Published: 24th December 2019
The youth does not believe in Modi: Why this 'frustrated' Jadavpur University topper tore the CAA on stage during convocation
Debsmita won the gold medal for topping her class and plans to take forward her start-up that academically analyses socio-political issues
Debsmita Chowdhury, from the Department of International Relations at Jadavpur University won the gold medal for her Masters degree. But that won't be the most memorable memory from her convocation. Debsmita tore up a printed version of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) on stage after receiving the medal from the Pro-VC Dr Pradip Ghosh and said that she refuses to show any document to prove her citizenship.
Debsmita quoted a verse from a poem by lyricist and writer Varun Grover — Kagaz nahi dikhayenge (won't show our papers), she said as she stepped up in front of the stage before tearing up the CAA. But this was not just about an Act that she feels is wrong. "This is anti-humanitarian. If the government wants to be the take in everyone who has faced religious persecution then why not include every religion and eventually become the messiah of everyone in the South East Asia," said the gold medalist who has a start-up of her own where she and three others academically assess socio-political. They call themselves Papers Unboxed and have a YouTube channel as well.
The CAA and National Register for Citizens (NRC) are not the only issues she was protesting about. "The tyranny has been going on for too long now. We have seen what happened to Rohith Vemula, my protest was against that. We don't know where Najeeb is, I protest against that. The National Education Policy (NEP) is a discriminatory policy of the government that might destroy the education system in India, my protest is against that. And against the icessent fee hikes across the country — I am frustrated with this government," said Debsmita. Whether it is a good sign that the crème de la crème of the educated Indian youth are frustrated is for the policymakers and the government to decide, but Debsmita feels that India had high hopes from the Modi government and he could not deliver. "We do not believe any achche din is coming anytime soon under this government. The youth does not believe in Modi or Shah anymore," she added.
The students of Jadavpur University have been protesting the "unconstitutional" and "anti secular" Act and the police crackdown on Jamia Millia Islamia from December 15 and has been vocal on the issue from the very start. While some like Debsmita want to raise a voice of resistance against the government and believe that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's protest have given the others a boost, others like the members of SFI and other left-wing organisations do not want to be associated with the CM in anyway and call her a political opportunist and a liar.