By Chhaya Sharma
The first semester of 2016 has been a rough one for India and the Indian Government. It began with not only combating external threats (Pathankot terrorist attacks) but some even more colossal internal turmoils.
Rohit Vemula & Kanhaiya Kumar – two ordinary students from ordinary backgrounds, became the headlines for the Media and the Croonings inside the Parliament House. While one is believed to have become the Dalit Icon after his death, the second continues to make headlines in political circles. The kind of rage the nation witnessed being stirred over by the two stories, was revolutionary. Allegations and Defense continue being Blown from the Barrel. The students’ Community charges the Government of trying to create Casteism and Hindutva in the nation while the Government believes that it is bringing down anything & everything seditious and anti-national.
Many Questions of both the cases are still thick in the air-Was Vemula a dalit? Is it really a case of caste based discrimination? Is Kanhaiya being framed? Were the videos depicting ‘Kitne Afzal maaroge?’ nothing but a fragmented piece? Is India intolerant even after 69 years of Independence? Is The World’s largest Democracy trying to suppress the basic right of its people’s speech and expression? Are Bigots getting together and gaining power – on both sides of the spectrum?
Being a part of the Great Indian Democracy and not recalcitrating the law and order, we would not pass any sort of judgment yet. BOMT got talking to students across the city and got into their shoes to fathom the big Students vs Government debate. The ones that struck us the most, and made us see the issue with different perspectives..
* ‘Sure there is freedom of speech and expression, how else would these people have been able to create such a havoc, but it comes with responsibility and restrictions and I see no harm in it.’
– Amrita Sharma, Hindu College, D. U
* ‘Demand for reservations, caste, community – anything else is okay but cheering for those merciless terrorists who don’t even value human life is not cool.. Just not acceptable.’
– Swarna Gogoi, JNU
* ‘A student committing suicide is sad but lets not overlook the fact that he, just like Kanhaiya was also being supportive of Yakub Memon.’
– Rahul Shukla, MLNC, DU
* ‘Nothing before Nation brother, nothing.’
– Satish, JIMS, IPU
* ‘This isn’t about BJP or Congress, the bigger picture is how we are using our education and the rational thinking it inculcates in us. The people are equally dangerous as those joining the ISIS.’
– Sangeeta Ganguli, DRC, DU
* ‘We need more fearless faces like them. Nothing comes easy and such people only can change the face of Politics.’
– Vivek Dahiya, Kirorimal, DU
* ‘Using students to get even in Politics is the highest low any Democratic Republic can achieve, we need to get a grip.’
– Ashna Yadav, DCAC, DU