Guest Post by ‘Mothers Stand With JNU‘
[On Mothers’ Day, 8th May 2106, which was also the 11th Day of the Indefinite Hunger Strike by JNU students in protest against the vindictive measures taken against them by the university authorities, a group that has named itself ‘Mothers Stand With JNU’ joined the protest in solidarity. This is the ‘manifesto’ that they released on the occasion.]
“We are the mothers of this generation. We stand where Radhika Vemula stood with Rohith. We are the sisters, friends and comrades, of all the actual mothers of the students struggling at JNU, at Hyderabad, at Jadavpur, at FTII, at universities and colleges and institutes all across this land . We are the mothers of all the children who would rather stay hungry than give in to injustice. We are here for all our children, for all the young, for the future.
No mother can bear to see her child hungry. But here we are today, in JNU, on the 8th of May, spending this Sunday with our hungry children. We share their hunger. We too are hungry for justice. We will sit with these young people, in hunger and in the sun, because we choose solidarity over indifference, rage over regret, love over apathy. We are here because we want these courageous young people to live, and study and change the world.
A mother is a person who nurtures, protects, and supports children in their struggles, provides space for their growth, shelters their questions and lets them flourish. We want the best for this generation. We want the best schools, the best colleges and universities. We want the best libraries and the best gyms and sports fields and swimming pools. We want them for all our children, regardless of class, caste, religion or gender. We want them to be affordable. We want them now. We want universities where our children can fall in love with learning, with life. We will not allow schools and universities to turn into prisons where our children’s minds are shackled. We will not let the state turn our children into criminals or zombies or slaves.
We, the mothers of this generation, want the best for our children. We are learning from them the joyous art of struggle. We know that the cruelty of the vice chancellor and the government that stands behind him is the very worst thing that they have encountered in their lives. We want that to change. We want these children to live, and we want their universities to be spaces that nurture their ability to question, to doubt everything, to think, to aim, like Rohith, for the stars.
The Vice Chancellor of JNU, the Minister who sits above him and makes such a big deal about being a mother, and the government that backs them to the hilt, and the fascists who are grinning on the sidelines. We warn them all. Don’t dare harm our children. Don’t mess with us mothers. If what you do turns our love into anger then nothing will stand in the path of our flaming rage.
Mothers can nurture. But angry mothers can also destroy. Do not underestimate our love, or our rage.”
Mothers Stand With JNU is a spontaneously organized group of mothers, grandmothers and others who stand with the JNU protesting against the fascist diktats of the JNU VC and his gang. They organize with the help of the ‘Mothers Stand With JNU‘ Facebook Page