‘Dumbfounded, agonised and threatened’
What I saw on TV chilled me to the bones
- Published 8.01.20, 3:27 AM
- Updated 8.01.20, 3:27 AM
- 2 mins read
Several rallies were held across the city on Tuesday to protest the attack on students of Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens. The Telegraph spoke to some of the protesters
As many as 100 teachers of Presidency University issued a signed statement condemning the violence unleashed on several campuses over the past few weeks. It is reproduced below
A Collective Statement Condemning the Violent Attack on Academic Institutions
In the past month/s, the students, faculty, and non-teaching staff of different academic institutions such as Jamia Millia Islamia University, Aligarh Muslim University, University of Hyderabad, Jadavpur University and Jawaharlal Nehru University have been brutally attacked by armed miscreants who entered the university premises and even hostels to terrify the academic establishment into submission. Such violence, perpetrated in the name of sectarianism, bigotry and authoritarianism has left us dumbfounded, agonised and feeling threatened.
The brutalisation of students and the repeated attacks on academics and scholars are against the fundamental principles of a democratic society and militate against the spirit of the Indian Constitution.
As members of the civil society and teacher/mentors of students and scholars we are watching with extreme concern the situation that is unfolding before us today.
We are anguished by the inertia of those who should protect and safeguard us, even as we are dismayed by what is a clear and concerted attack on the autonomy and integrity of the university.
We, the faculty of Presidency University, unequivocally condemn all forms of violence against the academic establishment and we enjoin upon the political class and state agencies to uphold the law, ensure impartial inquiry, bring the miscreants to book, and protect the university as a space for critical and thinking minds.
“My wife would also have come but she is recovering from surgery,” Anupam said. The theatre professional said the protest against the current government at the Centre was like a “second war of Independence”. “What I saw on television on Sunday chilled me to the bones,” said Anwesha.
I am seething with anger at what happened on the campus where masked goons hit students and teachers with rods. I am, however, happy to see so many people here out on the streets to protest. This is what my country is and this is what we stand for…. my heart is there with my peers who were beaten up and I want to go back to the campus as soon as possible.
Campuses are being targeted because the attackers are afraid of students’ unity. One thing must be clear—being anti-government is not being anti-national.
Ideally, I should be busy now preparing for my next exam on January 10. But given what happened at JNU, I decided to join the protest and fight for a bigger cause.
This is the first time that I am walking in a protest march. I could not remain silent after watching the brutality at JNU. These ABVP goons are not sparing even the girls’ hostel.
It’s time that I set my priorities to show solidarity with fellow students who were mercilessly beaten up. If not now, when will we protest? If a united fight is not put up, they would feel emboldened.
State oppression is nothing new but the manner in which the student community is being targeted and the brazen nature of the attacks are appaling. Even emergency was not this bad.