For Suspension of Disciplinary Disbelief
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.