Home Articles Police, Protest and Iftar: Resisting RSS in the Jamia campus

Police, Protest and Iftar: Resisting RSS in the Jamia campus

By Umar Aman for TwoCircles.net

This is Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a time during which Muslims across the world keep fast. Yesterday, I broke my fast with my colleagues and friends on the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia University. Things looked quite normal; the silence and an empty campus reminded me of the event that took place on the Monday afternoon. Being a student of the University, I was part of a protest.

Video Credit – National Dastak

There was a huge protest on June 5 which brought the Jamia administration to a standstill. Watching the public spectacle of students’ countering and resisting the coming of Indresh Kumar— a seasoned RSS cadre, and one of the accused in the 2007 Ajmer bomb blasts was truly a great experience. The boys and girls were brimming with anger and passion, shouting slogans against the Indresh Kumar, the VC, and saffronisation of the university.

One is supposed to break the fast with the onset of dusk. Students took a pause when the Maghrib azaan was called out from the Mosque, and broke their fast with dates, bananas and jalebees, and also offered namaz on the one side of the road and in the Ghalib Park.

I visited the campus that day around 3 pm and also had my iftar with my friends. I saw that some friends were unable to walk properly; a few could not move their hands; others have got back problem, and bruised bodies. While having my iftar I could easily spot that they have got pain in their neck which made it hard for them to swallow the food. These friends of mine were brutally thrashed, lathicharged and detained by the Delhi police. I was really amused to know that they are considering the Delhi police’s thrashing as a badge of honour for their efforts. This pain and ache, according to them, inki kya baat karen? This reminded me of Faiz’s couplet:

“Jis dhaj se koi maqtal mein gaya,
who shan salamat rahti hai
Yeh jaan to aani jaani hai,
is jaan ki koi baat nahi”

The administration of Jamia University has continuously been trying to usher in the saffron and its varied shades on the campus. It was not the first time that the administration allowed the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a Muslim outfit that subscribes to the ideology of the RSS, for organising such a programme.

The RSS is continuously eyeing the Jamia University, however, it cannot dare penetrate the campus with its ugly face. Therefore, it has been trying to make inroads under the guise of a Muslim name for long. The simple argument for such a protest to take a shape is that the students of JMI cannot allow the RSS and its affiliates, who are putatively anti-democratic, anti-Dalit, anti-women, and anti-minorities.

The scorching sun, thirst, and hunger could not deter us from staging a dharna. Amidst all these, I too, was laughing just like others as protests have their own stock of amusements. One of the lines in the invite that was sent to Indresh Kumar, the chief guest, was ‘mohabbat ke dastarkhaan par iftaar ki dawat’. It gave me a mighty laugh. During the protest, Kaleem Aajiz’s couplet was echoing in the mind:

“Daman pe koi cheent na khanjar pe koi daagh
Tum qatl karo ho ki karamat karo ho”

The author is a Research Scholar at the Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.