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    News18»India
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    ABVP Cannot Decide Nationalism and Anti-nationalism: Umar Khalid

    File image of Umar Khalid. (Image: TV Grab/ CNN-News18)

    File image of Umar Khalid. (Image: TV Grab/ CNN-News18)

    s, after violent clashes broke out in Delhi University's North Campus between members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the All India Students' Association (AISA), JNU's Umar Khalid, spoke to CNN-News18 about the entire episode. Maintaining his position on the nationalism debate, he accused the ABPV of indulging in ‘goondagardi’ (hooliganism) on campus.

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    Tanushree Pandey

    New Delhi: Days, after violent clashes broke out in Delhi University's North Campus between members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the All India Students' Association (AISA), JNU's Umar Khalid, spoke to CNN-News18 about the entire episode. Maintaining his position on the nationalism debate, he accused the ABPV of indulging in ‘goondagardi’ (hooliganism) on campus.

    Questioning the authority of the ABVP, Umar Khalid accused the RSS-backed student wing of attacking the fundamental rights of students. “How fair is the attack on us by the ABVP, the kind of sensationalisation of anything that we do and them branding us as anti-nationals,” Umar said.

    It was an invite for a seminar to Umar, who was charged with sedition last year, that triggered the violence at Ramjas College. After violent objections by the ABVP, the college was forced to rescind its invite on Tuesday. A protest march organised by AISA and JNU students the next day led to violent clashes when ABVP activists tried to stop them. Along with Umar, an invite to former JNU students union vice-president Shehla Rashid was also withdrawn.

    Clarifying that there was nothing in the paper prepared by him which could incite violence at the campus, Umar said that his paper dealt with the poor and oppressed of Chhattisgarh.

    “The people who are living in Chhattisgarh are the poorest of the poor and the most oppressed people in this country. And, if we do not stand up for the oppressed at this moment, when they are facing a massive assault on their rights, then what kind of nationalism are we propagating,” he questioned.

    Umar believes that the baggage of his image from last year's sedition row at JNU was the driving force behind this violent episode. He also took aim at certain media outlets for their “irresponsible” coverage of last year’s controversy and said that his name makes it easier for him to be profiled as an anti-national. “The criminal coverage by certain media organisations portrayed me as a JeM sympathiser, which were plain lies, and said that I have been to Pakistan… It left a lasting image and profiled me in a particular way. And my name makes the profiling easier,” he said.

    The JNU scholar maintained that the fight was not between “patriots and anti-nationals” but between justice and injustice. “We are stand for democracy, for equality and justice. And they (ABVP) are standing up for inequality and injustice,” Umar said.


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