It has been more than 3 years here in Ramjas College, I tried my best to be apolitical for long but I pledge to be there with my back against the unsocial elements and with no options left but to fight back. You never do calibrate the repercussions of a situation until it becomes personal.
Don’t bow down to bullies, Ramjas. They’ll punch you, kick you, assault you, make your lives miserable, but you can take it. You can take it because you are fighting for your freedom of debate, discussion, dissent and expression under constitutional premises. Every time they try to shut you up, scream a little louder because they’ll run out of ways to torment you but your words will live forever.
It’s easy to shrug it off and say “we can’t do any better on our own” but what happens to your friend or college-mate or neighbour today might happen to you tomorrow. Maybe it will be a different landscape. The day we let bullies win is the day we take a step back as a society. When they try to push you down plant your feet into the ground and stand strong. Let them do what they want with sticks and stones, never surrender.
No democracy can claim to be one unless freedom of speech and expression are guaranteed by statute and where the state machinery works to ensure compliance not only in the behavior of government, but of its citizens. The curbing of expression with threat and through terror should be condemned if our country is to become a mature democracy. Indeed, the expression of varied and differing opinions strengthen the political discourse and empower people to make informed choices.
Once again, forces using terror and violence have prevailed over culture and tradition of reason, debate and discussion and forced the cancellation of the seminar on ‘Cultures of Protest,’ scheduled to be held at Ramjas College in Delhi on February 21, 2017. It is a dark day in Indian intellectual history!
We do write to ensure that the peace prevails on academic campuses in India and the right to freedom of expression and speech is held intact. Intimidation and arm-twisting must stop and elements responsible for creating such an environment must be dealt with strongly. Anybody who has to express his ideas must do so respecting the constitutional values of our country. Any difference in opinion must be argued and debated rather than be forced upon the people.
Let them throw stones all they want, as long as you’ve got a pen, you’ll find a way.