Who’s ‘stupid’ Saba – You or students?


(M S Shanker)

“Stupid Students” responded Saba Naqvi, a senior journalist, to justify the anti-Indian slogan shouting protestors at the JNU recently.

Yes, participating in a news debate on TIMES NOW, Saba Naqvi, who is associated with OUTLOOK as Political Editor, made this remark.  I feel sad and ashamed to hear such ‘stupid’, ‘senseless’ and ‘partisan’ stance taken by a reputed magazine’s Political Editor, since I also associated with that magazine for more than half a decade.

How can a senior journalist drub students particularly those pursuing research studies (Ph. D) in JNU, which is hailed as a prestigious educational institution, “stupid”?

Who is really “stupid” – students or Saba Naqvi?

One cannot just help but highlighting that intellect ripens at young age. It is an irrefutable fact the educational campuses are being used for the purposeful molding of the minds of the young in an idealistic creed of narrow parochial sectional egoism of perverted ideologies.

In contrast, the middle aged and old must stay out of complex crises in making since they can rely only on “experiences” of their generation which may not necessarily be in tune with the intellect of the youth of today.

Most important for all alike has to realize that the forms of ‘warfare’ been dramatically undergoing changes. It is the super insurgency or information war, call them by whatever name one wants to term them, that is cost effective to destabilize adversaries and disintegrate them.

Recent history has many lessons to offer as to how nations have been destabilized by recourse subverting the populace – the way they think and they react. In particular, when the so called professors and academic community want to settles scores with their rivals based on ideological moorings.

I am aghast at the intellectual bankruptcy or hypocrisy of those journalists appearing in “Prime Time Talk Shows”.

A brief review of Ajmal Kasab life story is enough to highlight the issue of vulnerability of youth to extremist ultra left or fringe group communal ideologies.

What was the age of Ajmal Kasab at the time of 2008 Mumbai terror strike?  He was barely 21 years having been born in July 1987 and leaving his home in 2005 to become a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist group.

Furthermore, it is also in public domain that the few who were attracted to the ISIS are engineering students.

Abundant research material is available highlighting why youth, particularly students, are attractive targets for terrorist organizations to enroll as members?

Five key reasons, among many others, have been identified by researchers why young students particularly are attractive targets for terrorist organization to enroll as members.

  1. Many young people often join terrorist organizations because they are looking for an identity for themselves. Having a traumatic experience as a youth in particular is a motivating factor in deciding to become a terrorist — and terrorist recruiters recognize this. Poverty and discrimination drives them into terrorist fold.
  2. They have a need for belonging. In fact, terrorist organizations often recruit those most vulnerable in society who have a need for belonging.
  3. They want to correct what they believe is injustice. One of the strongest motivations behind terrorism is vengeance, particularly the desire to avenge not oneself but others. Social alienation is a powerful factor. 
  4. They are looking for adventure and thrill.
  5. They self radicalize due to social media influences. Many youth often make the jump from a passive supporter and sympathizer of terrorists to active supporter actually engaging in terrorist acts through the internet.

Thus far, the educational campuses are the breeding grounds or hot-beds to develop and build a network of followers and sympathizers in the first stage through high decibel level of indoctrination through group meetings, pamphlets and protests.

Once they are adequately radicalized, they become either covert or overt active members of extremist organizations.

If some chose to meticulously and impartially analyze, whatever politicization is happening around us in the name of various politically affiliated organizations in educational campuses, be it either left or the right, is intellectually deliberate.

And, all such organizations are patronized and also funded by political parties.  Even the so called ‘allumini’ who have set up NGOs play an active role in student activities.

Next, who are the outside elements with covered faces in the recent JNU incident? Are they Kashmiri separatists or their sympathizers?  How did they enter the JNU campus? How can they enter the JNU campus without the connivance and complicity of the insiders?  Where have they disappeared now?

How can everyone blame the Delhi Police for their shoddy performance when the JNU administration fails to cooperate and allow them to investigate in detail?

Irrefutable facts or evidence is available on the JNU incident.  Blaming outsiders for slogan shouting cannot obfuscate the realities.  Also, blamed “morphed videos” cannot absolve the complicity of those involved in the anti-Indian tirade.

After all, “Leaflets and Posters” are available as conclusive evidence. How can anyone dismiss them as ‘rubbish’ or ‘trash’.

My appeal to all those claiming to be columnists in various “Prime Talk Shows” that influences mindsets of viewers, please stop defending the indefensible in the ongoing media trail.

Allow the Courts and the Police to do their jobs.  Everyone invokes “Law must be respected and allowed to run its full course up to the Supreme Court and mercy plea to the President.” No need to shout like “headless chicken” or indulge in street like brawls. For, they reflect intellectual semi-illiteracy to put it in mild terms.

Always remember that “Students” are not “Stupid”. They are intelligent with young impressionable minds. Their emotions and sentiments can get carried away by constant drumming up issues of social and economic inequalities and discrimination. Avoid inciting, exciting and inculcating ‘negative’ ideas if one wants them to face life in a ‘constructive’ manner as opposed to indulging in “destructive” activities.