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Whew, it’s not just us: Violent campus clash...

Whew, it’s not just us: Violent campus clashes are happening in India, too

Tensions are high at the University of Delhi’s Ramjas College after violence struck yesterday’s protests. Students had gathered to denounce the right-wing student group ABVP’s recent violent disruptions, and the ABVP responded by violently disrupting the event. Now, protesters worry the ABVP will single them out for retribution

The ABVP’s name translates to the All Indian Student Council. It’s a Hindu nationalist organization with ties to the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party and its alleged parent organization, the right-wing RSS. As the country’s largest student group, affiliated with the ruling party, the ABVP is a powerful group. Troublingly, they use that power to crack down on “anti-national” activity. One protester even describes the ABVP (and complicit police) as “fascism in action.”

High Faluter’s focus is mostly on American academia because, while our interest isn’t limited to the US, our expertise often is. There’s nothing I could say about education in India that an Indian writer could not articulate better. But I definitely can worry that America is primed for its own version of the ABVP. “Alt-right” groups are sprouting up on campuses, and with rallying cries like the UC Berkeley demonstrations, it’s not impossible these groups could meet protests with violence. And in the current political climate, it’s also not impossible that they’d get away with it.

What do you think, both of the protests at Ramjas College and the prospects of fascist student groups in the US? Is the ABVP being characterized unfairly? Am I being paranoid? Let us know in the comments!

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In a perfect world, I’d be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I’m just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I’d like to go back to academia.

Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I’ve used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I’d like to focus my work on what I’m really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it’s the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of High Faluter: I’m finding that academia doesn’t just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan


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