Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang

Where is the news? Peaceful students protest faces police brutality in Delhi

by , 12 Dec 2015

Written by Geeta Seshu | Published on: December 11, 2015
 
If it bleeds, it doesn’t lead!

For those of us who rely on our Facebook friends and Twitter accounts on social media for our news, the only information of police brutality on protesting students at the #Occupy UGC protest march to Parliament on December 9, 2015 were the photographs of bleeding students, with swollen and bruised faces and bandaged heads, and the spray of water cannons.




Print and broadcast media, barring a few exceptions, decided the story wasn’t simply worth covering.  Or, if it did, it was only in the context of traffic disruptions, as the Delhi edition of Hindustan Times (HT) decided on Dec 10, 2015!




On the same day, there was another vigorous protest by youth from Manipur but, curiously, HT decided the news wasn’t worth covering, except in a passing mention in a ‘crime’ report on a stabbing attack on one of the organisers of the protest!




Clearly, there was no attempt to join the dots or even find out if there was anything more to the attack.
The Delhi edition of The Times of India on the same day, that is December 10, decided a photo-story on page 4 would suffice, with a picture of the police beating up students and a caption that also provided the police with its exit option: that the students were throwing stones at the police!



Of course, as this video shows, there isn’t a single stone on the very clean streets of Janpath and nor can one spot a single stone thrower!





What one sees, quite clearly, was a very spirited, but peaceful, march that managed to break one cordon quite easily and effortlessly. When the students proceeded ahead and neared the second cordon, a police vehicle and presumably also, police from the first cordon, which allowed themselves to be pushed aside, begin to close in. And beat up the ambushed students from behind! The police particularly targeted women protestors, shoving their lathis between their thighs and groping them even when they were in the three buses they (the police) deployed to take the students to the police station.
 
It was only this this report by Rahul M, an independent journalist, in The Caravan that gives us a comprehensive account of what actually transpired and why the students were agitating. For the media, the student’ protest over privatization of higher education and the shift in the state’s commitment to universities as centres of higher learning to the WTO-mandated ‘commercial’ ventures are not stories worth giving attention to.
 
This government has clearly decided to ignore the anger of students across the country – whether over the opaque appointment procedures that enabled the saffronisation in the FTII, Pune, the protest over the scrapping of, and subsequent changes in eligibility criteria of the non-NET research fellowships, the ban on the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle in IIT-Madras or the curbs on the beef festival in Osmania University, the sexual harassment in Jadavpur University, suicides of dalit students in the IITs, discrimination against dalit students in other premier institutes, And, if the media follows suit, what does one make of its agenda?
 
 (This writer is a senior and independent journalist. She spoke to some of the protestors at the Parliament Street Police station where the students had been detained after the march)

Where is the news? Peaceful students protest faces police brutality in Delhi

Written by Geeta Seshu | Published on: December 11, 2015
 
If it bleeds, it doesn’t lead!

For those of us who rely on our Facebook friends and Twitter accounts on social media for our news, the only information of police brutality on protesting students at the #Occupy UGC protest march to Parliament on December 9, 2015 were the photographs of bleeding students, with swollen and bruised faces and bandaged heads, and the spray of water cannons.




Print and broadcast media, barring a few exceptions, decided the story wasn’t simply worth covering.  Or, if it did, it was only in the context of traffic disruptions, as the Delhi edition of Hindustan Times (HT) decided on Dec 10, 2015!




On the same day, there was another vigorous protest by youth from Manipur but, curiously, HT decided the news wasn’t worth covering, except in a passing mention in a ‘crime’ report on a stabbing attack on one of the organisers of the protest!




Clearly, there was no attempt to join the dots or even find out if there was anything more to the attack.
The Delhi edition of The Times of India on the same day, that is December 10, decided a photo-story on page 4 would suffice, with a picture of the police beating up students and a caption that also provided the police with its exit option: that the students were throwing stones at the police!



Of course, as this video shows, there isn’t a single stone on the very clean streets of Janpath and nor can one spot a single stone thrower!





