Shocked over the seditious activities in JNU and also in some other institutions the nation reacted sharply through protest marches across the country
Extremely outraged over the seditious activities in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the nation expressed sharp reaction across the country. Not only the intellectuals, academicians and students, but also the general public, ex-servicemen and bollywood artists vent their anger through demonstrations, dharnas, posters, banners, hoardings and, of course, through different social media platforms. They also noticed with sheer disappointment the repeated attempts by a section of media and politicians to divert the attention from real issue by raising baseless topics emerging out of public reaction.
A sea of people, estimated about one lakh by intelligence agencies and Delhi Police, was witnessed in ‘March for Unity’ which took place from Rajghat to Parliament Street in national capital on February 21. “This March is a warning to all anti-nationals including their supporters in media, academics or political parties. Better they mend their ways, or be ready to face the consequences. The nation will not now tolerate onslaughts on its integrity,” said Smt Sunita Jain, insurance consultants during the March at Rajghat.
Prior to starting the March, a group of ex-servicemen including Admiral Shekhar Sinha, Air Martial PK Roy, Lt. Gen Ravi Sahni, Lt. Gen Sinha, Lt. Gen. Sandip Singh, Lt. Gen. RN Singh, Major General Raj Malhotra, Major General Chakraborty, Major General Vijay Dhal, Major General NN Gupta, and many more paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Hundreds of Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs), social, cultural, professional organisations, doctors, professors, engineers, artists, advocates, IT professionals and general public joined the March. Addressing the protestors at the Parliament Street Air Martial (retd) PK Roy said the prime objective of the March is to show the anti-nationals that freedom of expression is safe till the nation is safe. Admiral Sekhar Sinha said the huge gathering shows that the nationalists would not now sit silent if there is attack on integrity of the nation. Major General (retd) Dhruv Katoch, Lt. General RN Singh and many other ex-servicemen and leaders from various organisations also addressed the protest March.
On February 15, Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) comprising of socially active professional women, Vice Chancellors, President of India Awardee, Supreme Court lawyers, internationally renowned artists/dancers, professors, mountaineers and writers took out a march from Constitution Club to Press Club of India and further to Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. GIA also submitted a memorandum to President of Press Club and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding proper investigation into the episode and punishment to the guilty. “Temples of education like JNU cannot be allowed to be used to support terrorists. Sloganeering and shouting was just not one such incident. It was only the tip of an iceberg. There should be a thorough probe into the nexus of pro-separatists elements in Kashmir and Pakistan,” said Monika Arora, a Supreme Court lawyer after submitting memorandum to the Home Minister in Delhi.
Students in Jadavpur University, where too attempts were made to shout anti-Bharat slogans, organised protest on February 16. Students of National Institute of Technology Agartala on February 18 organised protest inside the Institute premises. Doctors, advocates, CAs, CSs, and intellectuals staged a massive demonstration outside the JNU Gate on February 19 under the banner of Initiative for Public Cause (IPC).
A group of Muslims under the banner of Muslim Rashtriya Manch and Muslim Mahila Foundation organised a massive demonstration in Banaras on February 13 demanding hanging of the supporters of anti-nationals. “Afzal was a terrorist. Those who support him are traitors and the traitors deserve to be hanged, not pardoned,” said Nazneen Ansari, chairperson of Muslim Mahila Foundation, while addressing the demonstrators. There are reports of organising similar protests across the country. Indian Medical Association also sought stern action against the culprits of JNU.
Thousands of DU students and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists conducted a massive Protest March from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar on February 24. ABVP organising secretary Shri Sunil Ambekar and general secretary Vinay Bidre addessed them at Jantar Mantar.