A First Hand Account Of What Went Down At The Anti-Modi Protests [Photos]

Posted on February 7, 2013 in Politics at Play

By Akhil Kumar:

Akhil Kumar shares his personal experience of what went down at the anti-Modi protests, yesterday, 6th February 2013 at the Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi:

My fingers hurt even while I am writing this but the story needs to be told, another tale of the fascist state repression and the devious designs of right wing extremism. The north campus of the Delhi University looked like a fortress with all measures in place to welcome the “hero” of Gujarat  I was there to protest Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Ram College Of Commerce, filled with anger and disgust at his attempt to invade academic spaces for electoral propaganda. I left for the protest totally unprepared as we planned on a peaceful demonstration; laptop bag slung on the shoulders and placard in hand, I did not anticipate the horrors that awaited us.



As we entered the protest site through the Arts Faculty entrance, we saw giant ABVP hoardings and posters welcoming Modi to the university. Their “activists” were all over, many of them perched on tree branches like monkeys and seemed to have found it as the ideal place to welcome their “Hanuman”; the image of the banar sena was hard to ignore (Yes, I should be accused of Blasphemy by any religious Hindu for desecrating Hanuman). Hundreds of students were already present there shouting slogans and waving black flags, it was heartening to see so many students raising their voices in unison against communalism and right wing fanaticism. Chants of “Modi lao desh bachao” “Dekho kaun aya, bharat ma ka sher aya” were promptly countered by “Communal Modi go back” and many others. The anger and disgust against the communal politics of Modi was palpable, all of us spoke out with the accumulated rage of the victims in Gujrat. The clinched fists, raised voices and the fiery expression on the faces showed how passionately the students felt for the victims. It’s a shame for a politician who is being projected as the next Prime Minister to be so afraid of innocent unarmed students that he needed three layer barricading and heavy deployment of police in riot gear. Why can’t he come out and have a dialogue with the protesters and face his critics? Clearly, he has no answers for the horrific crimes he has committed.



The police did not even bother to conceal their support and tolerance for the hooligans of ABVP who even climbed on the water cannon and openly indulged in sexual harassment and violence. They passed lewd comments and made vulgar gestures standing right next to the policemen, I would have clicked pictures had my phone not been rendered useless by the water cannon. I was shocked to see that many teachers from Delhi University also openly threatening the protesters, abusing us with the most horrific expletives while their students brandished pointed sticks saying “khoon kar dunga”!  We felt helpless and outraged at the police working hand in glove with the goons. When we broke through the first barricade, the police started bashing us ruthlessly with their lathis in full swing and they enjoyed every moment of it. They laughed, mocked us, hurled vulgar abuses and passed derogatory comments while hitting us. It was clear that they had no intention to disperse or control the crowd, they chased us down and dragged some of our protesters to their side of the barricade and left them at the mercy of the ABVP goons. A few girls fell down in the rush and the police trampled them, one of them was unconscious when we rushed to help and had to be taken to the hospital. The ABVP students openly threatened girls with comments like “Jo Gujrat me hua tha wahi tumhare sath bhi karenge”.


The police trained their water cannon at us and I cannot forget the smirk on the face of the person who was operating it just before he started aiming at the defenseless protesters. I was caught in the jet and fell face down as it hit me straight on my legs, struggling to get up from the mud. I lost all faith in non-violent protests that very moment. I was hurt, shocked and infuriated; not that this was my first encounter with water cannons but because of the smile on the policemen’s faces as they enjoyed the brutality. When I again went to the barricade, I was beaten up and hit where it hurts the most; the excruciating pain in the knuckles and ankles stand testimony to that. Some of the policemen passed snide remarks and laughed at us all the while.


The barricades were finally removed when Narendra Modi left and we immediately marched to the Maurice Nagar police station to demand the release of our detained friends and fellow protesters. Exhausted, battered, drenched and feeling defeated I accompanied them bare foot as my shoes were dripping; the ABVP goons followed all the way trying to bully us. We staged a protest in front of the police station and refused to move until the police freed all the protesters and lodged our complaints against them and the ABVP goons. They tried to intimidate us and refused to lodge the complaint, they even tried to grope some female protesters when they went in for medical examination to check for the injuries from the lathi charge. We went in nevertheless and raised slogans against the police, the administration and the right wing fanatics. For over two hours we sat inside the police station premises and sang songs of resistance and raised slogans until the police apologized publicly.

I could not write about this yesterday itself as I was too disturbed and shaken up. We were successful in driving across the message that Modi’s crimes will never be forgotten, that he is not welcome here. Let us all occupy every corner of the city and turn them into sites of protest, let us say it loud and clear that the voice of resistance can never be silenced.

Images: A very special thanks to Shafaq Khan for the photographs.

