Yeh Jo India Hai Na, Shouldn’t It Listen to Its Students?

Why are their resisting voices being suppressed with tear gas and lathi charges?

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Video Producer: Anubhav Mishra
Video Editors: Vishal Kumar & Vivek Gupta
Cameraperson: Sumit Badola

Yeh jo India hai na, yeh humse kuch keh raha hai. But are we listening?

In Tamil Nadu, are we listening to the young student voices from Loyola College, Mohamed Sathak College and New College in Chennai?

Are we listening to voices from Government Law College in Vellore, Central University campus at Thiruvarur? Have we heard the voices of students at Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha?

Do many of us even remember that Wardha was where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 12 years of his life? And since we don’t, isn’t it not surprising that we’ve also lost sight of the Mahatma’s vision of a secular, tolerant India?

Elsewhere in Maharashtra, is anyone listening to the young voices from Mumbai University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, IIT Mumbai, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune’s Symbiosis Law School and Pune’s Fergusson College.

Should we ignore voices from the college that was founded by Lokmanya Tilak, where people as politically diverse as former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and freedom fighter VD Savarkar studied? Or are we going to dismiss student voices from there as having a hidden agenda?

Just like the Government is dismissing the protests from the campuses of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi or Aligarh Muslim University or Delhi’s JNU?

According to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, jihadists, Maoists and separatists have infiltrated the student movements in such campuses. Is there evidence of this? Can we be shown that evidence?

At best, the minister is misinformed. At worst, it explains the extreme violence used by the police on some of these campuses. It explains why students are lying in hospitals with multiple fractures instead of being heard. They have been dealt with as if they were, in fact, Maoists.

Yeh jo India hai na, yeh humse kuch keh raha hai. But lathiyon se maar maar ke, is that how we listen?

How many young voices will we ignore? In Telangana, will we ignore the voices from Hyderabad University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Osmania University, where my grandfather studied and then joined the Indian Army and fought for the nation in 1948, 1962 and 1965?

Yes, that’s what students go on to do. Serve the nation in many, many ways. Will we just ignore them, dismiss them, abuse them, beat them up, jail them?

Yeh Jo India ka bhavishya hai na, yeh students, yeh humse kuch keh rahe hain. But who’s listening?

Who is listening to the students of IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore or the brightest brains of the nation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore? These are world-class young minds.

If they find the Citizenship Amendment Act objectionable, if the idea of NRC makes them fearful, should you and I and our government not listen?

Why are we not listening to the students of Jain University, Bangalore? Or the students of multiple colleges in Mangalore? Why are we not listening to the students of Delhi University, which is home to students from all over the country?

When so many diverse voices voice a single concern, is it not worth listening to? Are the voices from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi’s Ambedkar University, National Law University, not worth listening to? These future lawyers are asking, why are we trying to alter the basic nature of the Constitution that they are expected to uphold in the future?

They are asking, ‘If the Supreme Court says the Citizenship Amendment Act is unconstitutional, will you scrap it?’

Yeh Jo India hai na, yeh humse kuch pooch raha hai. Do these questions not deserve a clear answer?

Do the questions of Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, Assam’s Dibrugarh University, Guwahati’s Cotton University, Manipur University, Chandigarh University, Islamia College in Srinagar, Pondicherry University, Calicut University, Cochin University of Science and Technology not deserve an answer?

Students from the historical Banaras Hindu University where RSS founder MS Golwalkar and Lal Bahadur Shastri studied, when students from Allahabad University, where Prime Ministers VP Singh and Chandrashekhar studied, where Harivansh Rai Bachchan studied, Murli Manohar Joshi… the list is so long.

Are we prepared to not care what the students from such ancient institutions are saying?

Yeh jo India hai na, yeh humse kuch keh raha hai. But are we listening?

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