The Negative Creep
My personal blog

Ch 8: Youth for Equality

By Rahul Jha
Defining Event 1
Well folks, as I slowly adjusted myself to the NIT lifestyle, there was a storm kicking up in the students’ fraternity across the country. The HRD Ministry had introduced the new Reservation system in Government colleges. According to this new system, our classrooms would now be divided into SCs, STs, OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and the General candidates (supposedly the “Upper” castes). The General seats were diminished to 51%. Needless to say, this was unfair, and so obviously done to increase vote banks. When a poor boy from an “Upper Caste” had to burn the midnight lamp, spend hours studying to secure him a good rank (which ensures his college of choice), someone else from another “caste” would just have to appear for the entrance exam, and voila, He’s through!
Now, we really didn’t have any issues against the SCs, STs or OBCs, our issue was the unequal treatment in a secular Country, the intention to create a rift in campuses across the Country, we all knew it wasn’t right.
Once again, the rebels in RE college stood up. For once, we were not proud to be Indians, so, we wanted a change! We were not ready to allow rotten politicians to ruin our great Nation, and this is how a new chapter began in each one of our lives.
Youth for Equality spread like wildfire across the nation, and every patriot had the same burning flame. Yes, students from all castes were protesting this new-sense (read nuisance). There were of course a few colleges in Bengal, still caught in the political muddle, and they never came up (and mark my words, they will never come up, they deserve to rot). I hope we are all clear about the colleges I talk about.
And that’s how I met a legendary group of people, the BCBABT. The effort they put into the cause was monumental. And the times we had during the YFE protest, had to be one the most defining moments of my life.
4 ‘o clock, CR Avenue, Kolkata: Not a vehicle moved (except for ambulances). The heart of the city was choked by the YFE protest. We lied on the streets with the National Flag spread over us, blood spilled due to the lathi-charge. I never felt prouder for myself and the people around me ever before. My parents for once did not object, and I love them for that. I still cannot think of another moment like that, for this seemed like a Revolution. Later, many of us spent the night in jail. Obviously there wasn’t enough space for us, and I missed out. One Mr. Avishek Ray (with a capital ‘A’) had a gala time at the police station.
But today when I reflect on that day, and the hunger strike that followed in college and the numerous campaigns and rallies, I would like to thank everyone that was involved in it, because I have the utmost respect for every one of you.
Youth for Equality changed the way I thought; I was more confident and fearless. And yes, I had this new found respect for the people around me. I also realized that all the ragging I went through wasn’t a waste.
Youth for Equality still rages in most of our hearts!
 

2 comments so far.

  1. stuntman mike October 29, 2008 at 12:38 AM
    blood boils over again ...... great idea this ... chronicles of the four best years we've spent ...
  2. ραŁŁαv November 4, 2008 at 12:25 AM
    that afternoon was the one of the proudest of my life...n was privileged to hav shared it with u

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