Does Modi’s popularity mean giving free reign to communalists, misogynists? Shocking reports from a protestor at SRCC

There was much noise about Narendra Modi’s talk at SRCC yesterday. He spoke about development and used this powerful term to capture the imagination of students. Which is all very well.

However, there were protestors outside from what the media termed the “communist” section of DU. And they were treated shabbily, very very shabbily indeed. I may not have a huge case against Mr Modi per se, but if his leading this nation means we give free reign to all communal, misogynist elements in our society, we should all think really hard before we vote this man to power.

Here is an account from a girl who attended the protests, shared by a DU student and a friend of mine on her FB wall today. Prepare to be outraged, shocked, saddened….it’s not just the Kashmiri girl band Pragaash, it’s each one of us in danger!

“Ragini Jha (a student present at the protest): “On 6th of February, there was a large protest against the invitation of and talk by Narendra Modi by SRCC Students Union, organised by various students groups and individuals. The road in front of SRCC had 3 rows of barricades on each side, some of which were subsequently broken. The Delhi police was extremely vicious in their handling of the situation, and were both highly sexist and communal. They passed lewd comments about women standing near the barricade, made kissing gestures and noises, asked women to come closer and talk to them. They also very openly stared and laughed at women in a way that was clearly sexual. When a woman student demanded that women police officers be present at the barricade as well to confront women students, she was told ‘aap aurat kahaan se hain’. Women were also told repeatedly to give up as they’re too weak to break barricades. Some women were told that they should stop protesting or they would be meted the same treatment as women in Gujarat in 2002. At the police station, women students were groped and felt up by the police when they tried to enter.

In addition to this the police also detained 8 protestors. ABVP students were allowed on the other side of the barricade, one even climbed the water cannon, but none of them were detained. This was despite them threatening students, particularly women, by saying things like “jo gujrat ke aurton ka haal kiya wohi tera hoga”. The police, after lathi charging students, laughing and joking as they did so, went on to drag students and throw them in the middle of ABVP and RSS activists, where they were further beaten up.

They were attacked by both ABVP goons and the police, who were supporting each other. The police were particularly obnoxious, whistling and winking at the female students (who were also groped at the Thana) and beating them (and the boys) up sadistically with lathis in addition to water cannons. The ABVP threatened them with Gujarat-like consequences – “Jo Gujarat mein huya vaise tujh me ghusa doonga” while brandishing a stick and similar things. Meanwhile the police were watching and laughing at the girls and other protestors and saying things like “kar le jo karna hai, kya kar payegi” and openly supporting the ABVP students, who were even dancing on the water cannons as they aimed at the protestors. The worst is that they would pick up some of the protestors (including young women) and push them into a crowd of ABVP goons who would then beat them. Some protestors were picked up and taken to the police station, and beaten up on the way (including on the head and groin with lathis). NONE of this shocking stuff is coming out in any of the news reports.”

About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on February 8, 2013, in Politics & Citizenship and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Am saddened, but not really shocked – remember Rang De Basanti and the insight into police-politians-student politics it brought up? We are alll in danger of course, in a democracy even more so when the majority is callous, bigoted and misogynist. What amazes me more is the corporate ass-licking of Modi, given that these same corporates will then go back and talk of doversity, equal opportunity, democracy, liberalism, pluralism and so on. But I guess that realpolitik too….

  2. Sir/madma/dude/dudette.. why wasnt it covered in any news channel (including doordarshan, LSTV, RSTV) etc..? Some of these news channels have strong affiliation to congress and they would have not spared this opportunity to blacken Modi.
    Secondly, why aren’t thr any Audio/visual evidence of police mishandling or ABVP (as u said) display of arrogance ? even the pic posted on some blog are taken at the time of delhi gang rape protests.?

  3. Modi’s popularity is giving free reign to (self-proclaimed) secular columnists. Not to mention TRP of the media

  4. I am shocked by this account. Lately I have been wondering if it would be better for India to have a strong commanding person at the top than someone who is not assertive. I am however all the time concerned about the kind of mentality that led to Gujrat violence. Don’t want to be responsible for something like that happening again. But if this account of a rally at SRCC is true then our worst fears could come true. We need more news, more facts about what happened at the rally.
    I am very disturbed about the policemen’s behaviour. Haven’t they learned any sensitivity and respect for women after the December case?

    • One incident cannot change the entrenched mindsets that we have. But on the leadership bit, I am convinced that any leader who cannot dialogue, resolve conflicts through transparent means and be open to criticism is not fit to lead a democracy. What will happen will happen, but I hope Na Mo or whoever else gets the post of PM in 2014 realizes that a lot is at stake if we think autocracy is the way forward!

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