Whither JU Students Movement?

Rana Bose

Actually what is happening in Jadavpur University and Kolkata is very hopeful. The tide must be turned against the mall-rat culture and the street-goon thug culture that has enveloped India. And Bengal is perhaps the best starting point to reverse it. Because Bengal has seen so-called "left" rule and has no fantasies about it and is now seeing proto-fascist goon culture that is the hallmark of the pea-brained Trinamul Congress (TMC). Bengal, not being at the forefront of the neo-liberal onslaught is only witnessing the spill-over from the craving for a "western life-style" as opposed to the rest of India who have been ahead in that "game." And coupled with that Bengal has had to deal with that peculiar thug culture that a pre-industrial society spawns when Bollywood-ism appeals to the new young migratory population looking towards benefiting from the spill-over mall-rat culture.

There is a problem though of sustenance. Always an issue with a college going generation. They are always torn between career, supporting family and long term social / political commitment. Some will come out of this as activists. If sustained it will be like the anti-Vietnam war movement and the food movement that preceded it. As an era. More important than the Occupy movement or simulations of it.

It is always a single incident that sparked a new generation. In Jadavpur itself, forty years ago, it was the CPM thugs who commandeered the administration and prevented pro-Naxalite students from entering the college. There was an occupation and gherao then also. In Columbia University, it was the involvement of the administration in the war efforts in Vietnam that triggered the occupation. The same happened in Sorbonne, when students in May 1968 occupied the administration buildings against the class oriented politics of the administration and its curriculum policies. The rest is history. [See here.]

What is however more crucial is to understand that this generation wants a change of mindset! They want out from old jargon, old dogma, dadagiri, ‘I told-you-so-ism’, etc etc. They are also culturally liberated compared to those who have been glued to bookish Marxist tenets. This is the time for the de-hegemonizing that is fundamental to insurrectionary politics. First it is necessary to undermine the "manufactured consent". The cultural hegemony of boring traditional mainstreamism. Some have clearly said "we dont care if the CNN-IBN does not care for us."

There is a new maturity, a new cultural realization... that is heartwarming... as opposed to old dogma and proto fascist goon culture of recent times. All power to the KOLOROB... the ensuing hum of dissent that builds...!

Vol. 47, No. 17, Nov 2 - 8, 2014