Monday, 30th October 2017

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Unite against Right: Aishe

Her experience at JNU made her aware of the extent of danger the ABVP posed on campuses, said Aishe Ghosh

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 15.02.20, 3:18 AM
  • Updated 15.02.20, 3:18 AM
  • 2 mins read
Aishe Ghosh at Park Circus Maidan on Friday evening. Picture by Gautam Bose

The student wing of the RSS “believes in devouring the space for debate on campuses and is emerging as a threat across the country”, Aishe Ghosh, president of the JNU students’ union, said on Friday.

The Left and progressive students’ unions have to forge a larger unity to combat the threat, she said while addressing a rally outside Jadavpur University.

The RSS student wing, ABVP, has for the first time fielded candidates at JU for the union polls scheduled for February 19.

“Across the country there is a right wing shift visible in politics and there is a reflection of it in student politics as well. I am not surprised that the ABVP has fielded candidates at JU this time. But we need to tell the students that the ABVP believes in devouring the space for debate. The Left and progressive students’ unions are required to forge a larger unity to combat the threat,” she said.

“The ABVP doesn’t believe in the idea that says campus is a space for debating and discussing diverse opinions. I am sure if they come to power in JU, they will not spare anyone. As they had once called for ‘shutdown JNU’, here they will say ‘shutdown JU’.”

The student leader had 16 stitches on her head after being beaten with iron rods during a January 5 assault on JNU by masked goons. The next day, she was back on the campus with a heavily bandaged head and arm.

The MPhil student in JNU’s school of international relations later told Metro that her experience at JNU had made her aware of the extent of danger the ABVP posed on campuses. “My experience in JNU has made me aware about the threat. Here, in Bengal, the threat is not real so far, so the Left and progressive students can afford to have a debate and fight among themselves. But in JNU or for that matter in BHU, there is a bigger threat. That’s why I spoke of forging a unity among the Left and progressive forces.”

She went to Presidency University from JU to attended a convention on “Students against fascism”.

The ABVP does not say a word that seeks to protect the interest of marginalised students, she said at Presidency. “The ABVP did not say a word against the fee hike in JNU because they don’t care about the interests of marginalised students. While you form your opinion about the side you would be rooting for, always keep this in mind.”

She also met students who have been on an indefinite sit-in over Eden Hindu Hostel repairs since January 21.

In the evening, she addressed the gathering at Park Circus Maidan. The sit-in at Park Circus to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register has been on since January 7.

“It is not we alone who are being beaten up by lathis and rods… but you are showing us the way. You are showing us how to protest and how to win,” she said. “If women have come out on the streets, they will not just speak against the CAA-NRC-NPR but against everything that creates a problem for women…. It is the women who have come out who will upturn this seat of power.”

The women responded by shouting slogans: “JNU tum lade chalo/hum tumhare sath hai (JNU keep fighting/We are with you)” and “Jamia tum lade chalo/Hum tumhare sath hai (Jamia keep fighting/We are with you)”.

“I have seen her on TV and the courage she has shown. I am here since 2pm because I wanted to see her in person and get more strength to continue this movement,” Nasim Akhtar, who has two daughters in their 20s, said.