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Jadavpur University Students Force VC To Resign! Relentless Fight Culminates In Victory #Hokkolorob

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The week that flew by had the entire world outraged beyond its senses. French satirical daily Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists, leaving most of its prominent cartoonists and columnists butchered in cold blood. Boko Haram touched a new low even by its own standards with as many as 2,000 feared dead, including several children and elderly, in one of the deadliest attacks of ‘cleansing’ in recent times. Sadly, as always, most of the world was oblivious to the sufferings of the African people.

20th September JU 12

Tonight, however, Kolorob happened!

Shrouded in near complete oblivion, the last week saw a just concluded hunger strike in the middle of one of the most tenacious and stretched student rebellion in a very long time. Over 150 hours of fasting by a handful of the most tenacious students, relentless support from students bodies all across the country, the solidarity of people skewed across communities today finally, belatedly, but thankfully, culminated into the resignation of the Abhijit Chakrabarti as the Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University.


When Hokkolorob started, it began, as all movements do, with one significant incident, that of a woman being allegedly molested inside the campus of Jadavpur University during the then ongoing annual cultural festival. The authorities, however, did not give the incident the importance they should have, triggering off protests from the student body for a fair, just and thorough investigation of the matter. Tensions ran high, the vice Chancellor retrenched obstinately refusing to listen to reason and the students kept protesting till the early hours of September 17, when they were brutally attacked by the state police machinery and ruling political party goons.

The protests against brutality on students spread like wildfire all across the nation and some parts of the world, with massive support pouring in from all corners. Twin rallies in Kolkata on September 17 and 18 saw as many as 5,000 and 10,000 people turning up. The mega rally on September 20 or the mahamichil as it was termed, was estimated to have over 60000 protesters walking in the rains to the Governor’s office, who also happens to be the Chancellor of the University, demanding the resignation of the interim Vice Chancellor.

Since that crescendo of popular support, Hokkolorob has been ploughing on with students of the University valiantly fighting, often alone, against the injustice meted out to them. The Interim VC Abhijit Chakrabarti was given a tenure of four years, students retaliated by a 24 hour hunger strike and effigy burning on the one month anniversary of protests and more recently, 100 students refused to accept their certificates at the convocation, with the gold medalist Gitosri Sarkar refusing to take her medal, point blank, from a stunned Governor K.N. Tripathi.


150 hours and then some.

That’s how long it took, along with months of continuous agitation, some virile, some lackluster, but always present, always there, for an obstinate, callous Vice Chancellor to step down from his high horse and resign. That, and some well timed political pressure from our dearest Chief Minister, dearest being a term of endearment that I would use to describe Bellatrix Lestrange.

It is hardly the time for pettiness, but dearest (again, Bellatrix Lestrange reference) Chief Minister, this is something that should have happened 4 months ago. This can be construed as a last ditch attempt to pacify an angry people after two of your most trusted lieutenants are now behind bars, thanks to the Saradha Scam.

It also might be a change in heart after relentlessly subduing and sabotaging the movement at every stage and turn. The cynic is me, however, sneers at that idea.

But, of course, you made it come true – the common refrain on everyone’s lips.

The VC must go. And he is now. Going going and gone.

Out of the 12 students who sat on an indefinite hunger strike, three had been hospitalized with severe sugar level problems, the rest weren’t doing good either. But the tenacious students didn’t seem to be in a mood to relent this time around.

“We are trying to keep them as comfortable as possible with blankets and water and we are constantly monitoring if any one of them needs any medical attention of sorts,” said Sreya Saha, who has been one of the people involved in helping the students in the hunger strike. A few hours back, she sends me a whatsapp message, smelling of sweet jubilance, a roar of victory, “We have done it! The VC is going to resign!”

On Friday, the students had met and spoken with the State Education Minister, Partha Chatterjee, but all he had was mere words. He assured the students that he would look into their grievances, but bear in mind, this is the man who had batted aside the student protests when it had flared up in the first place. It took his boss to come and clean up his mess. I doubt that he’s going to be very comfortable in the coming days.

