TROUBLED TIME FOR MODI
News behind the News|NbN 13 January 2020
The students’ unrest, however, which is spreading like wildfire across the nation, and the protests by large sections of people against the citizenship law, have belied the BJP’s hopes of having a free run in the foreseeable future in presiding over the country’s destiny from panchayats to parliament, as Union home minister Amit Shah once said.
AMULYA GANGULI

Not unexpectedly, the focal point of the anger among students is currently the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, whose Leftist identity has long been a sore point with the rightwing Hindutva brotherhood. Little wonder that the BJP M.P., Subramanian Swamy, wanted it to be closed down and “fumigated”.

Although the latest round of agitations in the JNU was about fee hikes, there is little doubt that the general disquiet about the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has added fuel to the fire.

Since violence has always been a feature of agitations in India, whether by students or teachers or workers or political parties, there was an outbreak of vandalism in the university on Saturday, January 4, when the server room of the computer network was ransacked.

The incident, deplorable as it was, might not have caused much more than a ripple outside the university but for what happened on the following day when a group of masked men stormed the campus, including the various hostels, and assaulted the students with sticks and iron rods.

It is this horrifying raid, which reminded Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray of the November 26, 2008, commando operation by Pakistani mercenaries in Mumbai, which has sparked off a furious reaction from students and activists all over the country.

There have been demonstrations in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chennai and elsewhere, underlining a groundswell of outrage against the Narendra Modi government.

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