It wasn’t a remarkable day in the beginning,
The morning lecture was droning on,
Some of the kids bent over their notes,
While others whispered at the back.
Like every class of university students,
We were just another lively batch.
A few were huddled close near the gates,
Some stood idly by, scattered around the place,
Here and there, you could see them talking,
Or clasping their hands, in pairs, walking,
Laughter in there voices, eyes sparkling.
As sunshine rippled across the small pond,
A soft breeze set the leaves above swaying.
It was a peaceful protest led by the students,
Standing in solidarity, they were heard singing.
Earlier in the afternoon, a politician had trespassed,
Into the sacred grounds of knowledge and education,
They had marched, with arms and security guards.
Uninvited they were and illegally forcing in.
Hired goons were gathered from the local neighbourhood,
A typical case of gloating their muscle power.
Sent to create a ruckus, to instill among us a sense of fear,
For fear begets hate and destroys all that we hold dear,
Willing most into conformity, and weakening the rest,
Leaving us trapped in such a miserable state.
Paying no heed to the rules of propriety,
Like dogs they chased down those trying to run away.
Like bullies they stomped into our rooms, breaking chairs,
Smashing boards and dragging students by the hair,
Out of libraries suddenly shoving them into the chaos everywhere.
They fired shots in the air, taking pleasure in numbers to scare.
You would think maybe at least now the police would care?
But we couldn’t have been more utterly wrong.
They turned their backs when needed were they the most.
Hiding behind their uniforms, they let the mob rampage,
Pelting stones at the protesters, anti-nationalists they called those
Students who had stood up to resist, raising slogans in the air.
They shut down the electricity inside the campus,
In order to bring the situation in control, or so they said,
And yet students were seen beaten by sticks and bricks.
Instead of protection, they received only police brutality.
The News channels turned blind just then conveniently,
Radio static noises could be discerned in the broadcast.
The night was cold and perhaps ceaselessly long
But undeterred they waited and sang along
Mere kids they might have been but indomitable within
They resisted the fascist regime all alone until
September 19th, remained branded in our minds
Burnt into our memory like a scar that won’t fade easily.
Written in memory of the incident of police brutality and organised vandalism by members affiliated with political parties that took place in Jadavpur University on September 19, 2019. This is an extremely personal poem, I request readers to maintain sensitivity while commenting on it. Thanks for your kind support as always!