Goons in the mask of students! A storm of red terror destroyed the peace of JNU on 5th January 2020. The human bunkers of steaming red terrorism in the campus led the violence and caused injuries in the hearts and memories of innocent students.
We ABVPians were innocent beings who dreamt of doing something for our nation while studying and after our studies in JNU. But these Communist/ red terrorists tore apart our flesh and bone like monsters. These monsters played fake propaganda against us and tried to push us far from our goals of national service. But nothing matters for us when everything is about truth and factual information that the whole world wants to know. We are concerned about the security and life of our batch mates and upcoming batches who dream of studying at JNU. Walking back on the horror trail of JNU red terror let me recall the incident that made me worry for life.
These are also the true experiences of any student who is also an ABVP member in JNU and is also shared by several of the ABVP supporters who, on a day-to-day basis, are targeted, cornered, insulted, assaulted, and boycotted with an intention to either remain silent or to quit. But ABVPians shall neither be quiet nor quit the battleground where Communists rule the rooster.
(ABVP – JNU students were severely attacked by mobs that were led by Communist goons on 5th Jan 2020)
We received a mail yesterday, and it was from a student of JNU and an ABVP-JNU supporter who believes in India's diverse culture and heritage. He was very much present on the campus on the day of 5th January 2020, the day that will be remembered as a black day in the history of JNU and any academic space. He did not want to reveal his identity because he still senses the danger of having criticised the reds and, therefore, feels unsafe pursuing academics on campus. And I am sure this feeling is not unique to a single student like him but is a feeling commonly shared by most JNUites. It is important that the world knows about his feeling of insecurity about the Left's intolerance and Communist bigotry, he writes:
"Hiiii everybody. I rarely am courageous enough to sit and write something, but today when I lost, when I lost myself when I'm a loser and am in a hurry to accept that yes, you're defeated, and I do not wish to stay but to move on for a new game, blank on what to do, who to share with, who to convince, who to trust, who to consult, who to ask help, how to escape this fear and feeling, I had no other option but to write. Even while writing this, I know nobody will get affected, and more than half won't read. But even then, I am here to free myself, and I am here to let my feelings get the "azaadi" from my incapable being and let them float somewhere, where nobody's socially boycotting them. I just wish that this feeling should get immortalised as a text and none could harm it, so I'm writing…
It was 5th January 2020, the accident is known to everyone. Everyone knows the truth by now, but even after knowing everything, you guys have spinelessly accepted what happened to us and not only accepted but also supported them and spread more hatred for us. But then I remember who am I pleading to. I forget the truth because I haven't lived with it and have always trusted the "common students concept". It slips from my mind that you are them, and they are you. I even am told myself 'theek hua', 'tumhi log gunde ho', 'abvp ki planning thi', 'tumlog ho hi isi ke layak', 'aur milega prasad' and what not. People have jumped from balconies, ran half-naked, bleeding and smiling 'bach gaye kood ke' but leave. Let's not discuss it because I can't mention every individual's pain and no one's pain is less. No one's tragedy can be compared as to which few should be written. I am mentally disturbed, and all of you are responsible.
Our Parents have cried ki beta chhod do abvp, sahi salamat rahoge aage fir dekhna, bahut zindagi baaki hai but why would you care, 'Bastiyan jalakar maatam manane wale ho tum sab'. You never realise that this has changed lives. People are changed human beings forever. I will never be able to see old me ever in many ways. I will never forgive you for what you all did to us and are continuously doing. But I remind you all that we are still just battered, not broken. Thanks to my surroundings which gave me a ray of hope, "haar nahi maanna hai, himmat nahi tootne dena hai, uthenge aur fir mehnat karenge". I salute these undying spirits and feel proud to be a part of them. I never realised that people we live with, share benches with, share mess spaces and even plates with, share a cold drink with, share a laugh with can be such brave and are real-life heroes. I feel proud to be an ABVP activist today.
