Education

‘We Beat Teachers Too’: True Confessions of an ABVP Footsoldier

A glimpse into the mind of those who assaulted students at Ramjas College

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The ABVP supporter (second from the left) stood talking to unidentified individuals for several minutes. Credit: Vikas Lather

On February 22, at around 4:30 pm, a classmate told me that there had been an attack at Delhi University’s Ramjas college and asked me to join him at Maurice Nagar police station where students were gathering to seek police intervention. When I got there, I found that the police had already sealed the area. We were not allowed to cross the red light near Patel Chest Institute (at some distance from the police station).

As I was standing there, other people also started arriving in small groups. Bystanders next to me were speculating about what had happened; they appeared curious but uninformed about recent developments. After a few moments, a young man in a black t-shirt and jeans carrying a college bag with one strap over his shoulder came and stood next to me. He looked like an ordinary college student. He began participating in the discussion going on. In the course of the conversation, he identified himself as a first year student at Ramjas College, studying Physical Science, from a village in District Bhiwani, Haryana. It is not clear whether he was a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), but he was certainly a supporter.

As this student began describing all that had happened in Ramjas College, I was shocked to hear his open and boastful admission about how he and his friends had destroyed college property, thrashed other students and Delhi University professors, and pelted stones at them as well. Among other things he said, “Agar Umar Khalid aa jaata to zinda wapas nahi jata yahan se” (If Umar Khalid had come to Ramjas college, he would not have gone back alive.) He narrated the sequence of events with such clarity and precision that whatever little doubt I had of his being a second-hand account, quickly transformed itself into the awareness that what I was hearing was an authentic confession. He was clearly excited and proud of what he had done.

Notwithstanding the limitation of traffic and background noise, I then thought I should try to make an audio recording of his statements as he continued to speak. I thus used my phone to record the conversation. At no point during the recording did I say anything to him or his group. I wanted to limit myself to being a non-participating observer to make sure that I did not influence the conversation by either encouraging or discouraging this Ramjas student.

This conversation provides an insight into how a student becomes a member of a violent mob, and the kind of prejudices that organisations like the ABVP both mobilise and reinforce. It also reveals the confidence that comes with being on the same side as the ruling party, in particular the knowledge that the police will not act against you.

The other people categorised as ‘unidentified individuals’ shared and enjoyed the ABVP supporter’s act of using terror as an instrument to suppress ideological differences, intellectual criticism and the spirit of free inquiry. They also laughed and cheered at his cheap, nasty and criminal boasts of beating up female reporters, innocent fellow students, and his own professors. It makes them guilty by association (if not legally, at least ethically). This reveals a serious social predicament that among certain young Indians spreading cultural hatred and suppressing freedom of expression is seen as generally acceptable.

This incident confirmed for me that you can get away with the most extraordinary attacks on civil society in India if you are a self-proclaimed ‘nationalist’. This ABVP supporter, like many similar fanatics, has a criminal personality but still rants about the morality of others by making derogatory references to men and women of different cultures and lifestyle (who smoke, have friends from the opposite sex, speak English, or are ‘weak’ compared to the body-building friends of the speaker).

When this ABVP supporter openly called for the beating of his fellow students and DU professors, there was no nervousness in his voice. His repeated references to this only reflect his serious conviction. His comments about the police reveal a complete and utter disregard for any idea of the rule of law, a confidence in the police’s inability to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, and a clear sense that they (the attackers/ABVP) had the police on their side.

The recording raises several important questions: If the ABVP controlled DUSU was not involved in the violence as they claim, why did they feel the need to shield those students who openly boast of their criminal acts? Even when the ABVP supporter was at the full height of his boasts, he did not mention a single instance of the slightest violence, aggression or even an attempt at physical provocation from the other side. Why did the Delhi Police and media try to term it as a ‘clash’ between the ABVP and ‘leftist groups’ when it was a clear one-sided, shameful aggression on college students and professors who, as we now know, did not even try to defend themselves? All these questions and many more must be answered by the investigating agency.

I also want to add a personal statement— we must dispel this myth that it was a clash between urban elites and ‘desi’ nationalists. This student and many others with the same mentality believe that they are the true representatives of Haryana. I am also from Haryana. I was born in a small village in Hisar. My mother and father are both farmers there and they tried to the best of their abilities to make sure that I got a decent education. I feel offended with this student’s outrageous cultural stereotypes and his narrow and bigoted mentality, and wish to emphasise that he does not represent the state. It is time when people who disagree with criminals like him do so publicly to shatter their illusion about being the guardians of our civilisation and repository of our civil values. I am also ashamed of the way he tried to defame one of the most intellectually vibrant colleges of North Campus, Ramjas college, which has had the distinct privilege of having B. R. Ambedkar as the chairman of its governing body and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The time has come to show these people that there is another section of young Indians who are committed to social justice, equality and freedom of expression that cannot be shaken by frequent and violent attacks.

