On Monday, Anubhayan Deb (name changed to protect privacy) , a post graduate student of the Department of English Language and Literature of University of Calcutta was physically assaulted by his classmates and some other students of the M. Com. Department. The incident took place in the University’s main campus in College Street.
Those assaulters are allegedly members of the current TMCP Student Union in Calcutta University.
Just 3 weeks ago, the eminent university secured a No. 1 ranking among state-run universities in QS India Ranking 2020. This attack comes as a shock to the entire student community.
On Monday, Anubhayan was tackled and manhandled when he was coming to attend the scheduled class. He was attacked from behind and snatched down the stairs.
Mr. Deb said, “after being taken downstairs to the union room. When inside, I was being called names, I was being asked if that person texted my girlfriend or not (there is conclusive evidence that those perpetrators tried to harass our female friends continuously). After speaking to the authorities I was reassured that those people would be brought to justice”.
He was punched, scratched, kicked, his hair pulled out. When he tried to record a video of the assault, his phone was snatched away and broken. The incident happened in broad daylight with many noticing and protesting.
All the professors of the English department and several students came to save him. Some got hurt in the process as well. A female student got hit and bruised by one of the alleged assaulters.
The disciplinary committee asked him to submit six letters to the authorities concerned including the Vice Chancellor, Head of the Department and Secretary.
While talking to some people, it is heard that the accused ones had a grudge against him as he has been “vocal” about his opinion and is not afraid to voice them. This “grudge” went on for a long time which lead on to the beat down on Monday.
The cold war between Mr. Deb and the students was prevailing until it escalated when Mr. Deb put up a generic ambiguous WhatsApp status that the accused took personally and vowed to teach him “a lesson”.
The accused are known in campus for their implicit fear peddling and power monopolization via threatening and occasional assault. One of them has been heard saying, “Violence is eminent in student politics. JNU does it, JU does it” etc.
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Mr. Deb is immensely popular among the juniors, seniors alike. He is looked up to by many. Seeing him get beat up like this, have led to many students fearing that they might suffer the same fate if they dared to speak up or protest against the authority.
Educational institutes are here to shape young minds, to give them the basic knowledge to identify between what is right and what is wrong. So what is the point if they can’t be vocal about their opinions? What is the point of resistance?
What is the purpose of awareness if your voice is snubbed out every time? Fear is the most contagious condition humans are cursed with, to live in fear is to die every moment.
This situation escalated beyond measure due to a stupid WhatsApp status? Seems like they just needed an excuse. This was not a political issue, this was intensely personal. This was one versus a bunch of people (about 15), how is that called justice?
According to the Indian Constitution, all of us have freedom of speech as long as it doesn’t harm others. When it will be implied? Could we actually be able to voice our opinions truthfully without being fearful of what might come our way? Only time will tell.
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