A Nation Where The Students Don’t, Or Aren’t Allowed To Debate Is Surely Doomed

The year 2020 started on a disturbing note which left one aghast at the crossroads of various questions. A nation, with one of the largest youth population, it was pathetic to witness young and aware voices being crushed beneath the politicisation of issues.

A mob of 50-odd, masked people entered the JNU campus and attacked students and teachers on 5th Jan 2020.

The violence that unfolded in JNU and Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) should be taken as a wake-up call. The world has witnessed how student revolutions, historically, have moved and brought down the toughest of the powers. Who can forget the ripples created by the Tiananmen Square students’ protests of 1989?

Universities are termed as hubs of learning and knowledge. They are the places where the young minds of the nation are shaped and prepared to contribute toward future development. If the opinions and views of these young minds are suppressed under the ruthless authorities, they are bound to vent it out one way or another.

This mode of expression can be verbal, written, or in an organised manner. When the students organise their energies are channelised strongly.

A nation where the students don’t debate, or follow what is happening around them is surely doomed.

It’s ironical that being the citizens of the world’s largest democracy, youngsters are deprived of their freedom of expression. It really seems like the ‘big daddy’ authorities are scowling and hushing the voices of kids with all their might.

Treating them as kids throwing tantrums and ignoring their voices will do no good. Instead, it will spark some kind of revolution. The support and awareness being spread on social media is proof of this, that the undercurrents, which were brewing in the form of posts and shares, have now turned into full-fledged campaigns.

People are becoming quite clear in their stand on being against or for issues like CAA, NRC, and the more recent attacks on the students.

It is shameful that a country where a huge quantum of the population is still deprived of basic amenities like food and water, the issues which are grabbing attention are religion and communalism.

We don’t debate anymore about job scarcity or affordable higher education, but sadly, we are listening to journalists and panelists shouting at top of their voices about who belongs to this country and who doesn’t.

A sad image of Gandhi’s vandalised statue has been doing the rounds on social media. Is this where the freedom fighters wanted our country to arrive? Talking about technological development and reaching space, are we really developing? With the differences rising up like flames, we are seemingly regressing towards medieval thoughts and policies.

Mumbai saw a protest against the JNU violence at Gateway of India at midnight, Jan 5.

The current scenario has generated feelings of fear, frustration, and anguish. Whenever the voice of the youth is curbed by the administration, it will echo back, and in a larger volume. The violence in the university has put a question mark on the security of the students. Parents and guardians are scared and horrified.

However, you cannot expect a dynamic society full of students who will put their heads down and mug up the history that you feed them.

Instead, they will dig out facts, learn to form the past, and ask you questions based on facts. The power of such an aware generation should not be ignored and underestimated. Hate politics or the fascists’ outlook cannot silence them because they dare to look into the eyes of, and show, the authorities the mirror.

Image source: Abha Goradia/Twitter.

Crushing their future with the weapons of anarchy and legal implications won;t take this nation anywhere. It is a sad scene where the power-hungry don’t seem to spare even the future it’s own nation’s offsprings.

A line of division has been drawn systematically. It now depends on the sensibilities of citizens, whether one wants to be a ‘fence-sitter’ and let the havoc play out, or shed the fear and voice one’s opinion and feelings.

How long are we going to be silent? Till the fire reaches our own door or when it is one of our own is beaten up within the closed walls of campuses?

Representational image.
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