I am aware that using my own name in publishing this material puts me at serious risk when one is up against these kinds of fanatic demagogues who are not shy to call for the blood of others and deploy merciless violence. But I sincerely believe that these ‘goonda nationalists’ draw their energy from our fear. The space for free exchange of ideas is shrinking and shrinking very fast. We must reclaim our university and cultural spaces.

A space for intellectual criticism should always be there in a pluralistic and democratic society, especially in the institutes of learning. We all should care about the healthy culture of dissent that the two-day seminar on ‘Cultures of Protest’ organised by the Ramjas Literary Society was trying to foster. It is not just those who could not hold the seminar who have lost. In some sense, we all have lost because we have been deprived of opportunities to discuss, debate, and engage in a free exchange of ideas just because a students’ organisation – ABVP – and its supporters,  feel they have the absolute right and authority to tell the rest of us what we should (and should not) read, think and discuss.


A note on translation: For the sake of objectivity and fairness, I have translated everything, even information that might appear less relevant in this context to the reader. I cannot say that it is completely immune from any minor omission or error. However, I had a natural advantage since the student was speaking in a Haryanvi dialect, and I am also from Haryana.

Not all the statements complement or follow on logically from each other. However, the speaker was reasonably consistent in his repetitions. For example, he distinguished effortlessly between JNU, AISA and Ramjas students from the English Department while describing his acts of violence. He also identifies primarily as a student of Ramjas, but at various times expresses his affinity with the ABVP. The audio recording seems a good and reliable starting point to start investigating the truth behind the Ramjas college issue, and the criminal responsibility of different elements.

In what follows, I present first an English translation of the conversation, followed by the Hindi transcript of the same conversation. I have also provided the audio files.


Translation of recordings of an ABVP supporter or activist from Ramjas College

This is the English translation of an audio recording made by the author on February 22, 2017 between 16:59 and 17:11 of a conversation between an ABVP supporter who describes himself as a first year student at Ramjas College, studying Physical Science. He is from a village in District Bhiwani, Haryana. In the transcript he is referred to as ‘ABVP supporter’.

The comments made by various people he was conversing with are put under a single category of ‘unidentified person’ because there were multiple people asking him about various things (as one can also learn from different voices in the recordings). 

Recording 1

ABVP supporter: Yesterday, a bus full of police had come and the whole thing was settled. These people were thrashed yesterday too.

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

Unidentified person: So the AISA wasn’t here yesterday?

ABVP supporter: No, AISA wasn’t there yesterday. Some people from JNU had come. We would’ve beaten them yesterday only but we didn’t. Just a few of them were thrashed. Police sent them out and the whole thing was put to rest. They [JNU folks] were sent away by 4 pm and we stayed for another 2 hours and then we also left.

Today when we came [to college], we saw that police was there, again. We got to know that some people from college are protesting, they were from English [department of Ramjas]. Then later, we found out that AISA people are also coming. I swear by their mothers, this isn’t JNU, this is DU and that too, Ramjas College. Had it been Hansraj, Hindu, it still would’ve been okay. Those students are intelligent, they wouldn’t pay attention to protests. I’m telling you man! This Ramjas College is filled with people from Haryana, UP who are only interested in rioting, they have studied just that.

Unidentified person: What happened then?

ABVP supporter: Then these people were beaten. We’ve been beating them since morning.

Unidentified person: Them? (pointing towards the protestors who were gathered in front of the police station).

ABVP supporter: There was one bus, then another police bus was brought. The police was telling us, “We will give you some leeway! Now man, media has arrived so we can’t.” So they got beaten there too, in front of the police station. These media people are lying in this case too.

Unidentified person: Let media talk!

ABVP supporter: Because of the media, police is not giving us any leeway. See now, they [police] are saying, if the media sees us giving room to the attackers, they’ll screw us.

[Inaudible]…

Unidentified person: What did the media people say?

ABVP supporter: They turned it into a political issue. This is the main problem now. They aren’t showing the reality. Students were simply protesting against Umar Khalid, what has ABVP got to do with it? And why did they [Umar Khalid and AISA] have to come to our DU? The whole thing was settled yesterday, then why did they come again? Now that they’ve come, they are bound to get thrashed. If they come and protest in our college, they will be beaten. It’s as simple as that.

[Inaudible] 

Recording 2

Unidentified person: What happened in Ramjas yesterday?

ABVP supporter: Just a few glasses etc. were broken yesterday.

Unidentified person: In room no. 26, right? That’s where English classes are held right?

