Be Peaceful, Wary of Authoritarianism: Guha to B’luru Protesters

“Be non-violent not only in action but also in deed. Don’t use the language of your adversaries,” Guha said

Published08 Jan 2020, 04:34 PM IST
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“Be non-violent not only in action but also in deed. Be careful about your language. Don’t use the language of your adversaries. People may call you all kinds of names but you stick to specifics.”
Ramachandra Guha

Historian Ramchandra Guha spoke to a student-led 24-hour protest opposing the violence against JNU students, in Bengaluru on the afternoon of Wednesday, 8 January.

Several citizens and students sat next to the Gandhi statue at Maurya Circle in Majestic area from 6 pm on Tuesday till Wednesday evening, protesting the CAA, the proposed nationwide NRC and recent police violence against citizens and attacks on students.

Guha warned against being swept away by any extreme ideology.

“I would also like to urge to students the importance of non violence. We are against the authoritarianism of the right – Savarkars and Golwalkars. But if we are true to the heritage of Gandhi and Ambedkar, we must also be opposed to the authoritarianism of the Left – Naxalites and worshippers of Mao and Stalin,” he said.

On 19 December, Guha along with several others, had been detained from Town Hall for violating Section 144 while protesting against the CAA.

He also cautioned protesters to be careful about the language that they use.

“Don’t speak out against fascism. Speak out against the discrimination that the CAA and NRC represents. Don’t use rhetorical abusive language and don't display inflammatory posters,” he said.

Interpretations of Swaraj At Present

“In 1920, during the Non-Cooperation Movement, when freedom was still 27 years away, Gandhi said swaraj will be upheld by four pillars – Hindu-Muslim harmony, abolition of untouchability, non-violence and economic self reliance. I would like to add to economic self-reliance and say that it would include environmental sustainability,” he added.

Talking about environmental sustainability as one of the facets of swaraj, he called out Mr Adani for wiping out thousands of acres of rich forestland in Jharkhand that adivasis rely on.

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