Monday, 30th October 2017

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When resistance is the only way

Many joined the meeting called to protest the assault on an assistant professor of Jadavpur University

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 1.01.20, 2:07 AM
  • Updated 1.01.20, 2:07 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Prithviraj Guha Pictures by Bishwarup Dutta

Teachers from Presidency University, Sanskrit College and University and Jadavpur University joined the meeting at the 8B bus stand called to protest the assault on an assistant professor of JU by suspected BJP supporters on Monday evening. Many students, too, joined them. The Telegraph spoke to some of the protesters

Prithviraj Guha

Assistant professor, economics, Presidency University

We have come to show solidarity with a teacher who was assaulted right in front of her campus. I strongly condemn this kind of assault. She merely protested when something misleading was being spoken about her institution. That was nothing short of a hate speech. As a teacher, I am worried about this trend and think that we need to protest and condemn such an assault strongly. Otherwise, the perpetrators will be emboldened.

Samata Biswas
Samata Biswas

Samata Biswas

Assistant professor, English, Presidency University

On Monday, it was a teacher of Jadavpur University. Tomorrow, it could be my turn. She was well within her rights to protest when BJP supporters made derogatory comments about her institution. I was near Jadavpur when she was assaulted and went to the spot soon after. I have joined today’s protest as well. We need to protest repeatedly to let the assaulters know they cannot muzzle the voice of dissent.

Paramita Chakrabarti
Paramita Chakrabarti

Paramita Chakrabarti

Professor, English, Jadavpur University

My fellow teacher, who was attacked on Monday, used to be my student in the department. I taught her for five years. I am proud of her for protesting when BJP supporters were making obnoxious comments about JU. But at the same time I am worried. Earlier, we could not think of such attacks happening right outside JU. Only a week ago, a student from my department was attacked by BJP supporters. We must resist. Or else, the goons will win. 

Pinaki Dholey (left) and Rahi Halder
Pinaki Dholey (left) and Rahi Halder

Pinaki Dholey and Rahi Halder

JU students who said they saw the attack on the teacher

It was difficult for us to see a teacher from our department being beaten up in front of our institution. As we tried to film the assault, the phone was snatched. We are proud of our teacher who protested when BJP supporters were spreading lies about our university. These BJP supporters have been targeting our campus since September, when the students had stood up to Union minister Babul Supriyo. 

Somasree Choudhuri
Somasree Choudhuri

Somasree Choudhuri

Student of international relations, JU

We have to resist what’s happening. All those who have an independent mind have their backs to the wall. There is no other way but to resist those trying to malign JU and sneak goons into the campus to beat up students. JU is their target because we have been at the forefront of protests.

Sampriti Mukherjee
Sampriti Mukherjee

Sampriti Mukherjee

Student of women’s studies, JU

So far we had only heard of mob attacks. On Monday evening, we got a look at how these things happen. The attack on our teacher is very scary. But if we are scared, the attackers will be emboldened. Students and teachers have to come together to take on these people.