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An Open Letter to KCL India Society

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To the President and Committee of KCL India Society,

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

Martin Luther King, 1963

As you all must be aware, our home country of India, the very name that is in your Society’s name, has been facing serious turmoil since August. Since December 11, not only has the conflict become more violent, but has also infiltrated into the mainland. Ever since my peers and I have been actively protesting against the government back home. This activism has not been confined to social media as most of us have mobilised and been to protests in the United Kingdom and abroad. In such times I have been actively calling you out on social media repeatedly since the December 17. I have since made 3 more attempts of reaching you, to no avail – including one that was a private message which I did not post anywhere. You have failed to respond (despite seeing my last story I posted on the January 4), and I have no other option but to use my platform to publicly ask for action. 

The SOAS India Society has been extremely active in mobilising university students across London. It has also brought activists and authors such as Gurmehar Kaur (from Oxford) to protest against the unjust Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens, the lockdown of Kashmir and the North-East, the brutality of Delhi Police against peaceful student protests, and more recently, the attacks against innocent students at Jawaharlal Nehru University. At such a time when SOAS India Society is being extremely politically active, I am left stunned by the fact that the President and Committee Members of your society have said nothing to condemn or support any of the issues listed above. At a time when you should be actively putting out statements and/or spreading information to the diaspora in your university, you are posting Instagram stories and posts about the parties your society is organising. 

Do not get me wrong – you have the full right to post what you want or do what you want – but when people in your home country are dying, I do not think a lot of us care much about parties. I am more interested in hearing what you have to say about what is happening in India, and where you stand on the issue. I have never asked what I want to hear from you, nor have I forced you to choose the “right side”; all I have ever asked from you, as an Indian student at King’s, is for some accountability and responsibility.

As representatives of Indian students at an international university with a diverse diaspora, the least you can do is post a statement. Moreover, I feel disillusioned by the fact that students like us are peacefully protesting in India and are being attacked for it by the Delhi Police and you are still not saying anything about it. Just because you are abroad, does not mean you should close your eyes and ears and stay silent to the horrors that are happening. As student representatives, I hope you realise this is your responsibility. I know I have never been an active member of the KCL India Society, and you may feel as if this is aggressive and unnecessary, but I have friends who are in the Committee and friends who are members. I am sure they will understand my sentiment and you will too. I hope this was enough incentive for you to stop promoting your parties, temporarily, and focus on our nation.

If you cannot do the above and are simply interested in promoting events, please consider promoting KCL Indian Political Society and KCL Political Economy’s event that has been planned for January 18, 2020. The event will be discussing if the CAA and NRC are anti-Muslim. They have been politically active (as they should be) despite not being a KCLSU-affiliated society, and have posted a statement and other information. 

Please do consider this open letter as a plea and a request, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours hopefully,

Sayali Marathe

 

Writer at Roar News.

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