Moment of reckoning for student movements

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Failed forces Police line up outside the Patiala House Court | Photo: AFP

 

Similarly, the unity among professors to condemn the attacks on university campuses have fallen short when it comes to addressing the arrest of SAR Geelani, the former Delhi University professor for conducting a similar event at the Press Club. In a statement, his brother, Bismillah Geelani says, “It is okay for the State to arrest him for something he is not guilty of. No protest has been carried out in his support despite the two cases being similar.”

Journalists who have condemned the attack on reporters at the Patiala House Court have not produced a statement on Press Club’s expulsion of its member Ali Javed, for booking the conference hall for the event. Instead of going through its due process of inquiry, the Press Club management took a call despite Javed’s statement that he is not an organiser of the event.

There can be no doubt that this is a political moment, one that has driven people across political spectrum to prove their love to this country. It is also an important moment for journalists who were trained to verify their facts and think twice before they aired their views. There was no story at JNU  on 9 February and certainly nothing that was worth driving a campaign for.

Yet inevitably labels such as ‘nationalist’ and anti-national’ were thrown about. This is not because of the sustained efforts of this government alone. It is because of the death of our thoughts that perpetuate a continuity in the violence towards all those who are in the margins.

So in this moment, when a Ravish Kumar is blacking out the screen condemning media trial, when The Telegraph has gone on an offensive against the government and when several editorials have lambasted it for its irresponsible use of an archaic law, the question student movements must ask is this: is it time to talk about what we have been sweeping under the carpet for decades or is it time to only revolt against the privileges we lost?

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