Skip to main content

Why is this FB group, supposed to be for friends of SPV, refusing free clash of ideas?

AK Joti, Shalini Randeria, Pratap Bhanu Mehta
By Rajiv Shah 
I posted the link  of my Counterview blog titled "Nothing wrong in calling Amit Shah, but will this top school also call Rahul or Kejriwal?" on a Facebook group called Sardar Patel Vidyalaya Friends of which I am also supposed to be a member. I say supposed to be because no sooner I posted the blog, it was removed -- straightaway. 
The message removing the blog said the an admin had removed it. I don't know which one, but it sounded strange, to say the least. I wrote in my blog that the spirit of free, democratic thinking of SPV shouldn't stop at asking Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, to address the children. Why not also call a Rahul Gandhi or an Arvind Kejriwal too?
This made me scan through the FB's SPV group. While most posts were of general nature, a few of them were politically inspired. The entire speech of Amit Shah found its way -- as uploaded by the Haryana BJP -- in the group. There was another post which called names like "tukde-tukde gang" close to Pratap Bhanu Mehta seeking to grind its political axe.
It is this group, it said, which behind the letter written to the school management not to call Amit Shah, whose ethos allegedly ran against the Constitutional spirit. The post went all to find Khalistani links of this gang, stating, there was "definite information" that many of its members have returned to India. Great piece of news!!!
I don't see anything wrong that such posts are allowed to appear in the FB group. This is just one viewpoint. But why not allow others too to express their views? The letter writers have been criticised for "carrying on the same false anti-Modi propaganda that was started by Teesta Setalvad and Sanjiv Bhatt 20 years back." Okay. But why let others, who are also alumni, to express themselves?
This post stated that some of those called to address the school children in the past included well-known academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who was "kicked out" as vice-chancellor of the Ashoka University, insisting he is "anti-national". Then, the author of the post wonders why AK Joti, IAS, a 1969 batch alumnus of the school, a "true nationalist" who became chief election commissioner, was left out.
We journalists in Gujarat surely know Joti very well. He has loved to toe the Modi line, come what may. Not nationalism but toeing a particular line helped him -- who doesn't know this? Ask any journalist covering Gandhinagar Sachivalaya during the days he was chief secretary under Modi.
Then there is another person mentioned -- Prof Shalini Randeria, currently a top-notch sociologist in Europe. I have reported her research work on Gujarat Dalits. A 1971 batch alumnus, perhaps this FB group person doesn't know her, lest she would also have been dubbed anti-national.
It's ok if you dub anyone anti-national for her or his thoughts, which is what Amit Shah and Narendra Modi have been doing, calling "urban Naxals" all, left, right and centre. But at least be faithful to the SPV spirit... Let opinions clash...


