बाजीचा-ए-अतफ़ाल है दुनिया मेरे आगे,
होता है शब्-औ-रोज़ तमाशा मेरे आगे.
The world is a child’s playground before me,
Night and Day, this theatre is enacted before me.
BHU has been my playground. And it will remain so all my life. The grass of the playground is vermin-infested today. They have barraged me with lathis. They are wearing full armour (I don’t know why) and are pushing me back to my hostel. I am branded a leftist and a lot of other things just because I am protesting. If you don’t believe me watch the videos.
Some people have asked questions as to why this protest coincides with the visit of an MP from Varanasi. And the judgments have been passed, which declare that I am a left-leaning and anti-national person without dignity or character. I am being called names by certain people who look just like me.
I am an 18/19-year-old person and I don’t know the difference between right and left. I don’t know what it means to be an anti-national. I don’t know what political ambitions I could have or how a simple student protest demanding very fundamental rights could affect my great country and its statesmen.
I wonder – why is nobody listening to me? Will we need more ‘Nirbhayas’ for people to understand this? Will I have to ignite the Bhagat Singh in me? Is there a Gandhi in me? Is this a democracy? In today’s age of WhatsApp and Facebook, the ‘telegram’ has been delivered to those at the helm? What will I have to do to fit the definitions written in their books?
What I do know is that I should be safe! What I do know is that I should not be judged by the clothes I wear in and around the campus!
I should not be sexually harassed when I walk in the lanes/streets personally curated by Malaviyaji, at night. I should not feel unsafe on my own campus. I should not have curfew timings as to when I leave my hostel. I should not be thrown out of my hostel because of my sexual orientation. I should not be hit by lathis if I refuse to go back to the hostel while I am peacefully protesting. Your definitions should not be forced down my gut.
I am angry today. I sometimes wonder – Mughalsarai can get its name changed so swiftly. We can commemorate Malaviyaji with the Bharat Ratna, despite him being greater than any such commemoration. There can be speeches and promises made from the top of Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Yet, nobody hears me out. Why?
Are you afraid to face me? I am not a politician. I am not a philosopher. My orientations have not yet formed. I learned the definitions of freedom in the class 9 history book. I read about my fundamental rights on the opposite page of the preface of the NCERT coursebooks. I come and sit at the BHU gate because the same was done by Gandhiji when he wanted to ‘right’ some wrong. My father has taught me to stand up for myself. The stories of my grandmother had lessons like these. I am only doing what I have been taught by society.
Do correct me if I am out of bounds.
Nevertheless, I am not going to take your decisions, silences, or judgments without question. And I don’t care and refuse to listen to you if you don’t solve my basic problems.