Professor Apoorvanand teaches Hindi at Delhi University, commentates on sociopolitical issues, produces literary and cultural critiques, and frequently lends his voices to progressive causes. For his activism, he has sometimes faced heat from the authorities. Early this month, his phone was seized and he was questioned by the Delhi police about his role in the protests against the citizenship law which they have alleged caused the communal violence in the city in February.
Apoorvanand speaks with Chahak Gupta about his interrogation, his ideological leanings and his position on violence.
Having an ideology and practising it is the constitutional right of every Indian citizen, he says, but an ideological belief is not a justification for violence. He denounces the idea of necessary violence that ideological frameworks such as Maoism tend to support. To Apoorvanand, the issue of ends and means is critical. He illustrates this by quoting MK Gandhi, “If you achieve something with violence, what you achieve is bound to be violent.”
On his questioning by the police, he highlights the lies propagated by the media and the BJP following the Delhi election result early this year. About the WhatsApp group that is the subject of the police investigation against him and some other members, he points out that it was started to support the protests against the citizenship law with speakers and performers.
Transcribed by Prakriti Singh.
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