Anonymous said…
Facebook pages of individuals or groups are not for “clash of ideas”. These are for convergence of ideas of like minded people. Sardar Patel Vidyalaya is run by Gujarat Education Society. In the past it has invited Gujarati leaders like Morarji Desai, Jaisukhlal Hathi, Manubhai Shah, all ministers in Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet. Inviting Amit Shah is in line with this policy. Inviting Rahul Gandhi who has never held any office in his life doesn’t make sense. Kejriwal as CM of Delhi doesn’t have the same credentials as ministers in the central government with Gujarati background.
Bhanu Pratap Mehta was once invited as the chief guest by SPV as someone from academia. His Ashoka University absorbs many SPV school leaving students. He has good relations with the principal and teachers. Alumni of SPV in Ashoka University worked behind the scene to invite him. This served the interests of the school and the Univ. But Mehta has been removed from Ashoka University because he was indulging this “clash of ideas” that Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi are indulging in on political platforms. He was using the Univ as a platform for his clash. Neither Ashoka nor SPV can be used for this “ clash of political ideas” We have seen what this does to the academic institutions. JNU Jamia Jadavpur have more clashes than classes.
I am an alumnus of SPV and I am proud of my school. Many of my school friends and I are going to prevent the school from being hijacked by Swara Bhaskars and Richa Chaddas. We don’t want our school to be associated with those who disrespect our armed forces and martyrs or sports person bringing honour to our nation. Calling Saina Nehwal as “subtle cock champion of the world” is an idea that doesn’t deserve any attention anywhere. Media can give importance to these but not the alumni of a school founded by Gandhian. This is your platform. You May delete my ideas if you don’t like. That’s fine
Jag Jivan said…
Mr Anonymous, why are you hiding your name? What ails you? Are you afraid of being exposed? What you are doing here is politically inspired clash of ideas, to choose your words, that too without revealing your name! That's strange to say the least. In your view, anyone who criticises Modi-Shah are indulging in clash of ideas, and others are anti-national!!! Remember: in late 1960s AB Vajpayee was called when he was a political non-entity, and that was the SPV spirit. Rest of the names you are taking came to SPV when they were in power. As for Bhanu Pratap Mehta, Swara Bhaskar and Richa Chadda they have a specific viewpoint, which should be allowed to be expressed so that students know their viewpoint along with that of Modi-Shah. Let them freely choose, that has to be the SPV spirit. You are seeking to prevent ideas to be spread, which is surely undemocratic. And as a post-script, let me ask you, since when Modi-Shah and the legacy they follow is Gandhian???


Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Repeated failure to appoint Chief, other commissioners undermining RTI Act

By Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri* The post of the Chief Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has fallen vacant with the retirement of Bimal Julka with effect from August 27, 2020. This is the fifth time in the last six years that the Commission has been rendered headless. Four posts of information commissioners are also vacant in the CIC. Currently more than 35,000 appeals and complaints are pending in the commission resulting in citizens having to wait for months, even years for their cases to be disposed, thereby frustrating peoples’ right to know. Since May 2014, not a single commissioner of the CIC has been appointed without citizens having to approach courts. The failure of the government to make timely appointments of commissioners is a flagrant violation of the directions of the Supreme Court. In its February 2019 judgment, the apex court had categorically stated that if the CIC does not have a Chief Information Commissioner or required strength

Panchayat funds defrauded: Roads without potholes a fundamental right but not here

Kirity Roy, Secretary Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and National Convenor (PACTI) Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, writes to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** Through this complaint, I want to draw your attention to the plight of the villagers of Nawdapara in the District of North 24 Parganas. The village is situated under the Bagdah Police Station, Bagdah Block and Mama Bhagina Post Office respectively. Nawdapara is a Muslim minority populated village. Indo Bangladesh Border Road (IBBR) passes through the middle of the village. There is a naka checking post of the BSF inside the village and BSF associated with Mama Bhagina Border Out Post, 68 Battalion, ‘B’ Company guard 24 hours in that check post. People have lived in this village since the independence of India. The market is about three to four kilometres away from Nawdapara village. One primary school is situated within the village but the high school is about five to six kilo

Ultimate champion in crisis, arguably best ever skipper: Created history in Aussie cricket

By Harsh Thakor  In the history of cricket few cricketers knit and propelled a cricket team or had such profound influence on the game as Ian Chappell. Ian Chappell was responsible for converting a bunch of talented individuals into a world beating side, giving a dramatic turn to Australian cricket. Few cricketers ever led such a renaissance.

BSF's unconstitutional, whimsical order violates life, livelihood of Dalits, minorities

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission: *** I want to attract your attention towards the illegitimate restrictions on the life and livelihood of the villagers of Paschim Sahebganj village under Dinhata - II Block and Sahebganj police station in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal by the Border Security Force personnel attached with Dharala Border Out Post under 138 Battalion BSF. The population of Paschim Sahebganj village is around 1480, where almost 75 percent of the villagers belong from Hindu Scheduled Caste (Dalit) and 25 percent from minority Muslim backgrounds.The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. About 260 acres of cultivable land in the village that belongs to the villagers is located outside the border fencing, which is heavily guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF). The BSF regulates the ingress and egress of the villagers to their fields through the fencing gates that a

