Jamia Millia Islamia, JMI, remember the name? Who is going to forget the name, atleast not in the next hundred years of Indian History? The epicenter of Anti CAA-NRC protests in India. The students of a temple of Education, A University, stood for what is right, with courage that not many could muster at that time. Delhi police did try its best to suppress the dissenting voices of students. But eventually the students roared back with a greater voice that spread like a forest fire to the nook and corner of India. Since then the students have used all constitutional means to register their voice in revolution that India plans to bring in. Fortunately for the Delhi police, a mob out of nowhere created a mess and destroyed public property during one such protest and provided Delhi police enough reason to barge into the campus and unleash institutionalized violence on the many students in the University. And that is how 15th December 2019 shall go down as a Black Day for Democratic system in India, and historic day for Jamia Millia Islamia students and this people’s movement.
To provide a context to international audience, Jamia Milia is one of the most respected schools for humanities in India. Modi regime’s clampdown on #Jamia students is akin to the US govt conducting a witch hunt on Harvard and Georgetown and indiscriminately jailing students!
— IndianAmericanMuslimCouncil (@IAMCouncil) May 23, 2020
Jamia Millia Islamia is a well-known university in India. It has always made sure to give the best to the student community making its way to one of the top universities in India, and retaining the same every year since then. With Hundred years into its being on Saturday, time takes us back to 1920 when JMI was established in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. It was later on moved to its current location. With a star studded Alumni list that includes Virendar Sehwag , Shah Rukh Khan, Barkha Dutt, Salman Khurshid, and many more who have left no stone unturned to glorify our nation and add on to many feathers in its cap.
The world is witnessing an emergency sort of situation due to a pandemic in the name of Corona Virus. Covid-19 might have taken all of us by surprise, but that doesn’t stop the Delhi Police from hunting down student leaders of the Anti CAA-NRC movement. Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Shifa-Ur-Rehman and Asif Iqbal Tanha, have been arrested and slapped with UAPA. The Delhi Police seems to be on a witch hunt, trying to use its powers to suppress bold voices speaking against injustice, any voice that is against the policies of the government.
A trend running for 10 hours, #StandWithJamia, with 159K Tweets, is what citizens of a country with 130 crore population and around 13 lakh Indians on Twitter could do. India at this instant is not just dealing with a deadly virus, but seems to be also dealing with an anti-democratic or democracy allergic institutions of the government. Many voiced their fearless opinions on their twitter handles and made sure that they haven’t forgotten their duty of standing for the right and just, while India witnesses its fourth phase of lockdown.
Labeed Aliya, current SIO president, tweeted against the dehumanising and barbaric attitude.
Jamia we stand with you…
Jamia we shall not let you be silenced….
Against this barbaric, dehumanising, denial of justice….
Together we will continue to fight against this witch hunting of your students and teachers….#StandWithJamia #StandWithAsifSafooraMiranRaheman pic.twitter.com/mSZZPK3tCe
— Labeed Aliya (@labeedaliya) May 23, 2020
Jamia students stood for equal rights, democracy, constitution and dignity. The protests against CAA-NRC-NPR were completely peaceful rather they were attacked many times by Delhi Police and others. But ironically Muslim students are being made villain here. #StandWithJamia
— Kawalpreet Kaur (@kawalpreetdu) May 23, 2020
Ladeed Farzana has lauded the Jamia for being anti-colonial and anti-fascist campus.
Jamia’s 100th year has great historical significance.This campus has led anti colonial and anti fascist movements.
We must protest at the police atrocities against Jamia’s student activists.
— ️Ladeeda Farzana (@ladeedafarzana) May 23, 2020
— Mohammad Salman (@writesalman) May 23, 2020
As Jamia students Meeran, Safoora, Asif & many anti-CAA activists are in jail, recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s words whose call for non-cooperation led to establishment of Jamia:
— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) May 23, 2020
The actions of Delhi police are highly questionable. Making a series of arrests with not much to support the arrests of the students of JMI, Delhi police is showcasing the loop holes to be filled in the democratic system of India. To be free to act and yet not be free to do so at their own constitutionally provided free will is a matter of grave concern for the biggest democracy in the world. To be an agency to enforce law and prevent crime on this democratic land, and to be committing an ethical crime is a valid and undeniable question on the value system of our government institutions. To be acting at the will of people in power, when the actual action has to be hand in hand with the constitution, does raise concerns on the role of Police in enforcing the law.
The police is free to do its duty and do all in its power to maintain law and order in our country. But that doesn’t give them an unquestionable power to jail a pregnant woman, to put a student behind bars just for questioning the government, or to slap UAPA or any draconian law on a selected group of people who happen to be opposing the government policies and at the same time not impose similar charges on someone who is on the other side of the line.
The government elected to power should be acting in the vested interest of its people. The people do include both its supporters and non-supporters. If not then the government is not ‘The Government’ at least in word. The targeted witch-hunt of all student leaders and fearless voices of Anti-CAA protests does uncover the masks behind policies of the government and make it clear for the observing and the ready to understand, clear as the blue sky, what its intentions are in the first place. The do shift the focus lights on the actions of our government amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
It’s time for India to rethink on its policies. We are a democracy – and freedom of speech is surely the right of every citizen living in here, to be more clear in word and global in thought; it’s the right of every human born in this beautiful world, in specific the most beautiful country, India. Both the hope and future of this very country lies in the hands of the youth, the educated ones – the fearless, bold torchbearers of truth and justice.