Is Kanhaiya Kumar right about Indian politics

Confrontation after student strike in India - "A long fight for justice"

“The atmosphere on campus is tense and uncertain,” explains Akash, a JNU student. He does not want to give his last name in the Tageblatt conversation for fear of repression. After the arrest of the President of the Students Union, Kanhaiya Kumar, on February 10th, various student groups called for a strike. Protests followed across India. Kumar is charged with participating in a demonstration shouting anti-national slogans. Since the parliamentary elections in India, in which the right-wing conservative and Hindu-nationalist BJP party won an absolute majority, arrests for allegedly seditious behavior have increased with increasing frequency.

On February 15, Kumar's case was due to go to court. At the trial, there were violent attacks by right-wing lawyers and BJP supporters against journalists and students present, Akash reports. According to him, students in the greater Delhi area who are associated with the JNU, which is branded as anti-national in some media, are being attacked by angry nationalists. A JNU professor was shot at in the city of Gwalior. Akash says the police are not stopping the activity and are instead patrolling campus in plain clothes trying to detain critical students.

The JNU is considered a very open and political university, reports Lilly Böttger. The Göttingen Indology student completed a semester abroad at the Indian university. "Overall, I had the feeling that you can discuss anything and that different opinions are okay," said Böttger. In addition, men and women can freely contact each other, which is not a matter of course in India. Open discussions between students and lecturers are also absolutely normal - but that too is not common in Indian society. “The JNU is something special,” says Böttger.

Something special that is at stake: Akash believes "there will be a long battle for justice to come".