ABVP supporter: No yaar! It wasn’t in room 26. These people have a seminar [hall] above the canteen.

Unidentified person: Ya ya, it’s there above the canteen, I’ve seen it.

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: Yeah, so they were taking JNU people there and we protested that we will not let those people and Umar Khalid come there.

Unidentified person: Good job! Well done!

ABVP supporter: The protest began on this issue only. Now, if they won’t listen to us, they will get beaten, obviously.

Unidentified person: So you have thrashed all of them from the English department?

ABVP supporter: What else do you think! Obviously we have. We have beaten teachers too.

Unidentified person: Oh man! You guys thrashed gurus (a respectable word for ‘teacher’) as well.

ABVP supporter: That’s the thing man. It’s the teacher who brainwashes (students). And all the teachers are standing in front, that’s the problem.

Unidentified person: Which windows have been broken? The ones in the canteen?

ABVP supporter: No, the ones in the room above the canteen.

Unidentified person: Oh! Well, that room is full of glass only.

[Inaudible]

Unidentified person: The Ramjas principal has been there for a long time, nobody can do anything to him, not even us. We are also Ramjas graduates.

ABVP supporter: Now, I’m telling you, if you do this, we won’t beat AISA but you only. [It was unclear as to who he was referring to, it could be professors (about whom discussion was going on) or student protesting at a distance (as he was looking at them and laughing at this point)].

[At this point, two people were talking over him but the ABVP supporter can be heard saying: We even hit them with eggs.]

Unidentified person: These are all kids, young blood you see.

ABVP supporter: We hit one of them so badly!

Unidentified person: Where?

ABVP supporter: He was wearing a red shirt. (Something not clear but it appears ‘He was a bit bald’.) Man, we made him all red by beating. And when we were beating him, his girlfriend was crying there. She was saying, “Why are you hitting us?” [He then started laughing while imitating her voice], “Why are you hitting us?” his girlfriend was crying.

Unidentified person: These rascals are all (drug) junkies…(inaudible).

ABVP supporter: See, the police is still coming!

Unidentified person: The matter is pretty serious dude.

ABVP supporter: The matter is about to get even more serious. These people (protestors), where will they go from here, I’m not able to get that. (There was a threat in his voice while saying this.)

Unidentified person: Who?

ABVP supporter: Police is obviously not going to escort them all the way to JNU.

Unidentified person: Oh, so they too have come here?

ABVP supporter: AISA people are sitting here only. That is why Ramjas people are standing here so that as soon as police subsides, they will get to cut their asses! [He sarcastically laughed after repeating it again.]

Unidentified person: Somebody was saying that they too are sitting here. (Who he is referring to is not clear.)

ABVP supporter: (inaudible) ..ABVP ..DUSU Head

Unidentified person: Tanwar.

ABVP supporter: He is sitting in the department, DUSU department. No other students are here, none from Hindu, none from Hansraj, only Ramjas students are here. On that side of the road, Ramjas students are there and on this side, AISA people are there. That’s why the road in front of the police station is blocked.

Unidentified person: Oh, so there’s a lot of ‘maar dhaad’ (violence) in Ramjas!

ABVP supporter: That’s why we are saying, how dare these rascals go to Ramjas. Anywhere else would have been fine.

Unidentified person: Yeah, Ramjas is famous for all this.

[At this point, he changed his dialect for few moments.]

ABVP supporter: Dude, after all this we are going to thrash our own students too (referring to students who organized or supported the event). These protestors will leave but where will the college students go!

[One unidentified speaker referred to weapons being used during elections, the Ramjas student interrupted him before he could finish; so it is unclear as to where the unidentified speaker was going with his remarks.]

ABVP supporter: The police comes to our campus only once during the whole year and that is during the elections. Yesterday, we even broke the door of our seminar room.

Unidentified person: So you hit them a lot yesterday?

ABVP supporter: No, not as much as we did today.

Unidentified person: You’ve hit them today as well?

ABVP supporter: Obviously, we’ve brought them from college till here [police station] while thrashing them all the way down.

[They all simultaneously started laughing and joked about a few things that are not audible.]

Recording 3

Unidentified person: They had called Umar Khalid so they must have been thrashed by these students.

Unidentified person: Who was thrashed? The one who was called or the ones who had called?

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: Bro, Ramjas students only had invited him [Umar Khalid] and they were beaten by Ramjas students only.

Unidentified person: These people have patriotism in their blood so they won’t listen to any insult to their country.

ABVP supporter: The one who was supposed to come didn’t come [Umar Khalid]. It is his followers who were thrashed. He didn’t even come.

Unidentified person: He got scared.

ABVP supporter: Doesn’t matter if he got scared or something, but his followers got a good beating. They are still getting thrashed. Still, they are not accepting it. This is the main problem, they are just not listening to us.