I reached the hostel today, and the way people looked at me, the way everybody was behaving, I couldn't figure out for the first few minutes, but then I felt I am from ABVP. I clearly heard people saying 'ye kaise bach gya'. I don't understand what to feel now: angry, irritated, frustrated, low, hopeless, demoralised, demotivated or happy. I just know that I broke down after really long time. I wept, and that's how my 2020 started. Thanks to the tears to make me feel good and free.
I wanted to shout at the loudest of my voice that I'm an ABVPian and I'm not a goon.
We are bleeding; we are traumatised, we're yet to recover from the shock. We are also humans. I never imagined I'd have to run away from a campus I once happily claimed called mine.
You urge people to socially boycott us, not to sit with us, not to talk to us, not to be our friends. People are thinking of suicide. I swear, if any of my friends even think of doing anything, I'll never forgive you all, and almighty won't, too. Parchas with photos of people are distributed among people as an open invitation to lynch us.
I see intolerance here. I know now how it can feel. People are afraid to walk with us. Activists are afraid of entering mess for distributing mess parchas. My heart sank when my roommate said, "Sorry bro, room ke bahar ka swastik mitana pada, shubh deepawali ka patta hatana pada, warna wo log is room me bhi tod ke ghus jate." I can't believe this shit. But it's ok. I'm recovering, and I'm sure I'll never celebrate Diwali until I feel, I live at a place where I'm not supposed to be attacked by seeing the swastika sign and Shubh Diwali jhalar. I'm sorry to say that we had to disown our religion and culture at times just to be safe. I feel sorry and helpless. I am at a point where now I'm being boycotted by more than 70% of people, but I truly don't give a shit to these 'boycott-ers' because I know now that they were never with me. Those who were with me will still be with me. I can see my friends losing hope ki chhod na rehne de na bhai, 'bekar me ye sab me pad raha hai, chup chap ek sal aur guzar le aur padh likh ke nikal ja, akele kuch nahi kar paayega inka. Inlog nahi chhodenge nahi to.' But, I can breathe because there's a world outside JNU, I can breathe because JNU isn't everything, my whole life isn't ruined, not everybody outside will tag me a goon or whisper traitor. I can breathe because there'll be a time I'll be free, I'll be heard, I'll be understood, I'll be respected. There will be a place where the truth will be respected. There will place where common people would decide after seeing facts, and there will be a place where common people will be common, there will be a place I won't suffocate, there will be a place where I will proudly say that I survived in JNU as an ABVP activist and people will clap. I can breathe because this time will be gone. Good times will come.
I recall there was a time not long back when I loved this place and even feel now ki Kaash sab sahi hota, Kaash ye na hota, Kaash hum khush hote, Kaash hum ek hote, Kaash sach zinda hota, Kaash hum bhi jnu me zinda hote. I feel life in myself that there are people other than my college mates, there are ideologies other than left as well. So lucky am i that I got such a group of friends jinse is jindagi me aur logon ki kami nahi hogi, warna i was already reconsidering this life and had planned ki agle janm me sabkuch sahi rakhenge. I failed to keep check on my words even after checking a lot. I m sorry again. Thankyou pen!!
Either we die or live but will keep on fighting for the truth, for us ABVP JNU activists “students lives” matters and we will fight back the Urban Naxals till the final tip of the root evaporates. We might get feared from the anti-India forces, but we will keep on fighting for our nation.”
– by a yet to be broken ABVP-JNU activist
(Posters by the Left that enforce Social Boycotts on students representing and supporting ABVP)
As I conclude, it is important to mention that the 5th January 2020 violence was just the result of the frustrated communists getting red after they failed to thwart alternative ideas and dissent emanating from ABVP. The ‘reds’ don’t know and can never understand that in ABVP, we put the nation before ourselves by exploring studentship through all possible avenues for national development and social welfare. Therefore, the only message that we, the ABVPians, can convey at this point in time is that ‘you may hurt us, but you will never ever break our spirit’. Jai hind!
(The writer is an ABVP–JNU Activist and a PhD research scholar at the School of Environmental Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University)