For Sus­pen­sion of Dis­ci­plinary Dis­be­lief

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

As is the case with Ve­gas, what hap­pens in a five-mem­ber high-level en­quiry com­mit­tee of Las JNU stays in a five­mem­ber high-level en­quiry com­mit­tee of Las JNU. But the ver­dict is out, and along with var­i­ous other de­noue­ments de­liv­ered to pol­i­tick-tock­ing stu­dents who had bran­dished anti-na­tional slo­gans — and cut classes — three have been doled out a spe­cific pun­ish­ment: rus­ti­ca­tion. While Umair Khalid and Anir­ban Bhat­tacharya have been — drum roll! — rus­ti­cated for a se­mes­ter, Mu­jeeb Gat­too is — drum roll! — rus­ti­cated for two. So what on earth, you may be ask­ing if you’re not an early 20th-cen­tury Oxbridge alum­nus or a Ben­gali, is a rus­ti­ca­tion? It means tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion. Which quite rightly may lead to the ques­tion: so why not just say ‘sus­pen­sion’? One sim­ple rea­son: rus­ti­ca­tion sounds far more se­ri­ous than sus­pen­sion. Driv­ing li­cences, metro rail ser­vices and er­rant po­lit­i­cal party mem­bers may be sus­pended. Anti-na­tional anar­chic types get rus­ti­cated. Lit­er­ally, rus­ti­ca­tion means ‘sent down’, its root word from the me­dieval Latin word, ‘rus’, or coun­try­side. Con­sid­er­ing that the afore­men­tioned gen­tle­men have been deemed rus­tic, their be­ing tem­po­rar­ily ex­iled to the boon­docks is a nice lit­tle twist to ur­ban In­dia’s Vic­to­rian English ob­ses­sions.

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