Twitter and Facebook played important role in publicising the Ramjas issue.
New Delhi: From #OccupyUGC to #Standwithjnu and now the latest #Ramjas, youths are getting aggressive with their anti-government campaigns. Social media is inundated with views from both the Right- and Left-wing activists after a seminar on the culture of protest was cancelled by the Delhi University’s Ramjas College following ABVP’s protest against the participation of JNU student Umar Khalid.
Mr Khalid was among the three students to be arrested after the infamous Afzal Guru event in JNU. Even the students, teachers, and rights activists, who are taking part in the aggressive campaign against the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), said that social media has played a key role in channelising the anger of protesters. “At the core of student activism lies the realisation that a collective body is bigger and stronger than the summation of individual parts,” said a DU student, Vidisha, who is one of the protestors against the recent violence in Ramjas College. The writings on the online platform began from last year with students protesting in support of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. The students’ movement harnessed the power of social media and internet activism for coordination and dissemination across the country.
“Social media provided that one space for free and non-biased dissemination of information which helped JNU to retain some of its legitimacy,” said Abdul Rahman, a PhD graduate from JNU, who is now a faculty at IP University.
Most universities in India prohibit student elections. Despite that, students across India, mainly from government colleges, are organising themselves or are actively contributing through internet activism, and student solidarity is no more limited to a few campuses like JNU, DU, FTII, or Jadavpur University.
Students and teachers believe it was the social media that played a very important role in publicising the Ramjas issue.
“It was the students’ story which brought forth that it was not a clash but a one-sided assault by ABVP on protestors who had gathered to protest in a peaceful manner. Social media is becoming a tool for documenting everything that is happening on ground. So, it automatically becomes one versus another. Social media and WhatsApp helped us to bring out people on the roads so as to channelise their anger and energy,” said Abha Dev Habib, faculty at Miranda House.