He wanted to find love – a particular sort

one he could fall back on, making it all abort.

 

But alas! He could not seek what he had always sought from the core

And yet, he had lived the coveted life – that of a whore.

Brooding Over Coffee

Here I am at the coffee shop again, sipping my cappuccino, smoking a pack, sitting quietly, writing on tissue papers, observing the huge mound of flesh and mind that surrounds me.

I sit quietly here, listening to the stories of these people. They talk about a thousand generic, boring things, wrapped in glossy words, and I don’t think they realize that. In their attempts to impress each other, they fail to see that their hearts are empty and there is no real weight to what they’re saying; they’re just words. It is like that dancing couple in the small, spherical glass, looking at each other eternally, seemingly in love, but in its truest essence, only glassy, only brittle. And it hurts to see all these beautiful women with their big brown heads feeling content in their talks of gyms and pubs and the patterned urban lifestyle that has slaved them. Slaved them enough to be thinking about it and talking about it always, and the confidence they draw from such things; but isn’t that what we’re fundamentally made of? We’re made of piss and shit and our aim is seeking what saves us. We want to be saved. Saved from what we have done to ourselves and what we are doing to ourselves, and in this quest, we choose to take the path that is the most beaten.

We walk on what has already been walked on. Newer paths scare us. We are afraid of not ending up anywhere. So we go where our neighbor goes, and in union, mock the one who refuses to join the bandwagon, and when I look at the bloody hundreds of them, colliding me as they walk in this madness towards zeroness, I just feel the lack of a companion, and brood and weep, and then walk on.

Morphed

There is anguish in my heart, and agony too

As I sit here and brood

and see cigarettes after cigarettes after cigarettes burn

In the quest of something crude.

There is agony of what I am doing to myself ;

Blinded by smoke, crying,

and there is agony also of what I seek.

For I put up a facade, a farce

To show them who I am not

To show what I am not.

It hurts me and breaks me for what looks like living is

in its truest essence, nothing but misery – a shallow attempt to feed the sheep what isn’t hay.

To make them believe that there is something better than them that exists,

when reality is sheep and sheep only – their myriad heads flocked and huddled around some men and some women;

and more sheep who are wolves within, who wear the man’s skin – like I do and try to feast on the beliefs of their comrades and die in such beliefs with bald heads and Buddhist shirts and the sheep sing hymns when they die and that is what their life is – endless agony, endless anguish, endless misery – just the kind I bear in my heart.

For I am a wolf, just not the real one.

I am morphed – bits of this and bits of that but whole of none and it hurts me to see what I have collected in these 24 years – twigs and crowns of dried leaves and sad, fallen glory.

But I cannot stop. For like a woman said, it is like a disease. It will take me in its quest, and in which has also risen mine.

And so, even as my hand trembles and my throat hurts, the cigarettes burn.

Does He Die?

Isha asked that. Well practically everyone dies at some point unless you are a jellyfish, you heartless lucky fuck. And since everyone does, the answer to that question should be a yes regardless of whom the pronoun refers to. So I wouldn’t mind, if while walking on the streets, Isha points out random strangers to me and asks me if they’re going to die. I’d confirm their deaths, because death is the ultimate truth.

What I mind, however, is the fact that this question generally comes when we’re watching a movie. Any random motherfucking movie. Last Friday, she tried to make me sit through an animated movie despite knowing well that I hate animated movies. Unless they’re featured on PornHub. But anyway, forty minutes into this movie about a girl and some machinery in her head which was bigger than most industries, it crashed and wouldn’t play an further and I hope Isha takes that as a lesson on what happens when you try to push a movie down someone’s throat when they are really not ‘into it’.

So since she tried showing me her favorite movie, I decided to make her watch Pulp Fiction the next day because it is my favourite. And it is not like Isha ‘wasn’t into it’. She loves crime. At the very opening scene, she was like, “Wow they are so smart, they’re robbing a restaurant”, and went on about it for a couple of minutes but I did not mind that. However, soon as she saw Vince and Jules loading their guns, she had the same question for every new character on the screen: Does he die?

So just to tackle the question and let her enjoy the movie, I told her that Brett doesn’t die. You would think, hey that’s a smart move man, win-win. But nope. When Brett actually died, I had to face the conversation which other boyfriends generally face when they cheat in the relationship and begin seeing someone else and get caught . It began with: “Why did you lie? You could have just told me.” So then, to avoid such further situations, I told her already that Vince would die, on which I got an “Oh no! He seemed nice! Why did they kill him? When is that scene coming?”

At this point I was pretty pissed so I just sort of gave up and asked her to watch the movie on her terms. This resulted in eighty six re-runs of the scene where Vince stabs Mia Wallace’s heart. I even caught Isha enacting the stabbing motion while looking at Vincent Vega do it. So thanks, I am never going to overdose on cocaine in all my fucking life. Once the movie was over, I asked her whose acting she liked the best and I shit you not, she said, “That guy in the shop who chains the big fat man and the Die Hard guy.” Yep, Maynard.  On asking why his acting was the best, she said that she thought his expressions were very real and convincing when he stood looking at the cop anally raping the fat black man.

Also, a couple of days later, I asked if she wanted to watch The Truman Show and told her the plot beforehand. She watched the whole movie quietly sure, but when it was over, she said, “I would have enjoyed it more had you not told me everything already.” Sigh.

umathurman

Because I love her. Uma Thurman, I mean. Also, Isha. Of course. This is getting confusing.