Friday, 3 March 2017

Mars-Pluto and the need for collective anger

Days after a scuffle broke between the ABVP and a group of protesting students of JNU at the Delhi University's north campus on Wednesday (Feb. 22), a social media campaign criticising the ABVP for spreading violence in the university campus became popular. The campaign was started by a 20-year-old Gurmehar Kaur, who is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree from Lady Shri Ram Collge for Women in south Delhi. In the post, Kaur is seen holding a placard that states:  "I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP".  A message was posted along with the picture crticising the violence that erupted in DU's north campus on Wednesday. In a brief post on Facebook, Gurmehar said: "The brutal attack on innocent students by ABVP is very disturbing and should be stopped. It was not an attack on protestors, but an attack on every notion of democracy that is held dear in ever Indian's heart. It is an attack on ideals, morals, freedom and rights of every person born to this nation."

Teachers, students and journalists were wounded on the Delhi University campus on Wednesday (Feb.22)  as group clashes broke out over the disruption of a literary festival in Ramjas College a day ago, allegedly by members of the ABVP. Violence erupted after students from Delhi University colleges and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) congregated outside Ramjas with the intention to hold a protest march against the RSS-backed ABVP student group [1].

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)is a right-wing all India student organisation affiliated to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It participates in joint activities with BJP's official youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Various branches of the ABVP have been involved in Hindu-Muslim communal riots since 1961.

A chart for the Mars-Pluto square on Feb. 22 drawn for Delhi is similar to the one at Aligarh in the previous post.  In one of its best expression, Mars-Pluto brings out righteous anger. Anger is not the same as violence. Felt alone, in isolation from others, anger may be uncomfortable and difficult to handle. Experienced with others who feel the same way, however, anger becomes a powerful force — a call to action and a sign of involvement and concern. We do not get angry about what we don’t care about. Anger is a passionate form of care, especially when shared and used as fuel — the fire in the belly — to achieve a common goal. This is the time to move into the light whatever forms of cruelty and needless suffering have remained masked, falsely justified, or hidden in the shadows. We need not hurt anyone to express our shared anger; just showing it together plainly is immensely powerful. For social institutions, one person’s anger is meaningless. 10,000 angry people, however, are a force with which to be reckoned. Only when our numbers reach critical mass do the powers-that-betake notice.

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