15th of December will be registered as a black day in the history of Jamia Millia Islamia when the students of the university were subjected to barbaric atrocities, but it will also be remembered as a day when we witnessed student solidarity throughout the nation as never before, only until we remember the protest disruptions like that of 1974 led by Arun Jaitley, J P Narayan & PM Narendra Modi himself.
It was 1974 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the Navanirmaan Movement as a young pracharak and associate of ABVP in a much more violent protest , while J P Narayan led the Sampoorn Kranti Movement in Bihar, in the same year Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley organised Sangharsh Samiti for students.
“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”Mary mcleod bethune
Mary Mcleod Bethune was very right what she said about our youth in the aforementioned lines. Our youth indeed has the power to move mountains and to bring on new revolutions to change the world for the betterment of the people of the present and of the future. Time and again we have seen the youth of our country to stand and voice their concern over these malpractices of the current Indian Government and have opened the eyes of the people that were earlier blind towards these practices. The youth stood and voiced their concern over the: 2012 Delhi Gang Rape, Shutdown of Kashmir, 2017 Unnao Rape Case and 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act. The youth of this country continues to voice their opinions and their views about these heinous acts in India and continues to seek justice for these happenings.
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”Baháʼu’lláh, Mírzá Ḥusayn-ʻAlí Núrí
Jamia Millia Islamia witnessed this light of unity in the most scintillating form on 15th of December, 2019 when a peaceful protest outside the varsity campus had turned into a total chaos and a field of mayhem by Delhi Police.
This monstrous and atrocious action of Delhi Police upon the students, faculty and infrastructures of Jamia didn’t go well for the Indian Government as soon the whole world was made obvious to the situation of Jamia Millia Islamia. Photographic evidences of this wicked act were soon spread across the whole world through social media and many news channels also covered this happening to broadcast it to the world. JMI was pushed into darkness as the night unfolded itself and numerous students were taken into detainment and several others were admitted to the hospital in Intensive Care Units. Streets within the Jamia varsity were piled with empty tear gas shells, stones and blood splatters of students that were beaten mercilessly; all in the name of dispersing this peaceful protest that showed dissent against the Indian Government, Bharatiya Janta Party.
The rage of JMI against their dying light of unity was held together by other universities across the state and soon people woke up to the atrocity that JMI had faced and came together to stand with Jamia. Midnight protest was carried out by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University which asked for the students of Jamia to be released from detainment and actions to be taken against Delhi Police. Soon havoc broke in Aligarh Muslim University as well where protests were held for Jamia and internet was shut down by the government amid protest and police officials were given orders to disperse the crowd by any means necessary and so they did.
Protests for JMI and AMU soon happened all across the country with 49 Indian Universities including Chandigarh University, Banaras Hindu University, Nadwa University, Darul Uloom Deoband, Jadavpur University, Indian Institute of Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Indian Institute of Science, Cochin University of Science and Technology, IIT Madras, Madras University, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, Loyola College, Patna University, etc. With the University of Delhi & Jawaharlal Nehru University leading the protests for students of JMI.
Solidarity demonstrations have also developed outside the country in as many as 21 universities according to sources; in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Yale University, Connecticut and Harvard University, Cambridge. Protests have begun in United Kingdom as well to show support for the wicked acts of 15th December done against JMI; Oxford University stands with Jamia to show their support.
Many like Film & Television Institute of India, Pune have also supported the students, Medical Colleges of Bengal like R G Kar Medical College, Kolkata which empowered a similar students protest earlier this year & Law Univerities of NLU Jodhpur, Bangalore, Nagpur, Mumbai, NALSAR Hyderabad, NUSRL Ranchi and IIMs of Ahmedabad, Bangalore also extended their hand towards students of JMI.
While esteemed universities and people from all around the world are requesting the Indian Government to reconsider their Citizenship Amendment Act. Marches have been organised all across the country to show sympathy for Jamia and AMU. Open letters have been written to the Indian Government to take proper legal actions against the injustice done to Jamia. The United Nations has also criticized India; calling this Act “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.
These protests are manifestations of the student power and the depth of student fraternity that we register all over the world, many say this keeps the hope alive and will continue to resist against the wrong.
YUSUF AZIZ, B.A. (Hons.) English, Jamia Millia Islamia