Unidentified person: These are junkies. Doesn’t matter how much you beat them, they won’t listen.

ABVP supporter: This is true. They are smoking pot openly, bloody motherfuckers, boys, girls, everybody is smoking cigarettes. These AISA people.

Unidentified person: This is what they want.

(inaudible)

Unidentified person: What are these protestors shouting ‘Azadi’ (freedom) for? We got freedom in 1947. What are they asking for now!

ABVP supporter: They are saying, ‘We want freedom’. We are saying, ‘Let police give us a free hand for 5 minutes, we will make them forget the word “freedom’. Bro, I’m scared of media that’s why I’m not beating them. If I’m seen on camera, my folks will call me home in a minute saying “our son has become a big gangster’. It’s just because of this media that I’m not doing anything, otherwise I would’ve wiped them out by now.

Recording 4

ABVP supporter: Bro, (he used a word which is not understandable)… since today morning, we’ve been beating them. We thrashed one or two women from the media as well.

Unidentified person: You hit the girls as well?

ABVP supporter: We told her to not click pictures but she didn’t listen. So we hit one girl and a boy who were from the media. Sisterfuckers!

(Few unrelated remarks by others.)

ABVP supporter: It began at 1:30 PM, many times we went to (a word not audible for some place) and beat them. Then we beat them inside the college campus. After that, the JNU people who were standing outside came in.

Unidentified person Are you from Ramjas? He responded, “Yes” and he was about to continue his story when the other guy asked him again, “Which department are you from? He then replied, “I’m from Physical science.”

ABVP supporter: We were thrashing those English department [of Ramjas] students who had invited people for the event.

Unidentified person: Didn’t you get to know that they’re calling those (JNU) people?

ABVP supporter: Yes, we were thrashing them inside when we got to know that there are people outside too (referring to JNU students).

Unidentified person: The English department of Ramjas is like that only. Room no. 26 is the only room with an AC. No other Department has an AC (and few other inaudible remarks).

ABVP supporter: Inside, we beat them (English department students). JNU people had come outside. As soon as we came outside, we thrashed them as well because there was no police outside.

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: Police was inside because there was a scuffle/dispute near the canteen. (And then he started laughing while saying how they made others (English department students) run away). Then they called a bus full of police personnel but we weren’t listening to them at all.

Unidentified person X, who had joined the discussion sometime back and has very distinct voice, commented:  “Dude something big is surely going to happen today.”

ABVP supporter: It is running live on TV.

Unidentified person X: This is not acceptable. Home-made bombs should be used on them.

Unidentified person Y: No man, not bombs.

ABVP supporter: See man, it is not good to use bombs.

Unidentified person: This will amount to sedition.

ABVP supporter: Yes it will be sedition.

Unidentified person X (retracting): It’s just enough to break their hands and legs.

ABVP supporter: These rascals from JNU, worthless people, not even worthless, they are stubborn. They were thrashed yesterday still they came today. So, they will obviously be thrashed again.

ABVP supporter: Even DU is not short of junkies.

Unidentified person: Yes he is right.

ABVP supporter: These protestors are skinny fellows, look at the junkies from DU too. As for Ramjas (the ones who beat up), they are body-builders.

Unidentified person: Dude, I can’t see any body-builders in DUSU.

Unidentified person: DUSU head hasn’t come here. [Amit] Tanwar?

ABVP supporter: I don’t know about him but Ajay Dedha is here only and Priyanka Chhawri (DUSU VP) is also here. Whole DUSU is sitting there (pointing to the protest site).

ABVP supporter: Now you see, everything aside, we are going to beat our teachers. All of them are from English [Department of Ramjas].

Unidentified person: Have they all (professors) come here?

ABVP supporter: Yes, they are standing here proudly, as if they have won some medal.

ABVP supporter: Police only intervenes after we’re done with beating them. [He made a statement about general state of affairs of the police in DU campus that they often come after we’ve managed to thrash them.] He started laughing while repeating himself: after twenty are beaten, they arrive and tell us to stop beating.

ABVP supporter: It’s the arrival of media which has put the police under pressure. Students cannot be controlled by police otherwise.

Unidentified person: What will police do now? What will so many policemen do now!

ABVP supporter: It’s because of media that the police are contained. If they (police) thrash AISA people, they will be captured on camera. [Police only became active after media had come. Police is only scared of media. That’s why they have become vigilant now because if we thrash AISA people in front of media, police will have to account for it. So it will become their responsibility rather than that of students.]

Unidentified person: These people (protestors) don’t even bathe for 1-2 days.

ABVP supporter: They are all scumbags, they have come without bathing for 20 days.

Unidentified person : They don’t bathe the entire winter. AISA people are full of shit.

