They say that art often imitates life. But, in some rare cases, life imitates art – and it does so in a way that leaves you shocked, disgusted, and inexplicably hurt. 

Kuch kar guzarne ko, khoon chala
Aankhon ke sheeshe mein, utarne ko khoon chala

At least, those are the emotions I am left struggling with, as videos and photos of police brutality against the students of Jamia University and AMU appear with alarming speed on social media. 

Our college campuses, libraries, hostels are supposed to be our safe place – our home away from home. But these photos and videos prove that for hundreds of students, that wasn’t the case last night. 

And, as I sat seething silently in anger, I was reminded of the song Khoon Chala from the movie Rang De Basanti. 

The film presented a take on how the youth of India dealt with government corruption. 

The song was, and still is in fact, a slow but strong expression of the rage that afflicts us, when we come face to face with the atrocities that take place in the name of ‘authority, law, and order’. 


When a university campus is littered with blood and tear gas shells, the words Khoon Chala are a rousing cry – because a temple of education was converted into a warzone. 

When students are hurled out of libraries and made to walk like criminals, then the video of the song becomes more than just a film scene. It becomes the recap of a dark day in the history of India.


A day where it was acceptable to force students into hiding, to shoot at them, to try and break their spirits. Only, this dark day is not a cultivated piece of fiction, it’s the part of a very disturbing reality. 


What these photos and videos spell for our identity as a democratic nation is a question we must fight for the answer to. 

All images are screenshots from the video, unless specified otherwise.