Snapshots of a Small Revolution, 1

The #hokkolorob (‘Let there be clamour’, ‘let there be a confluence of voices’) movement based in Jadavpur University saw a great deal of support from the public, and some opposition from the state and the authoritarian Hindu Nationalist party BJP. Nonetheless, after a four-month struggle, the vice-chancellor of the university was finally forced to vacate his chair.

Many people – students, alumni, observers, dissenters – have recorded the movement on social media, particularly on Facebook. Here are a few snapshots of those narratives, joined or fractured by ideologies as they might have been.

From Mahadyuti Adhikary, Facebook, 12 January at 13.44:
As I was entering JU through Gate 4, an elderly woman asked me the way to Gate 2, where the parents of the hunger strikers were sitting on a 12-hour symbolic hunger strike themselves. Upon inquiring, she said that she’s neither an alumnus, nor any way related to the hunger strikers. Even at the age of 78, she had come down all the way from Howrah just to express her solidarity. Nilanjana di (Deb, English Dept.) was kind enough to give her a lift. An hour later, when I met her at Gate 2, a couple of video journalists were trying to capture her on camera, to which she calmly replied – “Dekho baba, amar chhobi tule ki hobe? Andolon ta toh chhatro-chhatri der. Ami ekhane chhobi tultey ashini. Oder pashe darate eschi (What good will my picture serve, my boy? This is a student-led movement. I didn’t come here to be photographed, I came here to support them).” [Link to original]

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