Gender Politics in JNU

On one hand, there is AISA shouting gender empowerment; claiming that by expelling their rape-accused leader they support the victim and on the other hand, the environment in JNU is completely against AISA with ABVP and other parties instigating the students and taking complete advantage of the situation.

JNU has always been known for its outstanding faculty and its focus on arts and literature, but in the recent times, all that JNU has been in the limelight for is being the hub of student political organisations and their “propagandas.” Jawaharlal Nehru University is considered as one of India’s top universities, ranking third, according to the National Institute Ranking Framework. The university was established in 1969 and stands today as one of the most reputed and well-known institutions in India.

JNU has always been considered as an institution of left-wing politics and the prime political party in JNU has always been the All India Students Association (AISA).

AISA is the student wing of the communist party that runs on the ideologies of ‘Marxism’ and ‘Leninism’ which was formed with a sole perspective of providing a platform to the radical and democratic student movement. Anything that aims to arouse a revolution is bound to get caught in controversies and same has been the case with AISA. But the recent news associated with AISA has raised questions on the university’s pride once again.

Anmol Ratan, an important activist from AISA has been accused of raping a 28 year old JNU student.

The victim, who is a PHD student, also an activist at JNU said in her statement that Anmol took her to his hostel room to give her the movie that she wanted to watch and then offered her a drink, which had been spiked with a sedative and later assaulted her and threatened her to not go back to her hostel room.

The accused has been charged with section 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.

The allegation turned out to be a shock for everyone as the accused is one of the most significant leaders of the party and AISA was propelled to expel the accused immediately. Since the incident has taken place around the time of student elections, it has given birth to a lot of possibilities.

Anmol’s defence counsel, Rajiv Mohan, has given a statement that there were some political rivalries between the two and ideological differences as well.

This could be a hint toward a possibility of the girl framing the incident to use it as a political propaganda against the leading party AISA. Some students have also been saying that the girl shouldn’t have gone to the guy’s room so late at night and moreover should not have drank with him for her own safety.

Although, the allegation of rape isn’t proven yet, but an incident like this has again raised women’s safety issues in such universities and institutions.

One of the most important questions that this incident has raised is has this man taken advantage of  his association with a political party and misused his powers fearing no consequence?

The fact that Anmol Ratan belonged to a predominant political party in JNU (AISA) and was an activist, is shocking. A person who fights for women’s rights is accused of raping someone. Can we really expect people in responsible positions take advantage of their ‘power’? JNU is welcoming the new batch of the students in the campus, cases like this don’t just have a negative influence on the previous batches of students but on the freshers as well. Although, AISA has stated that they support the victim and have already asked the administration to take strict action against the accused as soon as possible.

There are endless possibilities. One possibility is that since this incident is created just before the elections; against a predominant political party, and the other possibility could be displaying chauvinism by the leader of a powerful political party.

The major dilemma here is, Is JNU  being the victim of ‘dirty political games’ or is it just another example of our society’s patriarchal nature of considering a woman as a man’s property and using her for one’s own pleasure?

Feministaa has faith in the judiciary system and hopes are a speedy and fair trial.


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