Gopikrishnan V and Hima Tara Sam
When a peer sitting next to your seat asks you vehemently, ” Aren’t you a Mallu?” not in a friendly tone but with a scourging mockery. And you, as a 17- year old might be hesitating to say yes, fearing to be drowned in institutional bullying. This could also happen because you’re supposed to explain your marking system to everyone and to let them know you’re meritorious, not a loser. Have you ever thought how bizarre it would be in the normal days of your college?
Well, the majority of the Keralite students in this Central’ University (DU) experience the unending mockery of peers and some professors. If it was behind the curtain back then, it is now orchestrated to the public executory mode with a strong backing. And most of us know the men who are backing him. What the venerated professor did with his veritable comment was simply defiling students from Kerala before others and set the stage for open bullying.
At the University Centre – ABVP is protesting demanding an end to the influx of students from South India, especially Kerala. On the other side, Mr. Rakesh Pandey is spreading hatred against Malayali students”. The two of them sound the same, don’t they?
” Sir, not even a single stupid student will never or ever be going to find out parent organization’s stupendous planning missions to institute your ideologies. This is not the right place.’
What came out from an irresponsible professor for his tiny satisfaction was a bomb to explode among the classmates and peers. A bomb of communal hatred and insecurities that is good enough to explode. Can’t even visualize how obsolete it would be for the condition of minority and marginalized students who are studying under him especially from the Kerala board. And if we could find that the internal assessments of the students from Kerala belonging to his class are marked low, well there won’t be any surprise in this. And who is to be blamed?
It’s highly deplorable to confront such venomous comments and arguments, even from the classmates saying, ” Soon, 98+ Delhiites won’t get into Amity also”. Seriously? Aren’t we supposed to always remind them that Delhi University is a Central University and not a private one, not even a state running institution?
The university press release itself announced that when 31172 CBSE students secured their admission at DU only 2365 students from Kerala board had enrolled. Even though the reliance on statistics doesn’t mandate here as long as we are coveted for a Central university, it is still said. Why do they think people like us are “good for nothing”?
These defaming approaches are the reflection of his unwillingness to accept students from non-elite communities and his intolerance towards non- Hindi speaking, rational South Indians. And this is expected from someone who is constantly propagating RSS ideologies. He once mentioned, ” Most of them don’t know how to converse either in Hindi or in English coming to Delhi University”. Sir, this is high time for you to realize that language is a way of communication and not a measurement of intelligence and talent. To Make things clear, we don’t have something called the National language.
We cannot blame you for how hesitant it would be for you to see Muslim and Malayali Students actively engaging in college and making it a divergent space. But it’s a dire time for you to set your mind up to take some time and see what lies inside us.
Just like everyone, Malayali aspirants are also talented and desirable as other candidates. They also have stories of struggles and hard times to tell us. Studying in a central university is their dream as well. It is evident from the heights that the Mallu alumnus of DU endured in this period that how capable they are irrespective of which board and schools they were into. They are not merely sitting in the class but actively taking part in the co-curricular activities and coming out with flying colors even as the student representatives. Before giving a shrewd approach, be responsible.
Instead of spreading hatred, call the system out. Identify the real cause of distress. DU can adopt multiple admission processes like entrance exams and interviews. Expand infrastructures of our public education at least to the tertiary level so that the number of seats could be increased. Think about the possibilities of a uniform school syllabus and educational pattern at least up to the twelfth standard.
Professor Rakesh Sharma isn’t an individual. He lives inside everyone. For us, identifying and excluding him from the social fabric is important since perpetuation of communal vengeance cannot be licensed. If not today, the ‘tomorrow’ looks bleak.
And his choice of word ‘Jihad’, Jihad stands for strive and struggle. And yes, the students in question gave up a fight amid the uncertainties anchored by Covid 19. The struggle was for education and survival. They came out weathering the tough time. And demonizing their spirits, we won’t let it happen.