Saturday, 20 September 2014

A school student writes about the JU protests #HokKolorob

Courtesy: Anirban Saha

There are posts floating on each and every social networking site, every magazine, and every newspaper.

And, I know this may feel like another post in the bunch of posts.

But this fact, doesn’t make another post like mine, cliché.

The fact of a girl getting molested, and then protesting to get her justice, getting ruthlessly bashed by police wasn’t cliché.

Ya, I was hurt, I was badly hurt, but there are others who are more injured
-Jitsoma Banerjee, 1st year, Department of Comparative literature

This she said after suffering from pretty bad injuries. As she mentions, others were more badly hurt.

“I was dragged out of Aurobindo Bhavan, while being kicked at my stomach constantly. Then, I was dragged till in front of Aurobindo Bhavan, I tried to snatch two of my friends from those hooligans, but I was kicked on my RIB CAGE with heavy boots and then while I was down, they squashed my left foot.”
-Tanumay Naskar, 3rd year, Department of English.

The above words come from people who were there, the night the VC of Jadavpur University called up the police because, ‘He feared for his life’. 

35 students who were part of a protest outside the campus were arrested by the police. Their crime? They were demanding fresh investigation into the case where a female student was dragged into a boys’ hostel and molested. 

Okay! Demanding in a democratic country, IS A CRIME! OKAY!

Heyya, police! You beat up the students, and let VC go, or in your words, we should say rescued. But can you stop the rage we had? Could you? 

NO! You cannot! We will still continue protesting till you have our demands fulfilled!

The protesting students had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with student politics. It was just an apolitical protest against the biased attitude of the investigation committee set up to probe into the matter, an investigation about the molested girl's appeal. And our constitution gives us this fundamental right to protest peacefully and keep our case infront of the authorities.

And beating the students up, is totally against simple human ethics and going against human rights and obviously the constitution.

This is a students' revolution, which integrated every student community in and outside Calcutta.

Courtesy: Ishan Ghosh

On 18th of September, people in thousands joined the protest march from JU to let Kolkata know that the JU students are not alone! Not only JU studentswere there, but students from 25+ different colleges in Calcutta, joined 
in. Did I mention college students? My bad! There were school students (like me) as well as employees of reputed organisations (like Anirban Saha). 

As I reached the march, wherever I turned, I saw acquaintances .That was the power of Jadavpur University.

But this was one incident which happened on the JU campus and periphery.

I saw, another girl doing Kolorob in her way, when people said that all  such walks and protests are bullshit and police has done a great job by beating up the students.

Malini Chakrabarty had left early from the protest yesterday for she had an exam today. Being utterly drenched, an uncle asked if she was part of the rally. Then most of the people started talking about how wrong it was for the police to beat up the peaceful protesters of JU. Or not.

A middle aged woman smiled and said, Tomar moto juboti'ii chai aaj, tomrai thamate parbe ei onay. Amar chele 3rd year, Comparative Literature porche, goto tin din dhore bari fere ni, hate pa'e kalshiteh poreh geche. Erom Ain thakle toh chintar bishoy”.
On contrary to this, another conversation started. 

The uncle said, “Erom toh hotei thaake, etoh nyakami korche, pujor ageh kaaj nei, Na na erom hoy na. Ami ei college'e 1967'e porechi. Tokhon amra erom drugs kortam na, porashona kortam. Tai amader sathe erom konodin hoyni, College'e porte jai na, class bunk mareh, mawd-cigarette khai, ar  police tar biruddhe kitchu bolleh chitkar koreh matha byatha koreh dei, JU ucchoneh geche. Police'r lathi'r bari khei jodi ora thik hoy, tahole besh 


Then came reply of the Class 11, DPS Ruby Park girl, “28th August'e history dept.'r ekjon meye keh 7jon molest koreh, Authority ke bolar por kono steps nei newa hoyni. TAI JONEEH, ora protibaad korchilo. PEACEFUL protest korchilo.”

She continues, “Ora onnay'r biruddhe shantite protest korle oder mara uchit ar mohilader molest kora uchit? Aajke the issue is bigger than JU. It concerns the entire student community. Basic Human rights. Mohilader safety niye proshno utheche. Openly molest kora hoyeche”
The old man interrupted her saying, “Ki molest-volest bolcho? Beshi jene gecho? Tomrai toh beshi janbe, nongramir shesh nei tomader. Ektu strict holei tomra beshi chechao.”

He said, “Don't give me 'bullshit'!”

She:  “Grina ashe apnar moto manusher opor. Chi.” 

And she got down.

She heard claps.


This was needed. A head-on faceoff with reality. Malini gave that old man 


Malini was a Class 11 student, I am a Class 12 student.

I fought with my mom to be a part of this.

She said: “Ei shob kore ki hobe? Porashona e mon de! Samne tor boards”

I replied: “Sorry maa! Porashona kore kichu hobe na! Aage human rights, tarpor shob kichu!”

Courtesy: Ishan Ghosh
And, I left to be a part of be a part of the mass movement. 

And I feel proud that I was one to be a part of the protest.

I would be part of a college, next year, in less than 10 months, and I don’t want such things in Calcutta. I want a better society! It doesn’t matter, I am not a college student. 

Tomorrow(20th), again, I will be part of the protest march. Meet you people there.

-Sonket Mukherjee

Friday, 19 September 2014

Protibader, protirodher, protishodher comrade: #HokKolorob

"Jito tui thik achis? Kothay legeche? Tor kichu chai?"

"Sahana kothay? Oke phone e pachchi na! Bhishon tension hochche!"

"Sounak da ke niye gelo re. Amar samne diye niye gelo, kichu korte parlam na."

"I am okay. Chap khas na. Just internal injuries and multiple fractures."

"Tumi ki ekhono campus e? Oder ke chereche?"

The above snatches of conversation are a few examples of the level of panic that went through the minds of all of us the morning of 17th September, after the horrifying events of what happened the previous night.
Courtesy: Ishan Ghosh

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Park street seemed a long way off. Somehow we crossed ourselves in fear and said we're safe at home. 

But this is home now. 

Jadavpur is our home. 
Where do we run from here?

What began as a peaceful apolitical protest for justice turned into a nightmare as Jadavpur University witnessed atrocity that it has never seen before. Under the garb of darkness,"unidentified" policeman walked over student protestors and beat them mercilessly. Male police manhandled female students, groping for them in the dark as the lights were conveniently turned off in Aurobindo Bhaban. Police and party affiliated goons stopped at nothing as they trampled over students, tearing their clothes, beating them even after they were senseless. The VC remained in his office,till police escorted him out, after which he claimed that apparently he was almost "murdered". The violently attacked students were arrested at random and brought under custody,where they remained without medical attention all night. The arrested were released today afternoon and many of them had to be rushed to KPC.

Condemning the VC and police action a rally was organised at 4 pm today from Jadavpur to Golpark. It saw an extraordinary turnout of over 800 people as students, professors, artists and the public came out in support of JU and it's singular fight for justice. The march gained momentum as it walked out of the university gates. Not just students of JU, but it had the attendance of students from Presidency and Ashutosh colleges as well, as the outrage hit the crowds over such barbaric action. Placards and Posters in hand, people walked as one. Their voices were for justice only, as unrelenting as ever. All classes will be boycotted henceforth, till the VC resigns from his post. In light of such events, JU has not backed down and people from other colleges have come forward to lead the movement further. Fear is a potent device, we came to know last night. But we also realised there comes a point when we outlive the fear. "Don't scare them so much, they forget to get scared." That's when the fight begins. And it has begun now.


- Raidhani Debnath