Guest Post Compiled from Uploads by Student Videographers from UoH/HCU and their friends
“The only thing to fear is fear itself”
[ Since the mainstream media, particularly television channels, are steadfastly refusing to report the ‘undeclared emergency’ in the University of Hyderabad (also known as Hyderabad Central University – HCU), we at Kafila, (along with many other online platforms, such as Raiot.in, India Resists, Scroll.in, The Wire, RoundtableIndia.in and several youtube channels) are going to continue providing our readers with testimonies by students and faculty from the University of Hyderabad.
Venkaiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, Smriti Irani and Rajnath Singh (all senior ministers in the BJP government at the centre) and some of their chamchas have probably been on the phone all of the past few days with senior editors and media management to try and ensure that the situation remains unreported, un-commented upon. Or, is it just the ‘business as usual’ matter of Savarna (Hindu upper caste, usually, but not only, masculine) privilege (and insecurity) playing itself out in newsrooms and edit meetings when it comes to reporting an assertive, articulate, intelligent protest with a very large Dalit-Bahujan component in Hyderabad. Or is it a bit of both?
What other explanation can there be for the almost blanket ban on reportage, analysis and commentary on the extraordinary situation in Hyderabad in most national TV channels? Even the reporting in major newspapers, though better than what exists on TV channels, leaves a lot to be desired. Every major news organization has correspondents in Hyderabad, and even if they are not able to enter the university because of the VC’s orders, they can still definitely speak to the students if they want to, because the students regularly assemble outside the university gates. What prevents them from doing that? What exactly is going on?
After the rage that was sparked by Rohith Vemula’s institutional murder and the crackdown in JNU, the BJP government probably believes that the only way to continue repression is to do it under the cloak of silence. And so, the heavy breathing down the phone lines. And so, the reversion to the Savarna stiff upper lip code of silence – an ‘omertà’ which disables possibilities of translation, or even just transmission of what is going on in Hyderabad.
But this mistaken belief that the media’s silence can translate into public indifference and ignorance about the war that the Modi regime has unleashed on the young, will actually work to create a backlash. It is already destroying the little credibility that the regime has, and eroding a lot more confidence in its media backers.
Young people, in Hyderabad, in JNU, and in countless other campuses, factories and workplaces, are way smarter, way more media savvy than either the idiots who run the show in the BJP, or their mavens in the media can gauge. The young (and their friends amongst their teachers) will make sure that the airwaves resonate with their voices and accounts.
The first video in the series below, all taken from Youtube channels started by students and their friends, has a speaker saying something wonderfully generous – “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. Listen to her, listen to her friends and comrades. Share this post widely. Defeat the collaborative exercise of repression and censorship undertaken by the Modi regime and the mainstream media on this issue.
Jai Bhim, Lal Salaam, Inquilab Zindabad ! – Kafila ]
With thanks to the Justice for Rohith Youtube channel, from which these videos are taken.