Akhil Kumar

Former Senior-editor at Youth Ki Awaaz. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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Samriddhi Kapur

‘No Entry’ for ‘Fascist’ ‘Mass Murderer’?
Who the hell is she to decide?

Look at the irony here. Asking for freedom for students to express themselves.
Having an issue with the students of SRCC who CHOSE Modi to speak at their college.

And we can’t call him a mass murderer. He hasn’t murdered anyone. People of two different communities murdered each other. He just let the events run their natural course. Now there’s peace and prosperity and he’s doing wonders for the state, but these pseudos have to swarm the streets like this.

I agree with you Bhavika. They really need to get a life, get a job, contribute to society positively. This man has alleviated the rural poor, provided employment to so many, encouraged female literacy, started sustainable eco-friendly initiatives, irrigation projects, power generation projects and rural development initiatives, embraced new technology, and all these people do is crib, cry and vent. Haters will be haters!

This man is trying to harness the youth to better themselves and this nation, but the youth is messed up. Such a shame! Mr. Modi is right. This country is full of pessimists who always see the glass as half empty.

Rahul Kumar

I’m just a regular guy. I do not have any political affiliations. But I do believe that the biggest threat to the Indian democracy comes in the guise of right wing fundamentalism– be it Hindu or Islamic. Narendra Modi, for me, represents everything that has gone wrong with the liberal face of India in the past 15-20 years. That’s why they say it’s essential to read history. The career trajectory of BJP & Modi is easily draws parallel to that of the National Socialist Party of Germany & Hitler in the 1920s & 30s.

It’s a shame for a prestigious college like SRCC to call upon somebody like Narendra Modi to address its students when there’s no dearth of public intellectuals & economists in India. It was nonetheless good to see students up in protest against a religious fundamentalist and trying to thwart his game plan to use DU’s legitimacy to further his Prime Ministerial ambition.

Modi’s supporters fail to see that they are creating a Frankenstein Monster. Oversimplified and naive statement like “The riots were a manifestation of simmering communal tension, and they have run their course…” is an insult to basic human intelligence. Even my eighth grader nephew knows better.


Thanks for the first hand account. But tell me one thing.. In all these things… how is Mr. modi responsible… He was there to speak. not to direct the police or the security. And let me remind that Delhi Police are directly under Ministry of Home Affairs and not even under Delhi government…. And as far as I know currently MHA is under congress and which will not leave any stone unturned to harm and bring down Narendra Modi.. So for the fault of Ministry of Home affairs/Delhi Police in the matter of security and man handling at SRCC you will hold Mr. Narendra Modi responsible… Well thats some what far fetched and not right. This is also another form of anarchy… “For all the ill things we will hold you and only you responsible”.

Also Mr Narendra Modi is always targetted for 2002 riot. Let me ask you.. was Gujrat riot the first riot in India.. I think NO… Between 1948 and 2002 if we list all the riots in India.. it will total to more than 1500… So why are we always targetting Mr Modi as if he was personally responsible for riot in Gujrat. I am all for punishing those who deserve it.. But mark the word DESERVE. Also I will want to punish all those responsible for all 1500 riots in India NOT JUST One riot. Tell me have we punished any body in government responsible for Genocide (mark the word genocide NOT riot) in Kashmir of Kashmiri Pundits.. I have not heard of any PIL/case pending in Supreme Court/High Court/SIT against Farooq Abdullah (who was the CM that time) or against Rajiv Gandhi/Monmohan Singh/Mufti Mohammed Sayeed (HM)/Chandra Sekhar (HM) (during genocide time)

So please do not have selective only memory and do justice to yourself. Only if you are able to do justice with yourself, then only we will be able to do justice with others

Virendra Kumar

I am sorry for those misguided students who demonstrated outside the venue of SRCC memorial Lecture. These hecklers should know that time has come when they should rise above the crab- mentality, which is leading India down the drain and doing no good to the youth. I am neither a Modi basher nor his backer, however, I listened what he had to say to the youth. It is his plus point that there is hardly any other Indian leader, as Modi is, in recent years, who articulates with such eloquence and conviction, straight from his heart, his vision to take India to glorious heights. This would not have been possible without Modi having had a successful and outstanding performance record of all-round economic development in Gujarat, during his tenure as CM, well-recognized by GoI. There was no political overtones in his speech. Otherwise, a group of the students with best analytical minds would not have listened to him spell-bound, requesting him to continue to talk and gave a standing ovation before and after the lecture. There are innumerable unfortunate historical wounds/ incidents, in which various leaders, religious groups, political parties, etc. can continue to be blamed till eternity, even without any proof; there is no use stoking them. The ‘youth power’ shuns them now and wants to move ahead, as seen in recent Gujarat elections, forget and forgive, ‘jo beeti so beeti, aage umar sambhalu mein’. The well-meaning ‘Youth Power’of the country wants opportunities to grow, progress, and not keep harping on past unfortunate incidents

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