Arif Ayaz Parrey imagines the questioning of Umar Khalid and
Anirban Bhattacharya by the Delhi police
A Thulla (a passive aggressive term for a policeman) to Umar and Anirban: Why did you organise an anti-national protest at JNU?
Anirban: According to Anderson, a nation is an imagined community, socially constructed by people who believe themselves to be part of that larger group…
Thulla 2: What? That is not an answer to my question. Who funded you?
Anirban: Some of us pooled a few thousand rupees together. Everybody chipped in with small donations.
Thulla 3: You mean to say you used UGC grant money to fund the programme? You used the taxpayers’ money to fund the anti-national programme?
Umar: Taxpayers’ money is a misnomer. All wealth belongs to the collective and must be spent for the benefit of the collective. Every capable person must perform labour for the collective and in return the collective provides for all her needs. Marx says…
Thulla 1: But you did misuse funds?
Anirban: We expended the money not for any bourgeoisie or even petty bourgeoisie interests but on the larger goals of education and dissemination of information. Althusser says…
Thulla 2 (Scratching his head): We’ll come back to that, but tell me, is Afzal Guru a martyr to you?
Anirban: I’ll answer that otherwise you will accuse Umar of being a radical. Shaheed or martyr has its etymological roots in the concept of “bearing witness”. If somebody is murdered in any circumstance other than self-defiance or is given a choice between a life of dignity and what Agamben calls bare life, of course it is only rational that he will choose death. Such people bear witness in their death of the impossibility of justice in the paradigm they died in. Bhagat Singh is not a martyr for any other reason.
Thulla 3: What talk is this? Who raised the slogan, “Bharat ki barbadi tak jung rahegee”?
Umar: Probably somebody from Jamia Millia. Najeeb Jung was their VC, after all, wasn’t he?
Thulla 1: What is funny in this? People are fuming. You have hurt their sentiments.
Anirban: We have hurt the sentiments of the media, which means getting hurt by us is increasing their TRP. It is a classical Chomskyan case of manufacturing consent by the elite for bourgeoisie interests.
Thulla 2: Why did you make a misleading poster saying “In a country without post office”? There are many post-offices in Kashmir, we found out through an RTI that J&K is well-covered by postal services.
Umar slaps Anirban’s back.
Thulla 3: This is not a picnic, ok? Behave! Do you support Kashmir’s azadi from India?
Umar: We support freedom in all its forms. India cannot be free if others feel we occupy them. According to Baba Saheb…
Thulla 1: What is this doublespeak?
Anirban and Umar exchange glances.
Anirban: So you have at least read Orwell.
Thulla 1: Yes, all if well. Thank you.
Umar (Laughing, to Anirban): Ignorance is strength.
Anirban (Laughing, to Umar): Freedom is slavery.
Both together: War is peace.
Police report on the interrogation reads as follows
This seems to be a deep-rooted international conspiracy to not only overthrow the government of India but destroy the state itself. There seem to be a few ideologues of these anti-nationals within different parts of the country, Bhagat Singh (more information sought from Punjab Police) and some Baba Saheb (search for data ongoing). Many foreign handlers have also been named, the names include, Anderson, Marcus, Chooms Kayan, Aegham Ben and Al Thusar. Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung seems to be the common link between these autonomous cells.