In a shot in the arm for the protesters, some parents of the students had been sitting on a 12 hour fast today, showing their solidarity with the fasting students. In a quote to NDTV, Nabanita Pal, mother of Nabattoma Pal, who has been fasting since January 5, said, “What kind of a vice chancellor is this? Children, including my daughter, are on fast and falling ill but he is doing nothing. The vice chancellor has to go, that is the only solution!”

The Jadavpur University Teacher’s Association had also expressed full support for students and had called for the Vice Chancellor to step down.

In a funny world, it would be hilarious to see the students, the parents and the teachers agreeing on the same thing. Unfortunately, it is a world where students have to fast indefinitely for their cause to register their grievance. Thankfully, it is still a world where we can stick it to the man!

An indefinite hunger strike seemed extreme to some, but that’s what it took the authorities to finally accede to the students’ demands, having adamantly being stuck at denying these students the justice that they deserve for the last 4 months.

The VC had to go.

To critics and seasoned politics mongers – student agitations do work. It just takes longer than usual sometimes for the impossible to happen.

The air in Jadavpur University is heady with the power of this momentous victory where all student political bodies set aside their differences and stood for what’s right and what’s just. And won.

This is the kind of a moment when you would want Morgan Freeman to say these words with a twinkle in his eye.
“Remember, remember, the Seventeenth of September!”

Hok Kolorob, Hoyeche Kolorob, Cholbe Kolorob!

You must be to comment.

    Monday, 12 January 2015

    All the Comrades,

    Dear Friends & Comrades,

    This is the greatest victory ( of the Modern Era ) for all the Students / Learners, Ex – Students , Teachers and all Others, specially on today’s occasion of Swami Vivakananda Ji’s 153rd Birth Anniversary !!! ULTIMATELY, THE COMRADES HAVE DEFEATED THE ARROGANCE OF FASCISM……..!!!!! ( In another words, it is the blessings of the Grate Swamiji to the Struggling Students of the Jadavpur University (JU) as the struggles was on the Right and Legitimate Path )………… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It is another Victory of Good over the Evils…..!!!!!

    Whatever I have been writing for this, is given bellow, but on this Historic Occasion, I may Please be allowed to write the followings :-



    2. 1 CHOR? 2 CHOR? 3 CHOR ? 4 CHOR ? 5 (ME) CHOR !!!!!? : 1, 2, 3, 4, ……….


    I have the written the following from time to time ……..!!!!!!


    Saturday, December 27, 2014
    Comrade Gitoshree and others,
    Dear comrade(s) ,
    You ( you All ), have reminded the mankind of the Grate Rabindranath Tagore, who made such non violent protest as he (Tagore) renounced his Knighthood in protest for Jalianwalla Bagh mass killing!!!
    As your Senior Colleague, [ i.e. As an Ex – Student of the Jadavpur University ], It is my / our Right and as well as Duty, accompany you all in this STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE ( though It may not possible for me / us to be physically involve in the same ).
    Nevertheless, I am / We are Proud of You ( you All )!!!
    Even a Respected Minister of our present State Government has justified this method of Non Violent Protest against Injustice.
    So, please do go ahead, March on …………
    Thanks & Regards,
    (An Indian citizen & an Ex Student of the Jadavpur University ).

    Friday, 26 September 2014

    All my Comrades,
    Dear Comrades,


    As an Ex – Student of the Jadavpur University, It is my Right and as well as Duty, accompany you all in this STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE ( though It may not possible for me / us to be physically involve in the same ).
    Nevertheless, I can say that IN THE ERA OF FASCISM, the Attack on Students, Teachers and the Educational Institutes are Normal Matters. Only the Struggle for Justice, is the Way Out. Your / Our Struggles are on the Right Path, So, Comrades, Please do go Ahead [ And as your well Wisher, It is my Sincere Advise to All the Students that please do not Ignore your Studies ( If it is not possible to attend the Classes, then At Least, please do Continue with Self STUDY along with the STRUGGLE ).
    Our Teachers / Lecturers and Professors ( and their Blessings and Good Wishes ) are with us, SO, WE SHALL DO FIGHT AND WE SHALL DO WIN!!!
    To encourage you all, I am uploading my views in the Social Net Working Sites ( i.e. the mails which I /We have sent to the Press, for You. So, All the Best and Cheers!!!
    Thanks & Regards,
    ( An Indian citizen & an Ex – Student of Jadavpur University ).

