ABVP, I am not scared of you

My city is burning. The place I called home for three years, is fighting an existential battle. My alma mater, the University of Delhi, is standing strong even while being battered by people who say they want to protect the country from corrupted ideas.

Corrupted ideas of freedom. Corrupted ideas of justice. Corrupted ideas of feminism.

While thousands of us have tried honest reasoning with this so-called student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS, as many know it), a number of us have been threatened with dire consequences for speaking out. We have been given warnings that if we don’t shut up, they will rape us, or worse, kill us. We have been called traitors, anti-nationals, sluts.

And we are not scared.

southlive-english-2017-02-d33d5fe6-2919-4f52-b2e6-b6f020ada035-delhi-university_b7a8a51c-f901-11e6-ad84-a7b153747446
Policemen clash with Delhi University students in their protest against the ABVP/Image Source: SouthLive

Really? Is that the best you can come up with, ABVP? I thought you harbored these tough notions of masculinity. Is your masculinity so weak then, that you have to threaten us with rape, one of the most cowardly crimes that can be committed? Are you so terrified of us that you cannot talk to us man-to-man, that you need to raise your fists? Are you frightened of the fact that you cannot hold your own against reason?

I dare you to do better than your sorry excuse for masculine behavior.

And if you cannot, then I dare you to carry out your threats. You can take me down, but I assure you, you are all going down with me. If you think you can silence me with rape, let me tell you, my brothers and sisters around the country will lynch you in the street, finally giving you a taste of your own medicine.

And how many of us will you rape, or kill? One? Ten? A hundred? A hundred thousand? I have news for you, tyrants everywhere tried doing that. And all of them were reduced to quivering heaps of apologies…and some of them were not given even that opportunity. Remember what happened to Benito Mussolini? And more recently, to Muammar Gaddafi?

You should sicken me. But you don’t. I just want to laugh at your ignorance. You call yourselves protectors of Indian culture. I am morbidly amused that you are unaware that our culture prizes values of tolerance, assimilation, and harmony.

You say that you were doing this to prevent Umar Khalid from giving a lecture at Ramjas College. I don’t understand. Why are you so worried about a man, who you say is a liar. Your politicians lie all the time. You seem to be okay with that.

I am craving to teach you the principles of a true democracy. I desperately want to educate you about the value of narratives and counter-narratives in a country like India. I want to scream and tell you, that the constitution I hold sacred as an Indian, gives us the right to voice our opinions, even if they may not be agreeable to everyone. And that it is okay for us to disagree. That truth is not a finite singularity. That this country’s history in general, and the Kashmir issue in particular, are extremely complex and multilayered.

But I’d be wasting my breath.

You aren’t actually fighting for something you believe in. Come on, we both know you are fighting for something else. You are hoping that this would make you visible in the eyes of the top brass of the RSS and the BJP. This whole drama is nothing but your way of making sure that you get a ticket in the next election.

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