Amidst sloganeering and illustrating placards, Left Wing collectives from Delhi University (DU) including All India Students’ Association (AISA), PACHHAS, Pinjra Tod, and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) organised a protest, and a memorial for Kashmir Lockdown and SAR Geelani respectively at art faculty today.
“Kunan Pashpora yaad karo, AFSPA nahi chalega (Remember Kunan Pashpora, Bring Down AFSPA)” and similar slogans ran throughout the protest organised to commemorate the memories of S.A.R. Geelani, an Arabic language professor from Zakir Hussain College who passed away on 24th October following a cardiac arrest. Geelani was a controversial figure; a native of Kashmir he was first convicted but subsequently acquitted in 2001 Parliament attack case.
On Tuesday, various student organisations from DU including the likes of AISA, PACHAS, Pinjra Tod, and SFI organised a protest at Arts Faculty to celebrate him. Simultaneously, protesters also brought back the diabolical memories of Kashmir Lockdown which completed 100 days on 13th November.
On merging two separate incidents into one protest Nandita Narain, the former President of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), told DU Beat that because Professor Geelani was also a Kashmiri who felt deeply for the valley it would be befitting to combine both the events. On asking if yesterday’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protest has defoliated the amount of attention this should have gotten, Professor Narain said, “ All these things are related. The policy that the government is following are connected with each other. JNU students must be extremely traumatised and busy with their own protest otherwise whenever we call for a protest, they always come in large numbers.”
Remembering his late friend, Professor Rakesh Ranjan told in his speech how much Professor Geelani felt for political prisoners who get framed wrongly. About Kashmir, Ranjan said that Geelani always believed that Kashmiris will decide for Kashmir themselves. He added, “If we want to defeat fascism, we’ll have to strengthen democratic right movement in this country.” His speech ended with crowd cheering the slogan, “Long Live Right to Self Determination”
Talking to DU Beat, Abhigyan, former Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Presidential candidate, lashed out at Government’s repulsive behaviour towards Kashmir as the valley enters 107th day of lockdown. He said, “The way Kashmir was made a UT by abrogating 370 following which the way in which opposition voices were crushed there, it’s evident that this is not just a mean to curb dissent but also democracy wholly.”
Amidst the protest, a reporter from Zee News got heckled while she tried to talk to the protesters. The enraged protesters turned hostile towards her claiming that the channel reported lies against Professor Geelani, and did biased covering on the abrogation of Article 370.
Feature Image Credits: AISA Delhi University (Facebook)