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How ABVP’s Violence And The Media’s Propaganda Manipulate Public

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In the recent times, campus politics has been boiling over the issue of nationalism, the right to dissent and the right to protest. This ideological war is a clash between that of the right-wing students’ union ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad) and the rest, which includes the likes of AISA (All India Students’ Association), SFI (Students’ Federation Of India), BASO (Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Organisation), DSU (Democratic Students’ Union) and NSUI (National Students’ Union Of India). :This is an ideological clash between the right-wing students’ union, Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and the rest, which includes All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation Of India (SFI), Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Organisation (BASO), Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and National Students’ Union Of India (NSUI). So, this is where it all began.

The JNU Incident And Its Aftermath

On February 9, 2016 when eight ex-members of DSU organised a cultural event protesting against what they called – The Judicial Killings Of Afzal Guru And Maqbool Bhatt. It is worth noting that they were not the first people to question this judgement. It had repeatedly been questioned by some of the top judges, lawyers, human rights organisations and many other prominent personalities. As in the case of Afzal Guru, capital punishment was awarded simply to satisfy the nation’s collective conscience.

The trouble started when just 20 minutes before the start of this event ABVP wrote to the administration to withdraw its permission for this event. At that point of time, members and office bearers of AISA, SFI and NSUI rushed to the venue to save their democratic space and their right to dissent and protest. Slogans against India were raised, but videos failed to show any faces apart from a Zee News video that showed two ABVP activists shouting slogans supporting Pakistan. Students at JNU believe that these slogans couldn’t be instantaneous and were pre-planned. However, even before an FIR could be registered, the media had already concluded that the organisers were anti-nationals and that the whole of JNU was an anti-national university. Since then, there has been a campaign that has called for shutting down of JNU. It is bewildering that this campaign was crafted by manipulating the nation’s collective conscience. The hooliganism at Patiala House was encouraged and for the salvation of the nation’s pride, the women in JNU were robbed of theirs.

Hooliganism In DU And Its Justification

Umar Khalid was invited by the literary society of Ramjas College to speak on the topic – “The War In Adivasi Areas”, but in accordance to the right wing ideologies ABVP wasn’t comfortable with an “anti-national” being a part of any such event, and as is their habit, they resorted to violence which eventually led to the cancellation of this seminar.

In protest against ABVP’s violent behaviour, AISA and SFI decided to march to Maurice Nagar police station and file an FIR. While ABVP violently tried to stop this march at several places. Students and teachers were brutally beaten, female students and journalists were manhandled. Again one can find people openly supporting this act of violence and the manhandling of female students and journalists. Why? Just to satisfy our collective conscience? It is a conscience that has been formed through words telecast from the media rooms, one that has been crafted by the politicians and imbibed by us without really thinking. It is a conscience that isn’t truly ours. It has made monsters out of men and blinded them in hatred such that they have begun to justify and encourage violence, even if it’s against women.

We need to ask ourselves, how far are we willing to go for the sake of this conscience? Which way are we heading? And, if we are following each other mindlessly, then where is the space for critical thinking?

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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
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