A year of Turning the Highways into Boulevard of Resistance

Remembering Comrade Sudipto Gupta

The 2nd day of April, 2014 - exactly a year since the day our friend and comrade Sudipto Gupta succumbed to death from horrific injuries inflicted by  policemen while in police custody. Today, at the call of the four leftist students' organisations over eight thousand students flooded into the streets of Kolkata demanding justice - a judicial probe and punishment for the offenders.

The mission to occupy Central Kolkata so that those in power would have to hear us out, began at 1 pm when three rallies set out for College Street from three corners of the city. From Shyambajar the students of colleges in the Kolkata district, from Sealdah students from North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Bardhaman and Murshidabad; and from Howrah, the districts of Hooghly, Bankura, Purulia, Purba and Pashchim Medinipur marched towards the heart of academic life of the city - College street. The three rallies converged into an ocean of heads by 2 pm in a flurry of posters, banners, flags and placards, with powerful songs and poems resonating from the stage into the crowd of the angry uncompromising youth.

The Leader of Opposition of the West Bengal Assembly Surya Kanta Misra was present at the meeting, and he informed us of the extent to which our fight for justice had been represented at the assembly. Ritabrata Banerjee, All India Secretary of the SFI reminded us of the importance of carrying forth the flag that Sudipto had laid down his life for. Madhuja SenRoy, SFI West Bengal State President and Debojyoti Das, SFI West Bengal State Secretary, Biswajit Maiti of the AISB, Mrinmoy De of the PSU, and Partha Mukherjee of the AISF spoke of their memories of Sudipto, of the 2nd of April, of the enormous significance that this one students' death held in shaping the students' movement in Bengal today and tomorrow. The student leaders expressed the rage and disappontment of the student community at this the denial of justice. They laid stress on the need for resisting the many faceted campaign against the democratic rights and freedoms of the students, and the unbearable atmosphere of violence, rape and murder.

From the dais at college street a collection of writings, poems and articles dedicated to Sudipto, entitled "Ebong Sudipto" was published.

A few heartfelt songs and fiery stanzas later the students formed a long sinuous column and headed towards esplanade, proudly retracing the steps that their fallen comrade Sudipto had walked last year, the day he was killed.

By half past three the students had taken over the "Y" crossing at Esplanade. Here, where the civil disobedience movement of last April had taken place, where Sudipto, along with hundreds of other students had courted arrest before the unforgettable incident infront of Presidency Jail that led to his death, here the students returned a year later. A street drama was staged by the Garia Sucharcha group amidst the barricade.

A year has passed, a year of pain, disillusionment, anger. A year has passed and students have had enough of waiting for Justice to take its course... Because in a country like ours, even justice is not an apple from a tree, we must make it fall.