While India is sedated with the tranquilizers of religion, race, nationalism and Chandrayan, somewhere in the eastern corner of the nation, the sounds of passionate heartbeats and an attempt to break the shackles of the miseries are now being heard all over again. While the rest of India has been rejoicing at Pakistan’s defeat in the World Cup, here is a university where the students are still dreaming about equality, brotherhood, fraternity and secularism.
What happened in the Jadavpur University campus on September 19, 2019, exhibited the resisting spirit of India, even though it seemed to be thin. Jadavpur University (JU) in West Bengal witnessed unprecedented unrest and turmoil on Thursday evening, following an incident where a section of students allegedly “heckled” Babul Supriyo, the Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change. According to the news, the fact that Babul Supriyo had come to the university to attend a conference held by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) agitated the students, and they showed him black flags and prompted him to leave the university immediately.
However, as usual, while viewing the voracious protest by the left-leaning students of the campus, the ABVP and BJP supporters happened to attack and vandalize the university, setting the campus on fire. The matter escalated to the worse when some students of the university were beaten black and blue—as they were seen bleeding profusely. The citizens, especially the “Netizens” of India—the social media rebels who are in a constant mode of judging any coup with the help of keyboards and mouse—have given diversified views on the incident on Facebook, Twitter and other portals.
However, with a detailed introspection of the aftermath, it is evident that paradoxically, the university has finally fallen, and Babul Supriyo emerged as a “knight” in the eyes of the common people. My sister, who happened to be a professor and JU alumni was somewhat disappointed by the “protests” of the university and its students. Somehow, the quintessential intellectuals have lost faith and hope on the university and the left in every dimension. If we look at the other side of the story, Supriyo had been physically assaulted and disturbed with commotion and chaos. It seemed as if he was unable to state his opinions in front of the big biased crowd.
Before coming to any conclusion, it has to be mentioned that there has been a deep abhorrence among the left-liberals all over the country against the fascist government, which has given us historical catastrophes such as NRC in Assam, demonetization and mob lynching in the name of beef and religion. Whatever steps had been taken by the government went against the interest of the common masses. Therefore, there had been evidence of agitation as JNU, too, came out to protest against the ABVP vandalization and coup in JU. Even though the left collaboration seems to be bleak, there are streaks of fire which requires efforts to turn into a flame.
First of all, freedom of speech here is disrespected by both the colors, the red and the saffron. Supriyo had been visiting the university to attend a seminar and deliver a speech. If the students had complaints against the terrible right-wing activities, they could have chosen a better way of protesting than creating a terrible commotion that vandalized the public property and created unrest leading to nothing—almost like the myth of Sisyphus. Secondly, the act of the ABVP goons who came with bikes to damage the university should be highly condemned. Their unconstitutional behavior has proved to be obnoxious for the common population, and a sense of terror is prevailing all around the country. Thirdly, there has been absolutely no room for dissent and non-conforming population anymore in Bengal as well as in India.
By introspecting the social media trends and talking to numerous people, I have come to the conclusion that no one is liking or supporting any rebellion against the misdeeds happening all around society. Utilitarianism is at its peak—where people are bothered only about themselves and let the world go to “hell”. Such an attitude is dangerous for the country and her future. It seems as if the people are “sheep” who have stopped questioning and started accepting terror and tyranny as a part of their life! What is the point of remaining humans then if they are not utilizing their brains and logic to counter the terrorism in the name of state and government?