    Monday, 22 September 2014

    All my Comrades,
    Dear Comrades,


    I believe that after writing this mail, I may have to go to Jail like Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra ( Though these are democratic way of protesting against injustices, that too peacefully ), but I do not mind.

    After learning “ MOD, GANJA, CHORAS BANDA, TAI, PRATIBAD ER GANDHA’’, I may please be allowed to write the following ( Without Naming Any Body )!!!

    Views Remarks and the Meanings.

    1. Didi,tomar Chit Fund ( Cheat Fund ) er Malik, Chetallo nir dosh Students der opor kada r kalik! Shame!!! The owner of Your Chit Fund (Chea Fund ), mud Slinging ( with Black Colour ) on the innocent students.

    2. Aaj Tamader Michil er Panda,
    Age chilo Saradha r posa Gunda! Shame!!! The leader of your today’s Procession was once Sarada’s paid Goon!

    3. Saradha er jonne korla na, JU kando te korcho Committee,
    Hok Tomar / Tomader Sumoti!
    But, It is Practically, Next to impossible. For Saradha Scam, You did not form any Committee ( in your Party ) but for JU, You want the same, we hope that you DEVELOP a good Sense ofMorality ….. !!!!!! ( which is practically next to Impossible ).

    4. Didi, Dekacho Cartoon Kando,Sudhere Jao Noi to Ebar Dhekbe kalighat e Lanka Kando!!!
    This is Certainly not desired. You have seen Cartoon, Now, You will see Some thing Else ( if you do not improve )!

    5. Ajke hobe tomder Mook Choon, So, Didi, Get wel Soon!
    Shame!!! Your Conspiracies will fail and so, Get Well Soon from the Evil Disease.
    6. Didi tumi ( For Saradha ) jabe Jail,Tomar Gang hobe Nirmul & Tomader Dirty Politics hobe Fail……..!!!!!
    Shame!!! You will go to Jail ( For Saradha Scam ) and so, Your Gang will Fail…….. !!!!!

    So, It is my / our earnest to all to do the needful.
    Thanks & Regards,
    ( An Indian citizen
    an Ex – Student of Jadavpur University ).

    Sunday, 21 September 2014

    All my Comrades,
    Dear Comrades,


    I, used to be an Active Member of SFI, [ At Rampur Unit under Shimla District Committee, of Himachal Pradesh ( Graduate 1996 )].
    Whatever is going on in Himachal Pradesh is not unknown to me / us as the same has been published in the People’s Democracy !
    But Unfortunately, the recent injustice on the Innocent Students of Jadavpur University ( of which I am also an Ex student ! ) has left all the bench Marks far behind.
    Today, I do believe that I / We have gone back ( with the help of some Time Machine ) to the British Regime in India (Specially for the present West Bengal Government) !!!
    Nevertheless, the time has come to out the protest throughout the Nation, not only for this but also for many other Issues!
    It is my earnest request to all the Students / Other Persons ( not only of West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, but also to all ) that let there be the protests against all the injustices up to the Maximum Possible Extent, before the ignored Dirty Cut becomes Septic!!!

    Considering the present scenarios, the following Questions arises that :-

    Questions Remarks / Reasons.

    1. Is India really an independent, Democratic and Socialist Country!!!? The present west Bengal Government has proved this to be Wrong.
    [ A. Mondal, T. Pal and Others ( on one side ) Vs Students of JU on the other side ) ].

    2. Is there Supremacy of the constitution In India!!!!!!!!!??????? CERTAINLY NOT !!!
    [ as Some political Leaders ( specially in West Bengal ) has already Proved ( Several Times ) that SHE / he / they are / IS FAR ABOVE THE LAW OF THE LAND !!!???

    3. Can there be any Justice in India !!!? Unfortunately, In many Cases, It has been proved to be negative.

    So, It is my / our earnest to all to do the needful.
    Thanks & Regards,
    ( An Indian citizen & an Ex Student of Jadavpur University ).

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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