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Ukraine invasion: Indian student killed in Kharkiv, right-wing blames the victim!

When questions were asked on government’s lack of response and empathy towards students, the victim blaming began

Sabrangindia 01 Mar 2022

Indian student killed
Image Courtesy: naveenbharat.in

Shocking videos of scores of Indian students, walking long distances to reach safe border points, as well as those sending distress messages, have flooded social media. Every parent's worst nightmare, however, was confirmed when it was officially announced by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that an Indian student was killed in Ukraine on Tuesday. The young man has been identified as Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar (21), a final year medical student who hailed from Chalageri in Karnataka's Haveri district. He was killed when Russian soldiers blew up a government building he was standing near, stated media reports. 

According to a report in NDTV, Pooja Praharaj, a student coordinator in Kharkiv, told the media, “He lived near the Governor's House and had been standing in the queue for food. Suddenly there was an air strike that blew up the Governor's House and he was killed." According to Praharaj a Ukrainian woman picked up his phone, and said “the owner of this phone is being taken to the morgue" The news went viral even as this morning, the Indian Embassy issued an advisory to all Indian citizens, including students, to leave Ukraine capital Kyiv "urgently today, by trains or any other means available."

According to NDTV, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called in the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to "reiterate India's demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals." However there are conversations doing the rounds that India’s response to the crisis and the need for urgent evacuation has been slow to say the least. Students and aid workers, both, have been sending regular appeals which have also found their way onto social media. Some students have managed to also appeal by jumping into the video frames of television anchors who are in the region reporting on the evacuations.

Critics say that the Indian government may have ignored the early warning signs such as the “United States notification to its officials to evacuate”. 

However, humanity was shamed most, as soon as the news of the student’s death came in, and questions began being asked on the lack of response and empathy from the government. The right-wing ecosystem of Hindutva-fed influencers began blaming the victim himself. Tweet after tweet they said that Navin was “ignoring” the advisories from the Indian government. Pro-government media further amplified this blame game against the victim.

 

 

 

According to NDTV, satellite images showed a convoy of Russian military vehicles on roadways northwest of Kyiv and “around 16,000 Indian students are still stranded in Ukraine.” Scores of students continue to share images, from underground bunkers, metro stations and bomb shelters, where they have been hiding since the Russian attack started last Thursday. So far, only around 9,000 Indian nationals have left by various special flights, stated NDTV. Many Indian students remain stuck in eastern parts of Ukraine, which are most affected by the Russian military offensive. The students are facing grave challenges to reach the western borders and have been reportedly walking “in sub-zero conditions, hoping to cross over and take a flight home”. The embassy asked students to go to the railway station in Kyiv, where special evacuation trains have been arranged by Ukraine to take people to the western region. However, many students complained that they were not allowed to board the trains or they were mistreated by officials. 

Back home, these students have also been vilified by none other than Union Minister Prahlad Joshi, who, on Monday, told the media that “90% of medical students who go abroad for studies fail in NEET”. This is the entrance exam students must clear with high scores to earn a medical medical seat in the country. Joshi had mocked the students who went abroad to study medicine as ‘failures’.

 

As soon as the right-wing IT cell, and their media’s insensitive reactions went viral, the BJP politicians condoled Naveen’s death. But by then it was clear, that the condolences were merely an image repair exercise.  

Related:

Hijab ban: News media loses interest but student protests continue
West Bengal: Anis Khan solidarity protests lead to police-student conflict
Centre excludes overseas humanities and social science courses from SC/ST scholarship

Ukraine invasion: Indian student killed in Kharkiv, right-wing blames the victim!

When questions were asked on government’s lack of response and empathy towards students, the victim blaming began

Indian student killed
Image Courtesy: naveenbharat.in

Shocking videos of scores of Indian students, walking long distances to reach safe border points, as well as those sending distress messages, have flooded social media. Every parent's worst nightmare, however, was confirmed when it was officially announced by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that an Indian student was killed in Ukraine on Tuesday. The young man has been identified as Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar (21), a final year medical student who hailed from Chalageri in Karnataka's Haveri district. He was killed when Russian soldiers blew up a government building he was standing near, stated media reports. 

According to a report in NDTV, Pooja Praharaj, a student coordinator in Kharkiv, told the media, “He lived near the Governor's House and had been standing in the queue for food. Suddenly there was an air strike that blew up the Governor's House and he was killed." According to Praharaj a Ukrainian woman picked up his phone, and said “the owner of this phone is being taken to the morgue" The news went viral even as this morning, the Indian Embassy issued an advisory to all Indian citizens, including students, to leave Ukraine capital Kyiv "urgently today, by trains or any other means available."

According to NDTV, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called in the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to "reiterate India's demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals." However there are conversations doing the rounds that India’s response to the crisis and the need for urgent evacuation has been slow to say the least. Students and aid workers, both, have been sending regular appeals which have also found their way onto social media. Some students have managed to also appeal by jumping into the video frames of television anchors who are in the region reporting on the evacuations.

Critics say that the Indian government may have ignored the early warning signs such as the “United States notification to its officials to evacuate”. 

However, humanity was shamed most, as soon as the news of the student’s death came in, and questions began being asked on the lack of response and empathy from the government. The right-wing ecosystem of Hindutva-fed influencers began blaming the victim himself. Tweet after tweet they said that Navin was “ignoring” the advisories from the Indian government. Pro-government media further amplified this blame game against the victim.

 

 

 

According to NDTV, satellite images showed a convoy of Russian military vehicles on roadways northwest of Kyiv and “around 16,000 Indian students are still stranded in Ukraine.” Scores of students continue to share images, from underground bunkers, metro stations and bomb shelters, where they have been hiding since the Russian attack started last Thursday. So far, only around 9,000 Indian nationals have left by various special flights, stated NDTV. Many Indian students remain stuck in eastern parts of Ukraine, which are most affected by the Russian military offensive. The students are facing grave challenges to reach the western borders and have been reportedly walking “in sub-zero conditions, hoping to cross over and take a flight home”. The embassy asked students to go to the railway station in Kyiv, where special evacuation trains have been arranged by Ukraine to take people to the western region. However, many students complained that they were not allowed to board the trains or they were mistreated by officials. 

Back home, these students have also been vilified by none other than Union Minister Prahlad Joshi, who, on Monday, told the media that “90% of medical students who go abroad for studies fail in NEET”. This is the entrance exam students must clear with high scores to earn a medical medical seat in the country. Joshi had mocked the students who went abroad to study medicine as ‘failures’.

 

As soon as the right-wing IT cell, and their media’s insensitive reactions went viral, the BJP politicians condoled Naveen’s death. But by then it was clear, that the condolences were merely an image repair exercise.  

Related:

Hijab ban: News media loses interest but student protests continue
West Bengal: Anis Khan solidarity protests lead to police-student conflict
Centre excludes overseas humanities and social science courses from SC/ST scholarship

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