Largest democracy in world has become weakest at hands of fascist Hindutva forces

Note on “The Nazification of India”, a report released By Justice For All: *** This report, the Nazification of India, compares how Hindutva ideology not only is inspired by Nazis and Fascists of Europe, but their treatment of the Muslim minority closely follows developments that resulted in pushing Jews to the gas chambers. Situation is indeed quite alarming. The report says that the largest democracy in the world has become the weakest at the hands of the fascist Hindutva ideology. India today is ruled not just by a political party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but its mother organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Because the BJP’s government policies are linked to extra-legal enforcement by RSS paramilitary street power, this report has coined the term “The BJP-RSS regime” to reflect their intrinsic links and collaborative relationship. The Nazification of India report marks the anniversary of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 against Muslims which propelled the BJP-RSS

Varanasi social worker who has devoted her life for the ultra-poor and the marginalized

Passion Vista and its partners profile Founder and Managing Trustee Shruti Nagvanshi as  someone whom women leaders look up to: *** Shruti Nagvanshi, a social worker and human rights activist based in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has devoted her life to reaching out to the ultra-poor and marginalized communities in India. Born in Dashashwmedh, Varanasi on 2 January 1974, she married Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi on 22 February 1992 and has a son, Kabeer Karunik, a Business management Graduate who is also a national level snooker player.

An approach to lake/pond restoration by Ramveer Tanvar, Pond Man of India

By Monami Bhattacharya*, Mansee Bal Bhargava**  Lakes/ ponds are often referred to as an elixir of life, a living ecosystem that adds incremental value to the larger biota. Across the tropical landscape of the country lakes/ ponds are a common sight. Lakes/ponds have always shaped the life and livelihood of those dwelling in and around it. The dependence of the local population on these natural resources of water is noticeable since time immemorial. However, they are fading fast in both rural and urbanscapes from the popular parlance with the advance of humanity. It has been a popular notion to value land more than the waterscape and hence these nurturers of life are under stress in several areas. In many instances, these once beautiful waterscapes referred as the ‘Eye of the Earth’ are mostly now only dilapidated garbage dump yards emitting foul smell with no sign of a healthy ecosystem.

Urban crisis: Impact of erosion of democratic framework on Indian cities

By IMPRI Team  On 13th February, 2023, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi in collaboration with ActionAid Association India arranged a book launch followed by lecture series under the title “India’s G20 Presidency & the Urban Agenda for the Developing Countries”. The event was held in Indian International Centre (IIC) Annex, New Delhi. The event began with the book inauguration session, under the honorary presence of Mr Sitaram Yechury, former Rajya Sabha member and General Secretary, CPI (M), accompanied by Mr Sandeep Chachra, executive director, ActionAid Association India. Session 1 | Book Launch: ‘Cities in Transition’ by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar The book launched was “Cities in Transition”, written by Mr Tikender Singh Panwar, former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and a Senior Fellow at IMPRI. Beginning with brief remarks on his book, Mr Panwar outlined the basic subject matter and the purpose behind writing the book, which he considers as a by-product of his experien

Why rapid transition to green energy should be people-centric and community-led

Synthesis Report of IPCC AR6 is a warning call: Grounded action needed to ensure social and ecological justice: ActionAid Association note: *** The Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report is a warning call for action on the quickly closing opportunity of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade. Unless fossil fuels are rapidly retired, the impacts of climate change already faced by vulnerable communities will become difficult to handle. The IPCC report also highlights that we have the renewable energy technology, policy tools, and financial capital required for a just transition; however, “both adaptation and mitigation financing would need to increase many-fold”. The loss and damage caused by heat waves, crop failures, and rising sea levels suffered by majorities of India’s working peoples are already significant and uncompensated. News reports tell us that due to heat, India already loses around 101 billion hours yearly. E