ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State of Student Activists in the Country

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Safoora Zargar’s bail last month was a small victory for the latest minority under attack from the government—student activists. As with most victories enjoyed by this community, the Jamia Millia Islamia student’s bail was also trumpeted on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. While these applications provide a democratic space utilised well by students and the so-called millenials, mainstream media fails to provide them space. This exclusion reflects in the lack of public awareness on student issues. The average newsreader has increasingly shifted their sight from the colleges and prisons in our country to matters across borders. The invisibility of student struggles from newspaper columns and pieces by veteran journa­lists makes a case for student representation. Surely, someone must draw attention to the systemic silencing of the bright, young minds of our nation.

Those who blindly celebrated the release of Zargar last month miss the gist of the argument for student activism. She was provided bail after the Delhi police had no objection to releasing her on “humanitarian grounds.” While demanding the release of a 23-week pregnant woman in the time of a pandemic was the most effective strategy to press for bail, one must not forget that we demand her release primarily on the grounds of freedom to dissent. This can be said of the ongoing demands to release poet Varavara Rao as well, whose deteriorating health demanded his move a few days ago to Mumbai’s JJ Hospital, but does not erase the fact that he should not have been imprisoned for speaking up in the first place.

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Updated On : 22nd Jul, 2020

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