Universities, the breeding ground of education and ideals, echo today with chants of Azadi, and Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge. They think we’ll let go and surrender. However, they don’t know that our resistance is stronger than their hatred.
As another year goes by, the ‘one who must not be named’ reigns back to power and, yet again, the country erupts in massive dissent in one of the ways propagated by the moderate protests. While more universities get labelled as ‘anti-national’ by the followers of the ‘party that must not be named’, I am reminded of Satyajit Ray’s Hirak Rajar Deshe (1980); as the protagonist says, “Era joto beshi pore, toto beshi jaane, toto kom mane.” (The more they learn, the more they know, the less they obey).
Nandini Sukhija, a student of Mumbai University, said, “Our political leaders gain power by mobilization of groups, which are usually composed of brainwashed partisans. The intellectuals know better than of all for their cheap and divisive tactics, by which they threaten the Government’s power. It’s not hard to connect the dots and realise why fascist governments will always clamp down the educated and shut down channels of information.”
The well-read are rational critics whereas the ideologists are the irrational ones. Targeting universities, the educated, scholars, and writers, is an age-old gameplay to curb the anti- establishment voices, to curb nothing but dissent and voice.
Forcing the well- read to obey the regressive actions coerced on the vulnerable sections of the society is a task of great objection. The very reason why their voices are silenced is that the establishment is aware that they are wrong, they know that they’d fail if the truth prevailed, if the educated people’s voice reverberated.
The youth is the ‘future’ of India, long ahead after the remains of the politicians have vanished into thin air, their remnants left as a by-product of hate, fear and, fascism, the youth will still exist.
History is evidential of the exemplary contribution and corrupt silence that students are bestowed upon by fascist governments. When the ones to oppose, the ones to criticise cease to exist, their propagation, their ideology, their reign thrives. Democracy without opposition is no democracy at all. Arresting the well-read and labelling them as urban Naxalites is a reminder of the very failure of democracy.
Central universities ordering students to not protest, charging them of disciplinary action to prevent dissent or questioning the Government, Is everyone an accomplice here?
“Educational institutions are the hotspots of awareness. Silencing educational institutions to gain peace is like burning the Amazon and then expecting the earth to be ecologically sound. The consequences will only intensify. “Finger on your lips is not something appealing to the youth,
neither is it going to stay for too long,” Priyanshi Banerjee, a student of Lady Shri Ram College rightfully explains.
If we go down the pages of history, Nazi Germany right before World War II reminds us of eerily similar circumstances. Sonderaktion Krakau, a German terror operation against academics at Jagiellonian University performed in order to eradicate the Polish intellectual elites.
Along with this, Frankfurt University was the first university targeted by Nazis for their liberal, exuberant academic record, scholarships, international faculty, and uphold of democratic values and ideals.
The times we live in are scary, they attack unarmed students, name-call academicians, murder journalists, hush down voices, curb protests. Where is dissent? Where did the safety valve of democracy go?
All revolutions, all rebellions, nationalist movements, demand for rights, protests, agitations, all starts from the students; the very foundation of a stable country. The recent attacks on students at various universities are nothing but an act of cowardice in the world’s largest democracy; the very country which once upheld the ideals of secularism, democracy, justice, liberty, and equality.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat