Speaking exclusively to Republic TV after its crew was blocked from asking questions and heckled by JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) on Tuesday, Republic TV’s Consulting Editor Major Gaurav Arya opined that the students' conception of ‘Azadi’ was getting everything free. He reckoned that the protest was nonsensical. Observing that it would be a misnomer to call them Maoists, Major Arya contended that the protesting students were simply 'lumpen elements'.
Major Gaurav Arya said, “They don’t want any Azadi. They are only interested- you know, Azadi when you translate into English, it is freedom. They say freedom is about free food, it is about free lodging, it is about free education. They want everything free. That is what they think Azadi is. What Azadi? These people want to bring about a revolution. People who can’t pay their fees, people who can’t pay for a single square foot, these are the people who are going to get us Azadi. I mean this is purely nonsensical. And to call them Maoists and all that, and to call them anti-national- I think these are just lumpen elements. GD Bakshi is very right that these are lumpen elements who are strong-arming the people there. They put a lady professor in captivity for more than 30 hours in JNU. So, this is goondaism. They are not Naxals. Naxals are people who are actually fighting against the security forces in the forests of Chhatisgarh, Bastar and all those areas.”
Major Arya also highlighted that the JNU students lived in an echo chamber. He noted that few professors were responsible for misleading them. Moreover, he questioned their idea of a revolution.
He remarked, “They live in that echo chamber called JNU. They listen to each other. They listen to a few professors with addled brains. And they follow an ideology which is more than 100 years old. They are lumpen elements. They are goonda elements. What revolution are they talking about?”
The students of JNU have been protesting for the last few weeks about the new hostel manual which advocated a hike in hostel fees, dress code regulations, and curfew timings. While the JNU administration announced a partial rollback of some of the contentious provisions, the students decided to march to the Parliament on Monday demanding a complete rollback. Some of the agitating students were stopped and contained in the Safdarjung Tomb area. It was also revealed that around 100 students had been detained for showing ‘'aggressive defiance” to the directions of the police. On Monday evening, the police forcibly removed the JNU student protesters, who had brought civic life and traffic to a standstill, with an ambulance being among the many vehicles forcibly held up.