Thursday, June 11, 2009

Under Siege

Yesterday I had the dubious fortune of seeing boys with sticks and stones and other forms of more or less sophisticated weaponry (allegedly bombs and guns and swords) run in with the intention of causing bodily harm to their rivals in politics. Although I had heard of a legacy of violence which our institution boasts of, yet this time seeing it right in my face I was, to be honest, somewhat shaken. I knew that we were not their targets. Their scared targets were doing their best to make themselves scarce. Fortunately quick action on all mature parts ensured that none of us had to confront the actual mob face to face. We may not have been the targets, but with limited intelligence, peaked adrenaline, and a hunger for basic atavistic violence, the eye often fails to recognize or distinguish friend from foe from neutrals. And a brick thrown in mistake causes the same harm as the one intentional. Even seeing them from afar, seeing some familiar faces turn into the proverbial beast within was not a happy experience. I still believe that the intention was not blood, but nevertheless bloody. It was muscle-flexing of the worst kind. Later when I ventured out for some reason comments reached my ear that some of the targets have been well-crushed, not damaged entirely, but enough to put the fear of Man in them, I could not really believe what was happening. Though most of the perpetrators were professionals in this game, but some boys were familiar. Some of them were actual friends with the targets. And still there was no hesitation in pulping the pupils who, though by no means innocent, were incapable of such a magnitude of violence.

We were busy with out duties when the sound of consecutive bombings reached in. There were some attempts to blow the sounds out of proportion and turn them into gunshots. But they were immediately discarded. Such hearsay is much more dangerous than the actual violence, since they beget more misconstruction and more resultant violence. Then we saw boys escaping, boys pursuing. We shifted to one place, numbers being the greatest security. It was a state of siege. Then police action and all clearance. But for a large chunk of time the possibility of a bloodbath remained. Curiously enough the targets, their backs to the wall, backlashed on the institutional authorities. In the days of erstwhile, they would have taken the law into their own hands. But with Change changing everything, including such ideas of exchange, this was another face of student politics that we saw. It was the face of fear. To make an understatement – it was not a happy face.


Sucharita Sarkar said...

I think most faces of sutdents' politics - fear,aggression, bravado, pseudo-chivalry, etc - are unattractive.

Sayani said...

i personally think students and politics have degraded through ages. Ancient Indian Gurukul used to teach students about politics but nt aggression. Today there is no politics but aggression. Unfortunately youth are changing face of society and there lies our worst fear

sidhubaba said...

I don't think we can shrug off our responsibility, in a way we have allowed all this to grow. We have been far too tolerant, trying not to get involved in certain things. Today itself a bunch of students "dared" a whole committee... I guess definition of the word "student" needs reassessment.

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