8 March 2016: GSCASH called for a march from Ganga Dhaba to Chandrabhaga Hostel on the occasion of the Interntional Women’s Day. Activists from all Left parties and NSUI and common students joined the march. The procession went from hostel to hostel and slogans such as “Meri Mukti, Teri Mukti, Sabki Mukti Zindabaad”, “Manuvad se azadi, Brahmanvad se azadi, Phansibad se azadi, Brahmanvad Pritisatta se azadi”, “Phulon Zindabad, Manorama Zindabad, Zalkari Zindabad” were raised.
After reaching Chandrabhaga Hostel, GSCASH counsellor Gita spoke first, she condemned the killing of Rohit Vemula, BJP MLA Gyandev Ahuja’s comments on the daily 3000 used condoms found in JNU, and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s former officer on duty Jawahar Yadav’s words comparing girls protesting in JNU to prostitutes. Gita retorted to Yadav’s words and said that his comments don’t demean JNU students or the sex worker’s proffession, but the manner in which it was spoken made evident the nature of his mindset.
Aiswarya Adhikari one of the suspended students who’s the other GSCASH representative talked next, she said that Delhi Police has already recommended placing surveillance cameras in the campus to monitor students and prevent anti national activities; it must also be seen as an attempt to police students and dissuade women from entering boys’ hostels.
JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar spoke next. He commented on how our country has become habituated in seeing everything in binary terms, for them it’s either day or night, they don’t consider evening or afternoon; hence the issue raised today is not just womens’ issue but also mens’ issue and it goes beyond that- its a “gender” issue, it’s about men’s issue and womens’ issue and also everything that come in between.
He asked why women should be considered “ardhangini” of a man, when she is an individual with separate identity? The issue of marital rape, and child abuse was also raised by him, and also the fact that instances of young boys getting abused are much higher as parents tend to overlook these concerns for boys.
He said police have been profiling people, questioning why should a Bihari raise voice for Kashmir’s freedom? He said that many have accused that Rohit’s death has been politicised but then shouldn’t we ask who killed Rohit in the first place? He said he didn’t know Rohit before his death, but his presidential speech was shared by Rohit about which he came to know later, and inspite of the ideological differences people come together to fight for democracy and constitutional rights- this is the nature of solidarity shared among students.
He also emphasized that inspite of all that has happened recently, people will still speak up on issues of human rights, people will praise the army guarding the border, but they will also remember to speak of the atrocities committed by the army in Kashmir and North East. He also pointed out the absence of ABVP activists in the march. Next Rama Naga addressed the gathering and the program ended with another round of sloganeering accompanied by daflis.
Upama is in M.A 1st year CISLS and Prashant is in B.A 1st year CRS, reporting on behalf of The Informer.