Despite protests from JNU and former IIMC students, controversial former Bastar Inspector General of Police (IGP), SRP Kalluri, predictably, lectured the ‘nationalist’ crowd on the ‘marginalised’.
Kalluri, who was given a hero’s welcome at the premier journalism institute of the country, introduced himself as a “voice of the voiceless” 40 lakh Adivasis (tribals) of Bastar. Openly vowing to eliminate “anti-nationals”, “Naxal-supporting” activists and journalists, he said, “Such people should be crushed.” Slogans such as ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ accompanied his entry to the institute.
The gentle tone of the controversial Kalluri belied his hard-stance on various issues ranging from development to how to tackle Naxalism. Calling Adivasis as “victims of Maoism”, Kalluri said, “Adivasis are very innocent. They derive maximum happiness with minimum resources, but Naxals have forced them to parrot their version.”
“Naxalism was imported to Bastar from Andhra Pradesh,” he added.
He decided to play the victim card by alleging that he was chased by government agencies and that CBI had filed many cases against him. In an hour-long speech, Kalluri, proudly announced that he was the founder member of Patni Pratadit Sangh (roughly-translated as a group for henpecked husbands) but it did not go down well with the women journalists.
“Though he pretended to say it for fun, it shows how he treats women. He is a die-hard misogynistic personality. He repeatedly mocked women in his speech,” commented a female reporter.
A researcher from Delhi University who attended the lecture at IIMC sounded disappointed. “He spent more time mocking women instead of the topic which he was given to speak about—the issues of marginalised people. His speech turned out to be a joker’s monologue,” he said.
Kalluri boasted about his purported “success” of his multi-pronged anti-Naxal strategy, repeatedly.
However, when National Herald asked him why he targeted/ terrorised journalists, he defiantly asked to name the journalists. But, when the names of journalists who were allegedly tortured by either him or the Chhattisgarh police were mentioned, he abruptly walked away.
Before Kalluri’s arrival, IIMC Director General KG Suresh rebuffed criticism over the invite to the controversial cop for the media seminar.
Calling protesters of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as “devils”, Suresh accused descendants of (Karl) Marx and (Lord) Macaulay for the anti-India, anti-national activities. He said, “If you can talk to Hurriyat leaders, the separatists from Kashmir, then why not Kalluri?
Suresh defended his move to allow a ‘yajna’ on campus, asserting that he need not be taught secularism. He added that other religions too had the liberty to perform their respective rituals.
On the issue of vedic ritual ‘yajna’ and ‘hawan’ in a state-funded institute, he said, “I consider them (protesters) as mentally sick. Time has come for the nationalist forces. We are the foot soldiers.”
“The yajna and havan were performed, as scheduled, by the organisers before the seminar begun,” a senior employee of the institute told National Herald, adding that something like this has never happened in the institute’s 52-year history. “Breaking down all ethos and values, it is for the first time that yajna and havan were performed in the campus. Will they perform ‘bali’ (sacrifice) also?” he asked.