#RamjasIncident: Open Letter to DU Students
by Ananya Pandey, President of Deshbandhu College English Debating Society.
Ananya Pandey is pursuing B.A. Political Science (H) from Deshbandhu College, and is the current President of the English Debating Society. The following transcript is in the light of the recent controversy over ABVP Hooliganism in Ramjas College.
To my friends and fellow students at the Delhi University,
I write this, at a time when the campus is in a situation of fear, a situation of unrest. I'm infuriated at the abuses, the rape and death threats, the physical assualt on all students unleashed by the ABVP, I'm deeply saddened by the fact that our university is no longer the fulcrum of democratic values, critical ideas and liberal atmosphere, that it earlier used to be, which is necessary for expanding the possibilities of the growth of our students. What the ABVP has done to crush dissenting voices is frightening, and the way Delhi Police has handled this fiasco is disturbing.
As much as I despise the ABVP for this damage, not just physical or material, but the emotional trauma of the muzzling down of our voices, which is menacing, I hold ourselves, the student community of our university, responsible for allowing fascism to breed in our own campus. This is not the first time the ABVP has unleashed such violence. We conveniently ignored what happened in Deshbandhu College last year. We saw and forgot what happened with the street play society of SGTB Khalsa college two years back. The memory of what they did at the screening of 'Muzaffarnagar abhi baki hai' in Kirori Mal College easily faded away. Instances of harassment and violence against students, staff or teachers by the ABVP have never been a rare occurrence, in my 3 years at the university.
What happened at Ramjas earlier this week is unfortunate, and I hold ourselves responsible for all this.
I hold ourselves responsible, because we were ignorant. We were too engaged in our academic and co-curricular pursuits to pay heed to resist the Parishad.
I hold ourselves responsible, because we thought that remaining 'apolitical' would make us 'cool rational liberals' which will keep us away from the partisan politics, and conflicts that occur in the campus. We did not realise that remaining apolitical is a political position in itself, where you're allowing the dominant order to prevail, as a result of which the violent, regressive ABVP comes to power year after year using the might of it's money and muscle.
I hold ourselves responsible, because we never raised our issues, voiced our demands for better infrastructure, better hostels, better courses, equality of opportunity and representation for our female students, never spoke out against gender violence and injustice, and believed that Political activism is futile. We did this despite knowing that those who come to power by distributing movie tickets and amusement park rides will launch a rampage against the heritage of our university, instead of representing our demands.
I hold ourselves responsible, because we were too lazy to go out to vote for the Student's Union elections. We always took it for granted that election day is a day meant to relax, we never went out to vote against the hooliganism of ABVP, despite being aware of it, and surrendered our campus to them.
ABVP is plundering the very roots of our university, of our culture, of our Indian Constitution, and I hold OURSELVES responsible.
Frightened, Bewildered and Enraged.
Common Students in fear while ABVP Goons riot in North Campus