When Modi is celebrating India’s victory, MHRD seems to be busy celebrating after parties of their minister’s birthday and others are playing holi in a parched nation. At the time when mainstream media is crying for Brussels and Facebook is banning articles, voices of nearly 5000 students who are stuck in an unprecedented crisis in University of Hyderabad are getting sidelined. Social media seems to be the first and last resort for the voices of those whose reality has become a never ending struggle. Below is a detailed narrative by a student of University of Hyderabad that might help you to know what exactly has been happening in UoH:-
“When As HCU cripples back to normalcy, barely recovering from the false cases implicated on its students and professors, I sit back and recollect the devastation that two days caused in our lives. From worrying about finishing the many assignments to worrying about the last ounce of water in my bottle, I have come to realise why so many people have lost hope in democracy.
The moment the news of Apps Rao’s return reached us, everyone knew of the impending doom to grapple the university. But nobody really expected this sort of a crackdown. It was all peaceful in the initial hours with Chant’s of jai bheem filling the air with hope. I had to leave the protest to attend a class but when I returned I was greeted with a complete different sight. Friends, acquaintances walking down, some even running with tears and fear in their eyes. Many girls holding their cheeks in pain, many mortified by the molestation. I was just consuming the idea when someone shouted run, and my gaze fixed on the group of policemen charging towards me. I ran, more like I was made to run to avoid getting thrashed.
Hours later I found myself in ShopCom, in a state of black out, wrapping my head around what just happened. Nobody could be turned to for a smile or a word of relief. Everyone was desolate, confused and scared. The people who we looked upto for encouraging chants and words were gone. The police somehow randomly picked the very leaders of the struggle. It was utter chaos. Each narrated how the lathi bruised them, how the police gheraoed them, how the ‘other’ students from within the office sneered, how some escaped, how some saw their classmates nabbed in the police vans. As each recounted their tale of horror with such vividness, I wanted to run away screaming for help to an oblivious void. Who would or could hear me? I picked my fallen courage and made my way to the hostel to realise that internet, mess and drinking water was cut off. It was unbelievable and unthinkable. Could the university actually do this to you? Is this even possible? All the effort I had put in to enter this university seemed like a joke when the university so easily plucked away my right to dignity. They had started treating us how they treated Rohith in his last days.
After all, social boycott is best for the pests who feed off tax payer’s money. The chants of “Tum kitne Rohith maroge? Har ghar se rohith niklega” were eerily turning true. They did decimate us on 22nd March, 2016. First with lathi charge, then the sudden arrests, then with the cutting off of water and food supplies. Each blow was getting harder than the previous one. That night was the darkest in HCU. Appa Rao’s support staff had abandoned us. Many faculty members had abandoned us. Its then that we picked each other up. The students took up cooking to ensure that they feed each other.
As I sit now and come to terms with reality, I understand that nothing has changed significantly. The 36 students are charged and still no word has come from them. Supporters of Rao continued in branding us vandalizers and tainted our peaceful struggle.
Nothing has changed really for the world in last two days. But that’s not the case for the student of HCU. We have all grown and transformed. Our struggle has new meaning. We now know the real world. We know how Appa Rao has himself proved that it was not just about Rohith, it’s about anyone who comes in the way of the fascist power.”
(The name of the student has not been disclosed as he/she preferred anonymity)
Contributed and Compiled by
Guest Author- Yamini Maggo
(You can reach out to the author on firstname.lastname@example.org)
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