This is a ScoopWhoop Exclusive.
As the fight for democratic spaces in university campuses and the release of their student union President (who has been arrested on charges of sedition) continues in JNU, ScoopWhoop got in touch with a few students of the university, who have been part of student movements on and off campus.
We asked them for 10 things JNU wants the world to know. Here’s what they had to say.
It is true. They have no judicial powers what so ever. They cannot even sentence a pick-pocket, leave alone legal judgments of national and historic importance.
Take pride in people, in their differences and colourfulness, in their anger and strength. Pride taken in vague Google map outlines, lurid details of conflict and touristic photographs are both hollow and vicious.
Talk, with patience. Argue and listen; to understand the other person. Make up your own mind, and then start again to question why the others have not made up their minds.
To be a ‘Nation’ is to know that you are home. To be home is to be free. Jails, torture chambers, TV studios with rude, screaming hosts are not homes. Listen to us, make us feel at home.
Speaking honestly is all about disagreement, ask any couple in love. If you are not arguing you are not telling the truth as you believe it to be. So speak, protest, complain, be indignant and let us do the same.
Legislators in the parliament and lawyers in the court are human. They make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are important enough to be criticized. Do so, criticize debate and call them names. It’s your duty as a citizen.
Yes, they vote, they are part of the universal franchise and because they are younger than the rest of the population they have higher stakes in the future. They must do politics, for their own future and for the country’s.
India has been an idea, an empire and a colony. It has been won, conquered, ruled, freed, broken and sewn back together. It is stronger than you think it is. The present ruling party is a footnote in its life and it shall pass. Yet, India shall endure.
Nationalism is the love between neighbours. It is made of secret signals of young lovers across windows half open. It is made of bold statements and little public secrets held in confidence. At times it’s also like knowing about the neighbourhood wife beater and calling him out. JNU stands with people protesting violence and oppression. We consider it our duty and yours as well.
Classrooms are much more than lecture drones noted for the next exam. Universities are places made of ideas, exchanges and courage. We debate the price of every single day in history but we refuse to buy fear.
Contributing authors –