Lawyers In JNU Case: Makers, Breakers, Subjects, And Those Who Couldn’t Care Less

By Aastha Anupriya

It’s strange how the JNU row has engulfed the concepts of law, order and “nationalism” into a state of fluidity.

And you know what is most convenient these days? Defining and redefining nationalism to suit one’s own self. Yes, why not?


So, a lawyer posts a series of status updates on Facebook in order to mobilise his colleagues to reach the district court well in time to “demonstrate patriotism” and “teach the traitors a lesson”.

Lawyer in question: Vikram Singh Chauhan.

Case: the Patiala House Court attack by lawyers on Kanhaiya Kumar and journalists.

Why? Reasons best known to the perpetrators. Vikram Chauhan was garlanded and he roams free and Kanhaiya Kumar shall stay in Tihar jail till March 2. I don’t know who is more of a threat to the idea of patriotism but it’s certainly not Kumar.

Local residents of Munirka area protest outside the gates of the JNU, against a function that was allegedly anti national in nature praising Afzal Guru on campus, in the capital New Delhi on friday. Delhi Police security was provided at the entrance to the JNU during the protest. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 120216

Whose nationalism is nationalism anyway, yours or mine?

Chauhan’s nationalism lies in teaching a lesson to those who he thinks are anti-national elements. Kumar’s nationalism lies in fighting for the poor and the weak and respecting the Constitution. The MHRD’s nationalism lies in making it mandatory to hoist tricolours on campus for all central universities. The police’s…well being the police, nabbing random people who “look like JNU wallahs”, interrogating them to the verge of harassment before ultimately giving into the resorts of “jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai”.


In the middle (more like periphery) of all this, the aam aadmi’s nationalism is busy trying to find a stable corner insulated from the media’s noisy circus where the joker certainly is issue at the heart of all this: the principle of democracy.  In the world’s largest democracy, the vote matters but not the opinion. Everyone has all the power to go out an exercise the right to express in whatever way (physical in Chauhan’s case) except for the common man who is on that side of the law where no Indian minister, bureaucrat or, now, lawyer or cop is.

The common man is on the side which is affected.

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