What one sees, quite clearly, was a very spirited, but peaceful, march that managed to break one cordon quite easily and effortlessly. When the students proceeded ahead and neared the second cordon, a police vehicle and presumably also, police from the first cordon, which allowed themselves to be pushed aside, begin to close in. And beat up the ambushed students from behind! The police particularly targeted women protestors, shoving their lathis between their thighs and groping them even when they were in the three buses they (the police) deployed to take the students to the police station.
 
It was only this this report by Rahul M, an independent journalist, in The Caravan that gives us a comprehensive account of what actually transpired and why the students were agitating. For the media, the student’ protest over privatization of higher education and the shift in the state’s commitment to universities as centres of higher learning to the WTO-mandated ‘commercial’ ventures are not stories worth giving attention to.
 
This government has clearly decided to ignore the anger of students across the country – whether over the opaque appointment procedures that enabled the saffronisation in the FTII, Pune, the protest over the scrapping of, and subsequent changes in eligibility criteria of the non-NET research fellowships, the ban on the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle in IIT-Madras or the curbs on the beef festival in Osmania University, the sexual harassment in Jadavpur University, suicides of dalit students in the IITs, discrimination against dalit students in other premier institutes, And, if the media follows suit, what does one make of its agenda?
 
 (This writer is a senior and independent journalist. She spoke to some of the protestors at the Parliament Street Police station where the students had been detained after the march)

Related Articles

Minorities

A United States Commission calls out Indian government’s bias against Muslim community

Many issues have erupted in Assam after the NRC updation process began a few years ago. The economically weaker sections have suffered the most and there is a looming fear amongst the people of Assam of being rendered stateless. In the midst of all this, there appears to be a clear agenda of the ruling government against the Muslim community which it has clearly manifested in its Citizenship Amendment Bill, which it plans to re-introduce in the current winter session.

Minorities

A United States Commission calls out Indian government’s bias against Muslim community

Many issues have erupted in Assam after the NRC updation process began a few years ago. The economically weaker sections have suffered the most and there is a looming fear amongst the people of Assam of being rendered stateless. In the midst of all this, there appears to be a clear agenda of the ruling government against the Muslim community which it has clearly manifested in its Citizenship Amendment Bill, which it plans to re-introduce in the current winter session.


News in Brief

Monday

18

Nov

Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Saturday

30

Nov

Jana Natya Manch, New Delhi

Thursday

07

Nov

Thrissur, Kerala

Theme

Ayodhya 1992

Ayodhya 1992

Excerpts from the Report of the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry
babri

How the Babri Masjid was demolished

Citizens Tribunal on Ayodhya
babri

Fact and Faith

Allahabad High Court Judgement in Babri Demolition Case, 2010
kashmir

How Green Is My Valley

The killing of innocent Hindus by Pakistan-trained mercenaries in J and K is one more bid to convert the Kashmiriyat issue into a Hindu-Muslim problem

Campaigns

Monday

18

Nov

Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Saturday

30

Nov

Jana Natya Manch, New Delhi

Thursday

07

Nov

12 am onwards

Vibgyor Film Collective

Thrissur, Kerala

Videos

Communalism

What is the Ram Temple REALLY about?

For the many who do not know what the original Ram Temple movement is and the many who may have forgotten the mayhem, eminent activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad presents a ready reckoner on what the Ram Temple movement really is about and why has it been so conveniently resurrected, twenty six years later in 2018.

Communalism

What is the Ram Temple REALLY about?

For the many who do not know what the original Ram Temple movement is and the many who may have forgotten the mayhem, eminent activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad presents a ready reckoner on what the Ram Temple movement really is about and why has it been so conveniently resurrected, twenty six years later in 2018.

Analysis

Ayodhya 1992

Ayodhya 1992

Excerpts from the Report of the Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry
babri

How the Babri Masjid was demolished

Citizens Tribunal on Ayodhya
babri

Fact and Faith

Allahabad High Court Judgement in Babri Demolition Case, 2010
kashmir

How Green Is My Valley

The killing of innocent Hindus by Pakistan-trained mercenaries in J and K is one more bid to convert the Kashmiriyat issue into a Hindu-Muslim problem

Archives