This piece is in response to an article published in Times of India, where TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee asks, are Jadavpur University students protesting due to ban on drugs, liquor?
You’ve heard the statement that there is no such thing as an ignorant question?
You have also heard the statement there is an exception to every rule.
Abhishek Banerjee’s ignorant, irresponsible, question on Facebook, “Is this protest due to the banning of drugs, liquor and charas?” is the exception to the rule.
While this question is low enough to not dignify it with a response, nonetheless, we will offer Abhishek Banerjee with what we believe is a suitable answer.
Abhishek Banerjee, the students of Jadavpur University are acting in a behavior that shows the new #HeForShe movement which the United Nations is promoting, and shows the very speech EmmaWatson spoke to power at the United Nations. These students have resorted to a behavior of civil disobedience-“civil” being the key word; a movement in peace to illuminate the impunity of administrators of their university’s response to the sexual assault of a fellow student.
A peaceful demonstration for what we might call justice, although this justice doesn’t take back the horrific experience this brave and courageous girl was subjected to while administrators of Jadavpur University sat back in silence. Then in response to their civil protest of this impunity, which in its inaction justified the rape of a student, the protestors were beaten by police and political goons with clubs.
Over thirty students were hospitalized. Students were expelled, and the seven rapists to this day remain as students in what one might have called a University of higher education. In fact the only thing which shows an educated mind at Jadavpur is the students who are standing up and fighting back, putting hashtag words into righteous actions.
So, perhaps Abhishek Banerjee, you might go down to one of the student marches and get yourself an education, so that you don’t ask such dumb, ignorant questions. We also recommend you bring your Aunt Mamata Banerjee; a woman who has on more than one occasion administered injustice on peaceful demonstrators, including the detention of residents of Nonadanga in 2012, and women protesting the gang-rape and subsequent murder of a girl student at a village in Barasat,
To all the young dignified woman who stand up and spoke out after her ordeal, we strive as a humanity to equal your courage.
To all the brave students, women and men, at Jadavpur University we remind you that your bravery, you commitment to humanity, and education is not unnotticed by the world. As the New York Times and Half the Sky illuminate a brave women at Columbia University who carries a fifty pound mattress across her campus, symbolic of the mattress she was raped on, to the total silence of campus faculty and administrators, while the media illuminates it as performance art fails to ask why has no one been fired, we hope your student spirit spreads across our world. We hope that we can get to the day when any woman, raped on any campus, is cause for us all to risk everything, and fight back as one. Such a day when humanity in recognition to the inherent rights and dignity of all women and girls is being ignited by the actions of survivors all over the world, and those who stand next to these human beings, and support their bravery.
Lastly, our hope is that society can match the bravery of these students and send Abhishek Banerjee running, along with the VC, the Pro VC of Jadavpur.