This is a brief account of what happened in the IIT Madras campus in the last two days. The central govt’s notification was a matter of serious discussion amongst students. On Sunday a group of students initiated the idea of holding a discussion on the issue, where cooked beef was also distributed. We shared the invite of the festival in our facebook page at 7 pm on Sunday. The response from the students was good. The response from the institute police was very fast they were present there before we assembled.
At around 7.30 pm we gathered at the Himalaya lawns and around 70-80 students participated. One of the core members of the APSC addressed the gathering on the issue. A group of right wing students were watching us from a distance, and were trying to identify those who were present. By around 8.45 pm the programme was over. Arjun, one of the members of the APSC was returning to his hostel. He was waylaid by Manish, a student who is associated with RSS. He threatened Arjun that he would chop everybody off as pieces of beef. Arjun mailed a complaint to the dean, but no action was taken.
On Monday Nishant, a student who comes from Bihar, was threatened by Manish. Nishant complained to the Dean. No action.
Today afternoon, Sooraj, another student was attacked in the mess. Another student accompanying him was also attacked. Manish led the murderous attack along with a mob. The mob followed Sooraj and the other student attached to the institute hospital, where they continued their threats. Since the injury in the eye seemed serious, he was taken to Sankara Nethralaya.
Manish can be called a saffron thug. He never cares to hold any meaningful debate. He creates ruckus and manhandles the participants in many events. Recently when APSC released a poster in support of the Ravanleela held in Chennai by Periyarist organisations, he tore the posters and abused us in the name of RAM. When there was a discussion on Kashmir, a faculty who moderated the programme was abused in filthy language by Manish. Once he has been warned by the administration for his misbehaviour in the student body meeting.
Today’s attack on us is not totally unexpected. It is the silence and inaction of the administration, after all our complaints, that has emboldened him and his gang.
We are aware that we are not alone. What happened to us is nothing if compared to what happened to the dalits of Una, Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan. The gaurakshaks of IIT Madras are on the prowl.
This is the land of Periyar. We will fight back. Brahmanical Fascists have no place here. We will take the cow and its rakshaks by their horns.
APSC team 30.5.17