Unidentified person: They will all be carried away in buses. (Something inaudible.)

ABVP supporter: Look, look there! (Pointing to the protest site in front of the police station), somebody from AISA has been thrashed. (He repeated his statement with self-satisfied laughter). Somebody from their side who must earlier have been under police protection must have come in our grasp. They (referring to his friends) are almost 20 in number. If they come in our hands, each one of us will get to hit two of them and then it’ll all be equal.

At this point, policemen came to disperse the crowd where we were standing. I then quickly clicked some photos of the ABVP supporter.


Hindi transcript of the recordings of an ABVP supporter or activist from Ramjas College

This is the English translation of an audio recording made by the author on February 22, 2017 between 16:59 and 17:11 of a conversation between an ABVP supporter who describes himself as a first year student at Ramjas College, studying Physical Science. He is from a village in District Bhiwani, Haryana. In the transcript he is referred to as ‘ABVP supporter’.

The comments made by various people he was conversing with are put under a single category of ‘unidentified person’ because there were multiple people asking him about various things (as one can also learn from different voices in the recordings). 

Recording 1

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: Kal ek bus bhar ke aayi police ki, kal mamla shant hua, kal bhi pit te ye; kal bhi pit te.

Unidentified person: Kal AISA-WAISA nahi the?

ABVP supporter: Kal AISA nahi tha, kal JNU wale aaye the. Kal AISA nahi aayi thi. Kal JNU wale aaye the. Kal inhe peet te. Kal ye pite nahi lagalo, kal inke thode bahut lage the. Kal police ne nikal diye. Ki chalo mamla shaant ho gaya; hum 6 baje chale gaye, unko (JNU people) 4 baje nikal diya tha, hum do ghante ruk ke chale gaye.

Aaj jab aaye [college] to saale phir police thi, aaj pata chala ki college wale protest kar rahe hai dobara, English [Department of Ramjas] wale, kar rahe hai; phir thode der mein pata chala ki AISA wale bhi aa rahe hain. Tumhari maa ki, yeh JNU thode na hai, DU hai, aur upar se Ramjas College. Hansraj hota, Hindu hota, chal jata, wo intelligent bachche hai, itna protest mein dhyan nahi dete. Nahi dete bhai. Ramjas college to wo hi baat hai, Haryana, UP walo se bhara pada hai. Aur jinhe kuchh nahi aata wo hain. Jinke sirf Dange aaye hai na percentage mein, jinke saath dange likh ke aaye hain, wo hain.

Unidentified person: To kya hua?

ABVP supporter: To wo pite, subah se maarne lag rahe hai.

Unidentified person: Inko? [While pointing towards the protestors who were gathered in front of the police station].

ABVP supporter: Ek bus thi, ek bus aur bulayi police ki. Phir bhi police wale aise bol rahe the, “Hum thodi dheel dete hai! Ab yaar media aa gayi hai, to dheel nahi de sakte.” Ye waha bhi pite, police station ke aage bi pite. Ye media wale saale ab bhi jhoot bol rahe hai.

Unidentified person: Media ko to bolne do.

ABVP supporter: Media walon ke kaaran abhi police wo nahi de rahi abhi, dheel. Ke ab, “Agar hamaare [police] aage lag gaye na to media wale hamaari leni kar denge”.

[Inaudible]…

Unidentified person: Media walon ne kya bola?

ABVP supporter: Unhone  ise political bana diya, political bana diya hai; problem ye aa rahi hai abhi. Reality nahi dikha rahe, ke baat kya hai. Wo simple protest kar rahe the, Umar Khalid ka, ABVP kya karegi usme. Aur hamaare DU mein aane ki jaroorat kya thi inhe. Kal maamla shaant ho gaya tha to aaj kyun aaye, pitenge to. Hamare college mein aake protest karenge to pitenge hi , simple si baat hai. Aisa mahaul tha ki ye kal bhi pit chuke hai

[Inaudible]…

Recording 2

Unidentified person: Ramjas mein kal kya hua tha, bhai sahaab?

ABVP supporter: Kal bhai bas sheeshe vagarha phoote the.

Unidentified person: Room number 26? English ki class to room no 26 mein lagti hai na?

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Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: “Bhai, room no 26 vagarha mein nahi hua tha hamara, canteen ke upar hai na, seminar [hall] hai inka.

Unidentified person: Haan, waha canteen ke upar hai, dekha meine.

ABVP supporter: Wo wahan JNU walon ko leke ja rahe the, aur hamne protest kiya ki waha nahi aane denge in logon ko, umar Khalid ko.

Unidentified person: Bahut accha kiya.

ABVP supporter: Is baat par protest hua tha. Aur bhai agar nahi maanenge to pitenge hi.

