It’s been a year since the massive protest and students’ movement against the fee hike and privatisation of education in JNU happened. It’s been a year since students and professors alike joined hands to save education from the clutches of commodification. A year of struggle, protest and making our stories heard.
When this movement started, I was a new student at the university. I was new to the world of students’ movements. I was still learning what dissent meant and what making yourself heard truly was. I was only one semester old. However, the connection and the attachment that I felt when the entire movement started cannot be explained in words.
Maybe that’s what JNU does to you. It pokes your conscience. It shakes your age-old beliefs and pre-conceived notions regarding everything that you have believed in until now. I got goosebumps when thousands of students echoed the same slogan. The slogans felt like a song to my ears—a song of revolution.
The sound of the tambourine, the wall paintings, the posters being drawn by students day in and day out for protest marches made me feel like I was a part of the revolution that was about to come. It gave vigour and enthusiasm to my otherwise hopeless dreams of seeing a world where students were free and happy.
The movement wasn’t an isolated one even though initially it did seem so. What started as a movement against privatisation of education, gradually became a national movement that highlighted not only the cracks in our education system but also the negligence meted out towards students.
One year down the line, the movement is still going on. It is still alive within each one of us. The walls of JNU still echo the mark that the movement has left. Maybe the reasons have changed, but the movement hasn’t died, and it will not die till all the atrocities against students, marginalised sections and other deprived communities come to an end.
Maybe the change that the movement brought might seem minuscule compared to the disturbances and unrest in the country right now, but my hopelessly optimistic self would still like to believe that one day all of this shall come to an end and the sun will shine again.