The unlearning of all that we learned about media and police in school was not only painful but also shocking. Watching the media lie and police beating up innocent students made many realize the theory of state repression, state of exception and many more. If varsity students are asked to write an essay on the role of media today then our essays will be so much different from what we used to think and write in school. Media, one of the pillars of democracy which is suppose to ensure transparency has just become a propaganda and lie spreading machinery of the state. Talking about machineries of the state, the failures of police in safeguarding students cannot be ignored nor can it be forgotten in our lifetime. The lessons that students of JNU have learned beyond the four walls of the class rooms in last two months has made us so resilient that no iron rods of police or any mob can break us down.
The movement that started for affordable education and safeguarding the idea of a public university was supported by many while some tried to break it down in the categories of BPL, EWS, etc. During the movement the intellectuals kept writing but only thing that was being read and heard was the screams and abuses of those against the idea of public universities on the television sets and twitter storms and facebook posts of the IT cells who gets paid to create such image of varsity students and teachers. These are the ones who actually stay behind their phone and computer screens and when they come out they come with masked face and iron rods in their hands while our administration and police facilitate them in creating a mayhem inside the campus and the media airs the otherwise. The sounds of these lies are so loud that even our guardians who were once proud of their children studying in JNU are scared to an extent that they have started repeating the language of such media. Ideally these educated parents-guardians should be writing to the higher authorities demanding sacking of the Vice Chancellor and be proud of their brave children for taking the movement forward for affordable education and resisting privatization of education but all that they do now is binge on the false reporting and demand their children to withdraw from the movement. There is a need to understand that JNU is, not only because of its academic excellence but also because of movement like this, the success of this movement will assure affordable higher education to many generations. Even though the whole country is coming out in support of JNU, our loved ones seems to be slipping on the side of the louder lots because of fear instilled in them by the media.
In this peak point of the movement our parents should not get threatened by a handful of masked goons they should, instead question the VC and the police how did they fail to protect their children in the campus from these goons! Parents should question the VC why did he choose to remain absent from the meeting called by MHRD regarding the violent attack on the campus. The question shouldn’t be why was a student there at the site of protest but why wasn’t the VC able to protect his students. A little change in the attitudes of our authoritative guardians would give a great support to this movement and enormous strength to the students to fight back; this will also mean no threats or fewer threats to university students by those followers of Godse in future. This is the time to show courage and resilience like Gandhi and ensure that students are not failed in the hands of this ‘good-for-nothing’ administration.
Shital Baraily is pursuing her Masters from JNU, New Delhi.