Unidentified person: Peete bhi ho kya aap sab English walon ko?

ABVP supporter: Aur! Nahi peetenge to kaha jayenge. Teacher ko bhi peeta hai hum logo ne to.

Unidentified person: Arey yaar  [tumne] Guru ko bhi maar diya.

ABVP supporter: Abe yaar, wo hi baat hai, brain wash karne ke liye Guru to hi hota hai. Saare Guru aage khade hai, problem to yahi aa rahi hai na.

Unidentified person: Sheesha konsa phoota hai, canteen ka?

ABVP supporter: Canteen ke upar jo room hai, uska.

Unidentified person: Achha, wahan to sheesha hi sheesha hai.

[At this point, others are making few remarks on it but they are not quite comprehensive as they are speaking over each other…]

Unidentified person: Bahuto purana principal hai Ramjas Ka, uska koi kuch nahi kar sakta; hum bi Ramjas se pass out hai.

ABVP supporter: “Abhi sahi bol raha hoon, abhi aisa karoge to, wahi baat hai, AISA wale ko nahi maare, tumhe jaroor maarenge. [It was unclear as to who he was referring to as “tumhe” here, it could be professors (about whom discussion was going on) or student protesting at a distance (as he was looking at them and laughing at this point)].

[Inaudible]

ABVP supporter: AISA walo ko andey maare the.

Unidentified person: Bachche log gai, naya josh hai.

ABVP supporter: Ek bande ko to itne maare.

Unidentified person: Kaha pe?

ABVP supporter: Shirt ka rang lal tha uska. (Inaudible but it appears like: ‘Sar pe ganja saa tha’). Laal kar diya usko maar maar ke. Wo jab pit raha tha, uski girlfriend ro rahi thi, “Hamein kyon maar rahe ho” [he then started laughing while imitating her voice], “Hame kyon maar rahe ho”, girl friend ro  rahi thi uski.

Unidentified person: Ye saale, charsi hote hai… (Inaudible).

ABVP supporter: Police abhi bhi aa rahi hai!

Unidentified person: Maamla gambhir hai, bhai sahaab.

ABVP supporter: Maamla bahut gambhir hone wala bhi hai. Ye (protesters) jayenge kaise yahan se. Ye samajh nahin aa raha mujhe.

Unidentified person: Kaun?

ABVP supporter: Police protection inhe JNU to nahi chhod ke aayegi.

Unidentified person: Aachha wo bhi aaye hain yahan pe?

ABVP supporter: AISA wale yahin to baithhe hai.  Isiliye Ramjas wale yahan hain, ki police hatey yahan se, aur Ramjas wale gaand kaate. [He sarcastically laughed after repeating it again].

Unidentified person: Koi keh raha hai wo bhi baithhe hain (who his reference is to is not clear).

ABVP supporter: (inaudible) Jo head hai DUSU ka..

Unidentified person: Tanwar

ABVP supporter: Wo department mein baitha hai, DUSU department. Aur koi college ke bachche nahin hai, na Hindu ke hai, na Hansraj ke. Sirf Ramjas college ke hain. Aur idhar, road ke uss side to wo (Ramjas students) hain or iss side hain AISA wale, tabhi dono side block hai, police station ke aage.

Unidentified person: Achchha, Ramjas mein bahut maar dhaad hota hai!

ABVP supporter: Tabhi to bol rahe hai, Ramjas jaane ki himmat kaise ki saalon ne. Aur kahin to dekha jata .

Unidentified person: Haan, famous hai Ramjas.

[At this point, he changed his dialect for few moments]

ABVP supporter: Arrey! Ek baar to hum apne college walo ko [referring to students who organised or supported the event] bhi kutenge hum. Ye [protestors from outside] to chale jayenge, college wale kahan jayenge. [Inaudible] Saal mein ek hi baar police aati hai, hamare elections mein. Kal humne seminar room ka gate ‘paad diya’ [Haryanvi word for breaking it].

Unidentified person: Bahut maara kal? Haath saaf kar liya.

ABVP supporter: Kal itna nahi maara but aaj jyada maara hai.

Unidentified person: Aaj bhi maara hai?

ABVP supporter: Aaj toh Ramjas se yahan [police station]  tak peet te peet te hi to laye hain.

[They all simultaneously started laughing at it and joked about few things that are not audible]

Recording 3

Unidentified person: Umar Khalid ko bulaya tha, to ye bachcha log bohot maara hoga usko.

Unidentified person: Jisko bulaya tha yaha jisne bulaya tha?

ABVP supporter: Bhai Ramjas wala ne hi bulaya tha aur Ramjas walon ne hi peeta.

Unidentified person: Inke ragon mein deskbhakti ka khoon hai to koi kaise is desh ki burayi sunega… Jawaani ka khoon hai.

