Long Live Hashtag Activism #hokkolorob
I woke up today to a deluge of posts by people extending their “solidarity” to students of Jadavpur University who were manhandled by the Kolkata Police last night. The “students” in question had gheraoed the Vice Chancellor of the University “peacefully” from noon till 3 AM at night. As per reports of some news channels, the Vice Chancellor was physically assaulted by few students, after which fearing for his life, he had to call the police.
What amused me the most is the fact that these “rebellious” students were relaying the “state sponsored brutality “live” through FB and Twitter. Delhi-based media, which these days treats FB posts as Gospel truth jumped into the fray and launched into an attack on the WB Govt (no lessons learnt from attack on NE students in Bangalore and Assam riots). Amusing how your comrades are “being molested” by “goons” and you find time to update your FB status!
The students were carrying out “peaceful protests” not for justice for the victim of molestation of a JU student, but to shield the perpetrators (reason attributed to hostel politics). Student politics of JU is known all the world over; JU has given rise to Naxalites in the past. Only three years ago Debalina (who worked closely with Kishenji) was arrested from campus. Known Naxal sympathisers like Jishnu-da have often held meetings on the campus under the banner of USDF/AISA and other organisations. But that’s besides the point.
I have a few pertinent questions for those who are the flag bearers of hashtag activism today:
- When student organisations of ruling parties (be it in Bengal or anywhere else) submit something as trivial as deputations to VC’s in universities, media is quick to brand it as “gherao”. But actually locking up faculty members from noon till late night is “peaceful protest”? Even the first report of the agitation appeared in the media at 7 PM….
- VC’s are in-charge of law and order within the campus. If police can be deployed in other universities, why can they not be brought to JU, specially after the dignity of women is under attack from other students!!!
- Media and FB “activists” are agog about “outsiders who attacked students. What about the presence of Asim “Kaka” Chatterjee and his bunch of followers at protest site? What were students of other institutes doing there?
- All students who were detained by police to clear the gherao have been released. Sadly, a few students are hopspitalised. But has the media even uttered a word on faculty members who are hospitalised after being locked up for hours by students?
- Those who are shouting their lungs out on FB (notice the sarcasm here) in solidarity with students, why didn’t the students protest after the molestation that happened way back in the last week of August? Why did the students not demand the arrest of the perpetrators of the molestation (even after an FIR by the victim?)
- Is the core issue still the molestation of the girl or is it now a battle of egos with the authorities?
P.S. – Obviously I know, people will tell me I have been “paid” to write this piece, that I am a “volunteer” of the government. Unlike them, I have not sold my conscience to fake hashtag activism to look cool on Twitter/FB.
LONG LIVE HASHTAG ACTIVISM