“I Was Sitting In The Jamia Library That Day When My Friend Was Shot”

The wounds of 15th December 2019 had not yet been recovered. Yet, we decided to appear for the examination, giving importance to our studies. During one of the exams, one of my classmates was shot in front of the police. Since then, the process of violence has commenced in Delhi. Rioters in North-East Delhi are committing heinous crimes in the name of Hindu-Musalman. Along with homes, they are also burning innocent people.

The CAA has divided people into Hindus and Muslims, and this is known and acknowledged widely. We have been taught since childhood that India is a peace-loving country. People from all religions have the freedom to recite their prayers because India is a secular country. But looking at these events, it seems that we have been taught wrong.

I remember the day my friend was shot. I was studying in the library with my friends. Then came the eerie suspicion on WhatsApp that the one who is shot is Shadab. We got scared, fearing that the police might come to our library again. We exited the library as soon as possible. There were reports that an unknown person had been walking outside the Jamia campus with a gun and has shot Shadab. Then, a boy came running and said, “Someone has come inside our campus too… All of you go inside.”

Placards hang on the gates of Jamia Millia Islamia, demanding the termination of the HoD of the department of Applied Arts. (Photo: Khurshid Alam/Facebook)

On hearing this, we became very scared, and the teacher asked us to go inside the classroom for our safety. We remained locked, silent, in hiding, in the same room for a long time. The voices outside were scaring us. Our mobile phones were not working, out anxiety kept increasing and tears started rolling down our eyes. Hatred could be seen gleaming in everyone’s eyes. There was only one common desire: for us to reach home safely.

Before coming to Delhi, I did not know how many dreams we had beaded in our mind. I thought it would brighten the name of our small town and country if I read and write. But today, our future is at stake. Earlier, parents used to worry about their child’s future, but today, they fear for their child’s life. The same parents who used to send their children to other cities for higher education today are calling them back home.

This worry is not only in their mind but also in our mind. Despite physically being in the classroom, our attention lingers elsewhere. Even today, while listening to the white noise, we remember what happened to us on 15th December—the day people were killed publicly on the streets, students were allegedly killed in front of the police.

Law and order has been stalled. The media is sold out, pandering to the government, and instead of showing the truth on television, it suppresses the truth with manufactured, forced news of ‘India and Pakistan’. As of today, the name of the University is being labelled as a hub of terrorists, and students are being killed as if they are terrorists. The day is not far when public universities will exist, but students would cease to exist, and the future of the country will be found standing on the streets.

The hatred has spread so rampantly, that it is burning up their homes along with the innocent. The new Act, for which we had raised our voices today, has been divided into one colour. The tricolour that we once took in our hands has been reduced to a coloured flag. Along with our future, the country’s flag is also turning saffron today.

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