First they came for FTII and I didn't speak out because I was not a student there
Then they came for Hyderabad and JNU and I didn't speak out because I was not a student there
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me
An adaptation of Martin Niemöller's poem has inspired a section of Delhi University students and teachers who came together in the university campus today to protest in solidarity with JNU and its students.
One wonders what took it so long as these are the two premier higher education institutions separated by merely a few miles.
JNU is the last surviving Left bastion in India, while Delhi University is politically dominated by ABVP and NSUI with minimal Left presence.
Prashant Chakravarty, a faculty with English Department at DU who had also joined the 'DU stands with JNU' protest, told OneIndia:
"DU is a traditionally conservative. Students here are scared. There is a clear division within Faculty as well. Most of them are against JNU on this issue."
Rohan Kathpalia, one of the organisers of 'DU stands with JNU', told OneIndia,
"With ABVP and NSUI's dominance, Right wing culture has been here for long now. NSUI is the silent Right."
Amid the loud chants of 'Ham Honge Kamyab' and 'We stand with JNU', a section of students and faculty took turns to speak. Student Abhishek said:
"A liberal society is based on the premise that if some one talking about outrageous stuff is protected then only the common men are protected. This situation will not let us be apolitical. We came to study but we cannot accept such things."
Amid loud cheers, another student said:
"The country is because of us, we are not because of the country."
JNU 'Terrorised' - Students fear adjournment Sine Die
As Modi government was attacked for allegedly scuttling freedom of speech and labeling sedition charges, a show meant to be in support of JNU was stolen by those against JNU. Few law faculty students along with those flashing the pamphlets of ABVP protested against the 'DU stands with JNU' narrative. Ayush Anand, Law Faculty student claimed not to be a part of ABVP, said:
"Communist teachers have called the students to protest in lieu of marks and attendance. Communist rebellion will start from Right wing this time. We will not let DU become the abode of Leftists."
"Jadavpur mein jo hua ye log DU mein bhi karna chah rahe hain. Jadavpur mein Manipur ka algaw karne ki baat hui thi."
Some of the slogans which heated the 'democratic' exchange between the JNU and anti-JNU factions were:
Ye desh aur campus hamara hai, murdo ki zaagir nahi
Rohit ka hatyara murdabad
JNU waalo DU ko ganda mat karo
Naxalwaadi wapas jao