Guest Post by Sucheta De
The JNU students have decided not to bow down. They have decided not to become just another brick in the wall. The JNU authorities have punished them with rustication, hostel eviction and steep fines for ‘raising objectionable slogans’, ‘taking part in unauthorised procession’ and ‘addressing the crowd’. Unable to frame charges, but desperate to act, RSS run VC has clearly started an ideological war on the students. And that is why, JNU students are saying we shall not accept your farman.
It is not difficult for them to collect the amount of money to be paid as fine. Workers, teachers, citizens have offered to collect money so that their studentship continues. Our comrades who faced media trial, lynch mob psyche came out from Tihar with stronger resolve to continue the struggle for justice and equality. They promised the nation that voice of the unheard will continue to be echoed through their slogans. One year of rustication and hostel eviction is nothing compared to what they have already faced. JNU students have not strated the idefinite hunger strike only to get punishments revoked. This struggle is to let the rulers know that their orders shall be resisted till the end.
Several of us have been JNU students. Several of us who have been trained to think that central universities are not for us, actually made it to JNU, came to the national capital and experienced that another world is possible. Families in the lowest income groups sent their children to JNU. We women who for the first time were treated as equal human being by fellow students and teachers, became part of the struggle for liberty of workers, women, dalits and the marginalised. We denied to be reduced to our immediate identities here in JNU, we became much larger. Other comrades have fought tough battles in other universities and in several parts of the country. We met on the streets for Kashmir, for Manorama Devi, For Khairlanji, for Narmada Valley, for FTII/HCU/DU/ Jamia. And today when ManuSmrti Irani’s ministry wants to teach the JNU students a lesson for daring to raise voice against oppression, let us all again flood the streets to defend the idea of JNU.
Since 27th May, JNU students have started their indefinite hunger strike. In this scorching heat, none of are comrades in hunger strike are doing fine bodily. But they are high in spirit and resolve. The VC has sent them letter expressing his concern that the hunger strike is unlawful and it will have implication on their career.
Their hunger strike will reach its 10th Day on the 7th of May. JNU alumni students have called for relay hunger strike in solidarity with JNU students on the 7th May from 10am in the morning. This is an appeal to all old friends, class mates, hostel friends and comrades to join the relay hunger strike on the 7th. Also in the evening the JNUSU has called for a Human Chain from Ganga Dhaba at 5pm. Let us hold hands and fight back. Fight back for all students in the counry. Fight back so that every one can reach universities. Fight back so that the possibility of a better world is kept alive. Come friends, let us hold hands with JNU comrades on the 10th Day of their Indefinite hunger strike.
Sucheta De was a student in JNU from 2005 – 2014. She was president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) in 2012. She is the current president of the All India Students Association.