ABVP supporter: Jo aana tha wo aaya nahi [referring to Umar Khalid]. Unke wo chamche pite hai; Umar Khalid bulaya tha, wo aaya nahi.

Unidentified person:Wo darr gaya.

ABVP supporter: Chahe wo darr gaya ya kuchh bhi laga lo.  Par uske chamche bahut pitey hain. Abhi bhi pit hi rahe hain. Par saale ye maan nahi rahe ab bhi. Problem ye aa rahi hai, maan nahi rahe ab bhi.

Unidentified person: Ye nashedi hain, unko kitna bhi maar lo, inhein kuch asar nahi padta.

ABVP supporter: Ye baat to such hai, khula nasha kar rahe hain. Bhen ke… Ladkiya, ladke sab cigarette ka nasha chala rahe hai, ye AISA wale.

Unidentified person: Yeh to yahi chahaate hai.

(few words inaudible)

Unidentified person: “Ye [protestors] kya aazadi aazadi chilla rahe hain?”, Santaalis [1947] mein Aazadi mil gayi ab kya kar rahe hain!

ABVP supporter: Wo keh rahe hain, “We want freedom”, hum kehwa, “Pulisye (police wale) 5 minat chhod hume, ye to freedom bolna hi bhool jayenge. Aise kar denge.” Bhai, ‘photua’ (media) ke darr se nahi maar raha hoo unko; media pe aa gaya to ghar wale ghar hi bula lega ek minute mein, ke “beta ghanaa hi gangster ban gaya hai”. (inaudible)… Bas photo ke darr se hi nahin maar raha hoon inko, nahin to abhi tak saaf kar deta.

Recording 4

ABVP supporter: Bhai, (inaudible)… ko bahut peeta; hum subah se hi to peet rahe hai. Media walon mein, ek-do ladkion ko ‘badhaa diya’ hamne [Haryanvi word for beating].

Unidentified person: Ladki ko hi maar diya?

(The ABVP supporter continued his statement on manhandling female reporters using Haryanvi dialect; I am translating him in Hindi for reader’s consideration).

IMG_20170222_171645

Close up photo of the ABVP supporter from Ramjas college. Credit: Vikas Lather

ABVP supporter: Hamne use bola ki photo mat kheech. Nahin maani. To media ke ek ladki or ek ladke ho hamne maara. Bhen ke… (he added few more words that are not audible while joking about it)

(Few unrelated remarks by others)

ABVP supporter: 1:30 pm shuru hua tha, kai baar to (inaudible) ja ke peete, kayi baar. Phir college ke andar peete. Fir bahar saale JNU wale khade the; matlab ander to college waale peete. Phir bahar JNU wale aa gaye.

Unidentified person: Kya aap Ramjas se ho?

ABVP supporter: Haan

Unidentified person: Konse department se?

ABVP supporter: “Main physical science se”. Hum unhe, English department [of Ramjas] walon ko peet rahe the jinohne unhe (people invited for the event) bulaya tha.

Unidentified person: Tumhe pata naa chala ki unhone bula liye?

ABVP supporter: Haan, to hum peet rahe the unko andar to pata laga ki bahar bhi hain log (referring to JNU students).

Unidentified person: English department jo hai Ramjas ka, wo ek hi aisa department hai, Room no 26, jahan AC laga hai. Aur kisi mein AC-VeyCee nahi hai (inaudible)…

ABVP supporter: Andar unko (English department) peeta, JNU wale bahar aa gaye the. Hum jaise hi bahar aaye to hamne unhe peeta. Kyunki baahar police nahi thi.

Police bheetar thi  kyunki [Ramjas] canteen ke paas rola maach gaya tha. (And then he started laughing while saying how they made others (English department students) run away).  Fir ek bus (of police) aur bhar ke bulaayi, [hum] maan hi nahi rahe the.

Unidentified person X: “Yaar aaj to jaroor kuchh hoga

ABVP supporter: News pe live chal raha hai.

Unidentified person X: Aise nahi hoga. Desi bomb bhi chalne chaiye”.

Unidentified person Y: Nahi, yaar bomb nahi.

ABVP supporter: Dekh yaar, bomb giraana achhi baat nahi hai.

Unidentified person Z: Ye to desh droh ho jayega.

ABVP supporter: “Haan, desh droh ho jayega.

Unidentified person X: Haath pair girane tak bahut hai.

ABVP supporter: Saale, JNU wale, khapitar (word used in Haryanvi to refer to someone who is dull and worthless), khapitar toh kya hai, dheeth hai. Kal pit ke gaye aur aaj phir aa gaye. To ye phir pitenge. DU mein bhi kam nashedi nahin hain.

Unidentified person: Haan ye sahi keh raha hai.

