Kanhaiya’s Bail Order: Bollywood Nationalism Of The Delhi Judge

Mahua Deshpremi

Justice Pratibha Rani’s judgement on Kanhaiya Kumar, granting him an interim bail for six months is a regressive judgement. Ignoring all debates on nationalism from Bhagat Singh to Ambedkar to Tagore to Gandhi, the judge chose to quote a bollywood song from film Upkar,

“‘Rang hara Hari Singh Nalve se,
Rang laal hai Lal Bahadur se,
Rang bana basanti Bhagat Singh,
Rang aman ka veer Jawahar se.
Mere Desh ki Dharti sona ugle
Ugle here moti mere desh ki dharti’”

The song could have been ignored as being the honorable judge’s poetic interest had it not put Hari Singh Nalve, Lal Bahadur, Nehru and Bhagat Singh mindlessly in the same category. But this is still lucky enough, had the judge been a Salman Khan fan we might have to follow Salman Khan’s brand of nationalism of relieving this country of footpath dwellers.

The judgement also takes into consideration photos and raw video footage as evidence of Kanhaiya Kumar’s presence on the site of the event where allegedly antinational slogans were raised and antinational activities were done, while there were no comments on the videos proved to be doctored.

“What was the role played by the petitioner on that day is subject matter of investigation and it is desirable at this stage to leave it to the investigating agency to unearth the truth. It is not disputed by the State at this stage that in the footage of video recording of the incident, the petitioner has not been seen raising anti-national slogans but learned ASG for the State has referred to the statement of various witnesses recorded under Section 161 CrPC who have stated about the presence as well active participation of the petitioner in that incident.”

The judgement states that the students must not exercise their Right to Expression because soldiers are being sent to the border of Siachen and Kutch to fight enemies created by a deeply communal state. The state which is only further aggravated by the insecurity of khakhi chaddi and Pakistan insecure BJP government.

“As President of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union, the petitioner was expected to be responsible and accountable for any antinational event organised in the campus. Freedom of speech guaranteed to the citizens of this country under the Constitution of India has enough room for every citizen to follow his own ideology or political affiliation within the framework of our Constitution.

While dealing with the bail application of the petitioner, it has to be kept in mind by all concerned that they are enjoying this freedom only because our borders are guarded by our armed and paramilitary forces. Our forces are protecting our frontiers in the most difficult terrain in the world i.e. Siachen Glacier or Rann of Kutch.”

The Judge further believes that JNU students are suffering from a disease and another institutional murder (amputation) like that of Afzal Guru is the only remedy,

“”The investigation in this case is at nascent stage. The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the students of JNU who organized and participated in that programme cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. I consider this as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.

Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.”

It also concluded by saying that Kanhaiya Kumar must prove himself a true nationalist according to the constitutional morality, oh no bollywood morality of the favourite movie/movie song of the next judge.

“The time is ripe that while giving some concession to the petitioner on monetary aspect for purpose of furnishing the bond, he can be required to furnish an undertaking to the effect that he will not participate actively or passively in any activity which may be termed as anti-national.

Apart from that, as President of JNU Students Union, he will make all efforts within his power to control anti-national activities in the campus. His surety should also be either a member of the Faculty or a person related to the petitioner in a manner that he can exercise control on the petitioner not only with respect to appearance before the Court but also to ensure that his thoughts and energy are channelized in a constructive manner.”

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