The Jadavpur University protests that gained steam by the continuous stonewalling of the authorities to downplay an investigation of molestation and gained national attention when as many as 40 peacefully protesting students were brutalized by police action (and 38 were arrested) on the wee hours of September 17, reached a massive crescendo on September 20 when as many as one lakh people took to the streets protesting police action. The movement has spread far and wide across the nation and has even crossed the seven seas where protests are scheduled to take place today in New York. In fact, today, September 25, has unofficially been declared a day of protest against police action on students nationwide as more and more students are ‘clamouring’ (clamouring in Bengali means kolorob. Hence, the name Hokkolorob) in support of the agitation.
The viewpoints of the students who have been vehemently involved in the protests are echoing all over social media. What we haven’t heard much about, is the opposition to the movement. Here are some of the views of important people in power who honestly care about the education sector and express the horror on the current student’s movement that has been joined, in solidarity, by more than 100 institutions and universities all across the nation.
1. TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of the honourable Chief Minister of the state Mamata Banerjee, has been quoted as saying, “Is this protest due to the banning of drugs, liquor and charas?”
That, right there, (pardon my French) is a Rahul Gandhi statement.
Yes, the students have been protesting against the ban of illicit narcotics substances being spread across the campus that has been polluting the educational environment of the University. Never mind the alleged molestation of the girl, the impeded investigation about the molestation, questioning her dignity by the alleged ‘dignitaries’ of the University. Oh, and the police attack where students were clobbered and stomped on and women punched in their breasts for peacefully protesting against University inaction- that is a trifle not even worth wasting our time on. Instead, let’s waste our time on protesting against the banning of charas and ganja and liquor on campus (this part isn’t that obvious to the world, you know), which seems like a more, much more worthwhile issue.
2. Partha Chatterjee, State Education Minister- “Don’t like the VC, leave, join elsewhere.”
You’re absolutely right sir. Students have no say in how they should be treated by the University in which they study in. And so what if the current Vice Chancellor did not think it important enough to have an impartial investigation to an alleged molestation? So what if he unleashed the police and ruling party goons on his own students? They should be thankful to him for trying to knock some sense into the coconut headed agitators. Like him? They should love the VC. The honourable Vice Chancellor introduced them to the music of lathis on their bones- we should all hail his greatness, his Fifth Symphony.
3. Partha Chatterjee, State Education Minister( the occupational hazard of being the Education minister of the state at times like these can throw up statements which do NOT insinuate further bodily harm on the protestors at all.
“I won’t be responsible if the members of the Chhatra Parishad, professors and others who want normalcy in the education sector also launch a movement of their own.”
No, sir, I absolutely refuse to believe the protestors who think that this is a threat. These are mere words that insinuate another peaceful movement, since the Chhatra Parishad is known to be a very peace loving outfit. I’m sure the fears of further trouble by the party’s student body will be unfounded.
Oh, and the presence of Chhatra Parishad students on the fateful night on which the students got brutalized by the police and others, means absolutely nothing.
4. Abhijit Chakrabarti, Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor. (alleged quote)
“It is beneath my dignity to talk to the students.”
I wouldn’t be able to think of a more succinct reply to the protestors asking pressing questions. Can you?
5. Abhijit Chakrabarti, Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor (from the horse’s mouth again, although this one is verifiable.)
“Entire JU episode was my destiny.”
I completely, wholeheartedly agree with you, dear sir. You’re a shining light of renaissance on in the dark ages of the education sector. You’re worthy of being equated to Aragorn, whose destiny was to influence Middle Earth, to Luke Skywalker, who’s destiny was to mould the rebel Alliance’s struggle against the evil Galactic Empire, to Professor Snape, dear sir, who’s destiny was to, well we all know what he did, I wouldn’t want to spoil the series for the uninitiated.Â Ordering a brutal onslaught on the students and scampering away to safety surrounded by goons is truly what heroes do, dear sir, and that, truly, is your destiny.
6. Mamata Banerjee, Honourable Chief Minister of the state of West Bengal: I have saved the best for last. In the aftermath of the brutal state action on peacefully protesting students, this is what our honourable Chief Minister had to say.
“ Eita to chhottoghotona.”(This is a small incident)
Post Script: Twin rallies from the ruling party took to the streets on September 22 in response to the Mahamichil on the 20th. Here’s what some of the more knowledgeable participants of those opposing rallies had to say.
This one, however, clearly takes the cake away.
I rest my case.