Kuch kar guzarne ko, khoon chalaAankhon ke sheeshe mein, utarne ko khoon chala
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.
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.
Here is a video showing the police beating up students in what I'm told is the area in front of the Zakir Hussain library. Presumably earlier in the evening. pic.twitter.com/Pg40UvZcmN— Supriya Sharma (@sharmasupriya) December 15, 2019
Video from inside a washroom at Jamia University in Delhi. One student with a smashed eye, another unconscious on the floor, mirrors smashed by @DelhiPolice @CPDelhi, stop the violence. pic.twitter.com/LU4ZL0sHP9— Neha Dixit (@nehadixit123) December 15, 2019
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.