Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An update on reservation protests on Sunday - things that the media may not cover.

Following is an eye-witness account by Sanjeev Newar, alumnus of IIT Guwahati and IIM Calcutta

Sunday was a day of protests against reservations across India. The media has been specifically censured from reporting these protests in their totality and thus media coverage is a bit too mellowed and partial and at times defying reality. And why not, all political parties and bigwigs are unanimous on this. Off the record, they may agree that reservation is hogwash, but no one has the guts or conscience enough to take a public stand. Thus Dhoni's hairstyle and Shahrukh's Don seem to be a safer focus areas for mdia than covering this fight against a grossly ridiculous policy.

Several students from Delhi's colleges and schools, corporates and even farmers from remote areas of Punjab and Haryana came together for a "Youth for Justice" rally infront of Jantar Mantar on Sunday morning. They submitted their memorandum addressed to the PM to the Police Commissioner. From there, they went to AIIMS to express solidarity with Medicos on hunger strike. Close to a 1000 members from IIT/IIM/IISc community have offered their support.

A group of 22 representatives which included students from across colleges, corporates and professors then submitted their memorandum to Rashtrapati Bhavan. The summary was that a life without dignity is worse than death. With implementation of this biased anti-justice anti-equality reservation policy, the hope of living with dignity will die forever. Hence the President should, in that case, grant official permission to end their lives in the form of mercy-killing. The President's office is officially closed on Sunday evening, but the tacit support of the staff at President's House (including SC/ST/OBC members) ensured that the office was specially opened just for receiving this memorandum. The parting lines of the officers was that this movement should not die and all at members of the VVIP zone understand the sinister political games that are being played.

After submitting the memorandum, we came back to AIIMS and officially announced this to the medicos and the media. The media did cover us and questioned, but I am not sure how much of it will actually make news. Meanwhile, "Youth for Equality" students from IIT Delhi carried out a funeral procession of Arjun Singh from IIT to AIIMS and then performed the burning rites in the full glare of all.

There is news that Medicos are now under severe pressure to call off the strike and some kind of understanding is being reached. And unless we ensure that the movement is kept alive and make the politicians realize that the vote loss due to this policy will more than offset the vote bank gain, things cannot change. We all, especially the corporate sector and students in professional colleges, have to now take the battle forward. And yes, we can make the difference.

We are currently in process of unifying the movement across nation and world under one planned mechanism so that our protests do not get dissipated. Tomorrow evening will be a meeting of representatives from various colleges, CA's, corporates etc at India Gate Amar Jyoti at 6pm, where a common organized structure would be decided for future actions.

I urge all of you to send similar mails to the President at pesidentofindia@rb.nic.in and voice your opposition. Remember, this is a challenging battle where we are fighting the entire political system, deeply entrenched in corruption, vote-bank tactics and wily means. Even the media is less than lukewarm on this. So we have to be our own media, and make sure that even deaf ears are forced to listen - to talk in language of Bhagat Singh.

Let us fight this out tooth and nail. I am sure when we look back at our lives tomorrow, this will be remembered as one of the most satisying moments where each one of us actually made a big difference to the course of history of this nation.


At 10:22 PM, Blogger Memoryking said...

Liked your blog.Here is mine http://emotionalzombie.blogspot.com/

"One Billion people.6 IIM’s, 7 IIT’s .Close to 200 seats in a typical IIM and 500 in a typical IIT.One group stands for senseless establishment of quotas. The other group senselessly opposes it. What is going on? Have we lost all our marbles? "


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