I received a call from a friend in Bangalore. Our friend reported each and every incident that has added impetus to the ongoing battle by Research Scholars for a just hike in fellowship. It gives us all a great sense of confidence that fires have been generating out of the mere sparks that were witnessed at the dawn of this protest. Today, i.e. 20th Jan has been a great day for all the students/scholars who have been working tirelessly for just and much awaited hike in fellowship.
It all started with the poster making activity at Main Building, IISc. Several posters were made by our friend and others which were used as the means to demonstrate the unanswered appeals using multitudes of ironies and sarcasm within the bounds of “silent protest”.
Some of the posters are depicted as below :
Following institutions have taken active part in the mass protest that was organized today :
After the poster making activity, all the research scholars gathered around the main building for a planned skit through which they expressed their justified distress towards the state. It was a ~15 minute long skit and here is a small excerpt from the same (actual dialogues may vary to a little extent):
Anjaan Vyakti :
Arey ! Yahan par itne sare log kyu jama hain ?
Yahan par koi shaadi hai kya ? Magar khana to nahin bant raha. Shayad koi mela hoga. Par jhule to nahin dikh rahe.
Kisan hain kya ? Kisan to nai lag rahe bade nazuk lag rahe hain. Mazdoor bhi nai lag rahe saf suthre lag rahe hain
Karni Sena wale bhi nahi, mahaul to shant dikh raha hai. Berozgar honge . Par aankhon me umeed bhi dikh rahi hai. Bhai tum log ho kaun ?
Research Scholar :
Sir, hum log Research Scholars hain. Hike ke liye lad rahe hain. Masik dar par 50 hazar ki maang rakh rahe hain.
AV : Arey tum log aisa to kya karte ho jo tumhe 50 hazaar dein ?
RC : Sir ek clerk tak ko 25 hazar mil jate hain. Hum to fir bhi Post Graduates hain. Hum Real Problems ke solutions dhundhte hain, Technological Progress ko agey badhate hain, Nayi Nayi Technologies discover karte hain. Aap Internet use karte hain na ? Facebook use karte hain na ?
AV : Arey par wo sab to Mahabharat ke zamane me bhi tha.
RC : Sir fir to aap aisa bhi bologe ki Ravan ke pas aeroplane tha. Achha aap bataiye aap last weekend kya kar rahe the.
AV : Main Kasauli gaya tha low temperature me maza aa gaya.
RC : Sir utne hi low temperature me main last weekend yahan experiments perform kar raha tha.
AV : Achha yani desh ko vakayi me research ki zarurat hai. Par yaar hume aur bhi kaam hain. Hume statues bhi to banwane hain.Tum logo ko paise hi chaiye the to IT Sector join kar lete. Ya fir Banking sector. Aur waise bhi tum log Post Doc karne ke liye bahar chale jate ho.
RC : Sir to yahan naukriyaan bhi to kahan hai ??? Aur hume pakaude talne bhi to nahin aate.
Apart from this, references to the highly funded and yet to be founded Jio University were also made.
Thereafter, 3 queues were formed making a complete human chain from one end of the institute to the other. Almost everyone had the posters in their hands sloganeering the following demands :
“ Ek Do Teen Char, Fellowship karo Pachas Hazaar”
“Jhuthe vaade jhutha pyaar, Yahi tera Anusandhan”
“Humara Paisa kahan gaya, MHRD kha gaya”
“MHRD haaye haaye, Hike karo Hike karo”
This garnered a lot of public attention once the scholars were out of the institute encircling the periphery of IISc. The common junta were very curious to find out the cause of this strike. Many people stopped their cars and slid down the shields to interact with Humans of Human Chain. Even the bus conductors halted the buses for a moment to ask the reason of such a high magnitude strike.
Eventually, the watch guards of the state, i.e. Indian Police Force also understood the just cause behind this strike, and took the placards in their own hands thereby standing in solidarity with the Research Scholars.
The media attention was reported to be remarkable all through the strike. Even the on-goers took out their cell phones and recorded the strike. A temporary halt at a nearby traffic signal for an approximate time of 10 minutes caught everyone’s eyes the presence of media outlets increased thereafter.
The strike then halted at Sadashiv nagar police station. Starting with guarding the flow of tide, the police ultimately ended with placards in their hands in support with the students/scholars which boosted the overall morale in the air.
As soon as the human chain entered the final stage of strike, i.e. entry into IISc premises, the loud sounds of Dhol Tashe, Drums and Sloganeering echoed the surroundings with immense energy and never seen before might of the Research Scholars
The strike conclusively ended at the IISc Hostel.
We stand in support and solidarity with all the Research Scholars across the nation.
Lok Raj Sangathan (http://www.lokraj.org.in/)