Sunday, July 30, 2017

Statue, University, and the politics of Symbols: The Curious Case of JNU’s Tank


Statue, whether it is of Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, or Patel, has become an integrated part of modern political philosophy. In 2017, this strange theory is substituted by the national flag, anthem, and cow and finally in the form of a military tank in JNU, Delhi. The statues, as the government considered, are a symbol of the historical struggle led by a particular person at a given time. To promote ideas, it sponsors the politics of statue to historicize the forgotten history.
However, the truth is that the nuclear mass highly neglects these figures after their installation. Everyone forgets the statue with the passage of time. For example, to celebrate the victory of Robert Clive, who wins the Battle of Plassey, the British government established his two statues: first in Shrewsbury and the second in King Charles Street near St James’ Park, London. But, when the later generations were questioned about the statue, they fail to tell, recognise, even to name it. The government, by taking strict actions inscribed Clive’s name below the icon so that the future generations could remember his contributions to the King and the Country.
In fact, similar is the tale of all statues. They are in a famous location sometime at the center, yet they are the most dislocated phenomena. Such is the story of India’s one of the topmost University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. This education hub is in the news, less good and more worse, from last twenty months over one reason, “nationalism.” As per the new sources, as circulated in the media, a tank is to be established in the campus. Before going to tank, let’s see how many old legends have their statue in the library of this University.
In answer, the name of Nehru and Ambedkar will strike the mind. Both of these statues are, saying honestly, are highly neglected by the visitors, including the JNU students. It is even worse in this age where everything is reported to the world in a geo-bragger manner; I mean the mobile-selfie. Hardly one find anyone taking a picture with the statue of Ambedkar. However, if one visits Columbia, then s/he would never forget to pose against Ambedkar. Why Ambedkar of JNU faced discrimination as it failed to attract no audience who will take a picture of it—reason is the promotion of Idea. The difference between Columbia and JNU is the reason. Truly speaking, these statues are unknowingly murdered by the masses with their neglecting. No one pays them homage, neither directly, and nor indirectly.
Amid this, what will be the future of the tank that soon will, what if uncertain, fill the blank space only to inject nationalism in the newcomers. Will it become the centre of attraction or there is any propaganda, I mean Latin Propaganda.
I will not define each kind of propaganda and focus on only two types: media propaganda and Latin propaganda. In the former, two parties spread a lie, and each tries to show whose lie is less lie than the other. Whereas, the Latin propaganda is a situation when an uncertain future event, mostly fake, is propagated by a celebrity. It was the favourite weapon of Mussolini during the WW-II. The second party takes this fact as true by accepting the idea without much resistance. This type of propaganda is promoted with the help of media so that the opposition, which is less in numbers, can give their views on the event. By giving their ideas, they are, unconsciously, advertising what the celebrity wanted to. Here, they are at spreading first party’s view even without knowing it. Now, the celebrity has to prove that the original message of opposition is wrong. If he remained successful, then the celebrity can easily sponsor its fake news as real news. This half-baked-fake news is nothing but the installation of the tank is JNU.
Which university in the world is decorated with Army tank, even a popular newspaper noted only one event of such type in South Asia after 1945. The opposition is so unconscious that they promote it without knowing the fact. What circular is passed to install a tank—it is just an idea, given by a celebrity, which makes it nearer to the Latin propaganda. If the criticism of this un-futuristic event continues in the same manner, then far is not the day when the tank in JNU will be a reality. In fact, no one, including the Vice-Chancellor, wants a tank, but promotion and criticism of Tank surely make it possible.
If the tank comes, then I assure you, dear reader, you, me, and the visitors who come to JNU will always take a selfie. It is the same type of historicization with which the statue of Nehru and Ambedkar are promoted on the campus.
The only solution to this tank is not in criticism but in “not to talk or give one’s view about it.” If it happened, then like the case of Clive, the influential people have to make another plan to promote their idea. The memory of masses is so weak that they forget everything after some time. But advertisement and promotion, again and again, remind them of the tank. Sometimes, silence is the best method to protect one. Sometimes, it is better to run away rather than to fight with the enemy. I prefer to run away. Choose your option, criticise the tank or leave it to time to decide what it wraps in its lap.
Wait, is am I promoting propaganda?

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