The Children Of Revolution
Students take part in a candle light demonstration over Rohith Vemula's death
The state orchestrated murder of Rohith Velmula, the PhD, Dalit scholar at the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) has set off a storm that is showing no signs of dying down. The Modi government’s indifference toward the growing voices against the government – from outside and from veterans within its own party - and its policies is going to have long standing impact on the party’s future in the country.
The police brutality along with RSS/ ABPV goons on the student protestors in the capital on 30th January will perhaps prove to be the last straw on the camel’s back; the visuals of the video gone viral are enough to spark wide spread outrage.
Student bodies and unions across the country are up in arms against the government and they are showing no signs of backing down. From FTII to HCU the protests and anger has only grown by the day, with those in authority not even flinching. The government’s bid to put an end to these protests by lathi charge, using RSS/ ABVP goons and other repressive means using state machinery seem to have no effect or instil any fear. Post the brutality of the 30th January, it is apparent that the State is at war with the students’ community of India. The growing anger of the people and the government apathy has resurrected the students’ movement in India;
Thus far, organisations and groups were fighting in a manner somewhat isolated from other groups and causes, however, a change in that trend too can be seen now. With the massive rally from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar held in Delhi on 30th January with individuals from diverse backgrounds and groups joining in, it is a clear indication of the soaring rage towards the government’s lack of concern and it’s divisive politics. Sexual minorities, disability groups, Dalit and Adivasi groups, religious minorities and farmers have all come together, walked shoulder to shoulder and have sent out a loud and clear message to the government that they are unhappy and refuse to remain to stay silent anymore. It may be safe to say that there is a Revolution sweeping across the country and bringing together people from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds to oppose, dissent and fight a common enemy.
From Pune to Delhi to Hyderabad to Bengal the students’ movement against the government is going from strength to strength and gaining momentum, one which the government will be foolish to ignore. The Modi government won the election on the promise of development and providing more jobs, but has delivered nothing but retrogressive laws and policies; and spread communal and caste poison across the country. Perhaps the government has forgotten the basic principle that the government is ‘for the people, by the people and with the people.’
Over the years our politicians and policy makers seem to have forgotten that the government is for the people and by the people, rather they seem to be living under the illusion that the people are at their mercy. They have forgotten the power of the collective, and the people of India are now making it point to ensure that principles of the Constitution and Democracy are upheld. India is on the verge of witnessing its own version of the Arab Spring, a spring in which Revolution will blossom.
The condemning of student politics and activism, perceived by many as a ‘distraction’ from education, is a sign of India rising, a sign of young India saying ‘no more, injustice will not be tolerated and fundamental rights cannot be curbed.’ It is apparent seeing the government’s response that students politics and activism poses a grave threat to the government, given the nuanced understanding that today’s students have of politics and policies. Those in power seem to perceive student activists as rebels without a cause, but the truth is that we are the Children of Revolution. We will not back down and our voices will not be silenced. Our education and awareness, our brand of activism is a threat to whichever party comes to power, we, the students of India have made our battle cry loud and clear- ‘NO MORE!’
In the backdrop of the divisive politics being played, what is being missed out is that at the same time it is also providing the RIGHT circumstances for a coming together of different groups and causes, which thus far might not have fought shoulder to shoulder, but have realised that at this point in history, their causes and battles can be won only by defeating the common enemy. While the government is diving it is also setting the stage for a coming together, which will prove to be the chink in its armour.
The recent incident of brutality is something the government should rethink as its strategy, if they think such instances will instil fear, they are wrong, such undemocratic measures of the government are only going to fan the fire that is already raging; the flames of which will soon engulf the country.
How many of us will you murder?
How many of us will you condemn?
How many of us will you jail?
How many of us will you lynch?
For every one life taken,
Another will begin,
Like wild fire we will spread,
For every injustice done,
More of us will dissent.
Your sticks and hooligans don’t scare us,
Your tear gas cannot blind us.
We gave you the power,
We will fight and take it back.
We’re the children of revolution,
We’ll fight until tyranny burns,
Our blood will paint the streets,
Our fight will be won.
We are the Children of Revolution,
We will fight until tyranny burns.