Difference in political ideologies is quite banal. Everyone’s opinion and dissent, ideally, is to be taken into consideration, because everyone’s opinion is important. Evidently, that doesn’t hold true for our country anymore. Why listen to an opinion when one ideology can dominate, right? This was very clearly seen in the Ramjas clash that was witnessed in February this year between the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and students. The debate circled around the lecture that was to be delivered by JNU student leader Umar Khalid in a seminar to be held in the college premises. The matter escalated way beyond than it should have, leading to students as well as Professors being beaten up with stones and hockey sticks. The college had to bear the impact of an intensely politicized clash that went out of hand.
Chronicling these events is a witness who experienced all this first hand. Vaibhav Yadav, a third year History student, has decided to write a book, highlighting everything that took place in the Ramjas clash. His book is called ‘Ramjas: The Aazadi Episode’. The book is an unbiased account of the incident, talking about experiences of students from both sides. He was quoted saying, “ I’ve seen my college change, but never in the way this incident did. My class had 80 students. After the incident, I saw them get divided into two distinct groups- right wing and left wing supporters . I saw three years of friendships vanish. The hatred and its effect was unimaginable.”
The book according to Yadav, is a way of reaching out to the people and letting them know the truth about the incident, as it is an unbiased account of the incident. He said that since college was about to end for them, they might not see each other again. But this incident already created a rift between friends. He then adds, “Is this how college life supposed to be? I want that to change. I hope my book changes some of that.”, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Living in a society where people with strong personal beliefs are considered Right wing or conservative, Yadav believes it is hard to have rock solid beliefs. This led him to understand that a person’s professional or personal credibility should not be doubted because of the individual’s beliefs and understandings. He credits the incident for being a life changing experience that revealed the deep thinker and the empathetic side of him. Incidentally, it also brought out the writer in him as he frequently documented his thoughts on the incident to words. He believed that the best way to make a lasting contribution was through this book. He wanted to ensure fellow youngsters start thinking consciously, take intelligent decisions and not be subjected to the wrath of such environment. It’s his belief that every young person that walks into the campus be inculcated with a sense of integrity and discipline through his writings. It was during this uprising that Vaibhav wrote an open letter announcing his support for someone whose ideology differed from his. He extended the support solely out of personal respect for the individual and believes everyone should leave ideological differences aside and stand by each other as fellow humans.(http://www.hindusthannews.in/en/the-evolving-mind-behind-the-book-ramjas-the-aazadi-episode/)
His personality as someone who is for positive developments can also be witnessed in the social service initiative “Mission Zindagi” which he and few of his college friends started to educate children of construction workers, who used to work in the Ramjas college campus. While the core team was of just seven people, many others volunteered to provide for books and stationery.” We will continue to provide basic education to the needy illiterate children and will try to change the world in the little ways we can.”, says Yadav.
Vaibhav, is one youngster that sets the tone on how it is possible for the youth to experience an awakening and express themselves sans aggression amidst unpleasant trysts and circumstances. Hopefully, the book will help us throw a little more light on the truth and occurrences behind the infamous Ramjas clash.