THE TRUE STORY BY LABONI CHATTERJEE - A STUDENT OF JADHAVPUR UNIVERSITY
“Molested! She has been molested!” rose the cry. The very trauma associated with the word was enough to give a lot of us goose bumps! After all, there was not a single girl who had not been groped somewhere or the other at some point of time! In spite of that, calling for a proper investigation and trialing the veracity of the claim of molestation, an impartial investigation of the matter was requested. A campus which has been a cradle of the freedom would not have accepted punishment for the non-guilty. After all, victimizing the innocent is as heinous a crime as hushing up an actual offense! Demanding punishment without having concrete and sustainable proof against the person accused is condemnable! Hence, the demand was to investigate and lend a ear to both the alleger and the alleged. However, even such a just demand fell on deaf ears! Therefore, the voice of protest was born and the language that the varsity students adapted was one of peace. Melodies and rhythms of protest rang in the nook and cranny of the vast campus. Yes. There were weapons. Yes. They were potentially lethal ones! After all, who doesn’t know that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword! Therefore, the voice of guitars and the bold strokes of the brush might have appeared to be a great threat to the intelligentsia of some! Probably the hum of songs that echoed in the darkness of the night scared them into denying a dialogue with these ‘miscreants’! Why, even the reasonability of a sit-in demonstration without hampering functioning of the university was questionable. But unleashing armed forces on students who had given a cause as grave as gender inequality and campus safety their all for over 150 hours? I’d rather leave the reader to decide for themselves the justification behind the course of action taken for ‘dispersing’ a peace protest!
A lot has been seen and said since the fateful night of 17th September. Like every story, this piece of history too has two sides to it. All of us have our eyes and ears, apart from something called a brain at our disposal and hence can decide for ourselves on what the truth is. A stand can accordingly be taken; keeping in mind the successive incidents (read mishaps)! One can believe in either this or that, or, for that matter, check out the WIKI page of the #hokkolorob protests and let their sense and sensibility arrive at a conclusion.
However, in other news, the turnout in the successive peace rallies with the primary agenda of raising a voice against police brutality on students has escalated from 5000 to a whopping 60,000 plus! Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai have been in solidarity besides a lot of other colleges and universities all over the country. The alumni of the varsity, spread over a 100 cities in countries all over the globe have united for a cause. Again, I shall leave it to the reader to decide on the motivation behind the heartfelt and spontaneous participation of so many for a cause that might, to some people, appear to be diminutive. But then, to each, his own!
On the ending note, the fight is far from over! In fact, it has only just begun! Let the candle burn bright in these stormy times!
P.S: It has been very difficult for me maintain an impartial stand on the matter and I apologize for every instance where I’ve let my emotions overpower me. But the, here is an anecdote. When I stepped into the university campus for the first time in my life, I was a wide-eyed teenager aspiring to be a part of the revolutionary cradle that the varsity has been! Jadavpur astounded me. I had grown up on stories that emerged out of the melting-pot of culture, ideals and lifestyle that the varsity has been! For me, it was like stepping into life itself. Jadavpur taught me to think independently! Jadavpur taught me to never be ashamed of who I was! Jadavpur taught me the true meaning of sorority! Jadavpur was the brave mother who nurtured me for the battle of life! When I see my varsity mired in controversies and debates today, when I cannot hear the hum of music mingled with verses rising out of the depths of the campus, it feels like my freedom has been taken away from me! It feels like my mother is behind the bars! For me and lot of others like me, Jadavpur will be motherland! And therefore, fight shall we tooth and nail till freedom is ours!