Srinagar catches up
The true definition of freedom of expression has become a motion for debate given where the country is heading today. The NIT Srinagar issue raises 2 questions. The first being the politics of identity that is being played out in the country at the moment. It is increasingly being fed to us that one needs to shout out that he or she is Indian more than encouraging a feeling of unity with fellow countrymen. It is a tragedy that Cricket, or the results of a Cricket match are a cause of such debacle within different parts of the nation on repeated occasions. In this one, both parties are guilty. Nationalism, in essence, is way beyond supporting a team, its win or loss, or standing up during the national anthem in a movie hall. The second aspect is the administrative malfunction. The student political system as a machinery has been existent ever since the nation achieved Independence in 1947. However, the ability to deal with such crisis seems to only be getting worse with the passage of time. It is more like an act of immaturity on part of the administration that has become a trending cause concerning the country today.
After India lost to West Indies in a cricket match, there was tension within the campus as many supposedly patriotic non-Kashmiri's lured themselves into a heated argument with many who were chanting anti-national slogans causing the temper of many to blown out of proportion. When the situation got out of hand, the administration, instead of stepping a foot forward in trying to control the situation, decided to let the local police intervene leading to lathi charge within the campus taking things from bad to worse. Videos were circulated where the police displayed their rash attitude by beating up the students brutally causing injuries to not only those who participated in the rally but to also many innocent students who were just trying make their way out of the crowd. The video also displayed many police officials ganging up against a student and beating him up collectively. Rumour has it, that some of the female students were also threatened to be raped by the local Kashmiri's. However, like the saying goes, it is impossible to clap with a single hand. There were videos circulated depicting the local students pelting stones at the police causing injury to a number of policemen as well.
Post this incident, matters were compounded when a heavy-hearted Anupam Kher representing the BJP reached Srinagar describing the place on twitter as his “Home away from home” was stopped at the airport and denied access to the University. However, an emergency-like situation was declared when the campus was suddenly announced as a no-media zone campus forcing media professionals from around the world to stay away from the situation. The Internet on the campus was also monitored and limited for students to not have any access to the outside world. Kher later stated to the media that, "If they say this is a law and order situation, I will say that millions of people go to the university, it's an open place. Why should they stop me? And as a citizen of this country, I should be allowed to go anywhere. I am not going there to create problem. I am just going there to give them a sense of warmth."