ABVP supporter: Ye (protesters) to patle-patle hain, DU ke nashedi dekho tum, Ramjas ke, ye body builder hain.

Unidentified person: Yaar Union group (DUSU) mein to koi dikh nahi raha hai [body builder].

Unidentified person: DUSU ka head nahi aaya hai yaha par ? [Amit] Tanwar?

ABVP supporter: Pata nahi. Par Ajay Dedha to yahi hai aur Priyanka Chhawri (DUSU Vice President) to yahi par hai. Arrey DUSU to sara wo  baitha hai. Abhi hamare teacher pitenge aur sab to dekhi jaaegi. English waale to hain saare.

Unidentified person: Aa gaye honge saare?

ABVP supporter: Haan, ‘hawa-baaji mein khade hai saare, ki pata nahi kya medal jeet ke aaye hai’.

[He spoke in a different and pure Haryanvi dialect from now on. Mere quoting him directly will become incomprehensive for someone not familiar with the language. So I have translated his statements in Hindi. However the translation has not changed the overall essence of his remarks in any way].

ABVP supporter: Police bhi jab aati hai, jab thoda unko peet dete hai. [He made a statement about general state of affair of police in DU campus that they often come after we manage to thrashed them]. Jab bees maar lo tab police aati hai. Wo to ab media aa gayi to police ‘daab’  hai. Bachche (students) police se na ‘dab’ rahe the.

Unidentified person: Ab police wale kya karenge. Itni police kya karenge!

ABVP supporter: ‘Media ke kaaran, police shaant hai. Ab agar AISA wale peet diye, to police pe baat aa jayegi. Ki itni protection hote hua kaise pite wo’.

Unidentified person: Yeh (protestors), nahaate wahaate nahin hain, ek-ek do-do din.

ABVP supporter: Ye to hai, bhosdike, bina nahaaye aaye huye hai. 20 din ka sadiyal aa raha hai.

Unidentified person: Puri sardi nahi nahaate hai’. AISA wale gand hai. Chaadar daal ke rehete hain.

Unidentified person: Bhar ke le jayenge bus mein. (inaudible).

ABVP supporter: Dekh, waha dekh! (Pointing to the protest sight in front of the police station), ‘koi na koi AISA wala ko peet diya hai. (He repeated his statement with a self-satisfying laughter). ‘Koi na koi baalak  police protection mein tha, wo ab hamare pakad mein aa gaya hoga; wo [referring to his friends] bees hain, sabko do-do [marne ko] milenge to hisab ho jayega’.

At this point, policemen came to disperse the crowd and I stopped recording. I then quickly clicked some of his photographs.


Vikas Lather is an MA student of the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics.

The English translation of the transcript was prepared by Anubhav Das, an MA student of the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics.

  • Prashant Kumar

    I was there only. I am not a part of the wire i am just a student of DU and i am witness to this conversation. My god i never knew it will be published in the wire. Great journalism. Kudos to you. Satyamev Jayate.

  • Indervir Singh

    Someone should tell Mr. Jaitley that the real threat to sovereignty and integrity of India is violence and threat of violence (like the one we saw in Ramjas), not the academic discussions. The violence in Ramjas is an organized attack on Indian democracy. The government instead of maintaining law and order seems to be justifying the violence. One of BJP’s MP even compared a girl student who was speaking against violence with a violent criminal. As per his definition, speaking against violence is also anti-national.

  • Arnab Basak

    Mr Lather, great article – thank you! And I salute the bravery you have shown – first in recording these conversations, and then by openly including them in your essay. We need more like you and I wish you well. Stay safe, because you have indeed put yourself at risk. And a word of appreciation for The Wire, for having published this article.
    The conversations were CHILLING, to say the least. I shudder to think that 20-30 years from now some of these very same ABVP goons may well go on to become our elected representatives – MPs, MLAs or municipal counselors. What sort of country would we have become by then! I am an ex-student of Delhi University myself, who passed out in 1988 from a top north campus college. And I can tell you it was a very different world back then – gentle, tolerant, free as freedom ought to be! It all started to go wrong from 1992, in my opinion. The jingoistic vitriol spewed so violently now by the BJP and it’s friends in the name of “nationalism”, and aided by Twitter as a convenient medium for waging war against any form of dissent, has created a toxic combination that is causing our nation to slide down a slippery slope to the death of democracy. It is up to us – ordinary citizens of this country, especially brave hearts like you, the Ramjas College students and The Wire – to recognize and acknowledge this, and then to stop it, so that the freedom that we gained through so much sacrifice is never lost.

  • Nirikshan Kumar

    Its a Horror story !!!! feel very sorry for the Professors, Media persons and Students who were protesting peacefully, I wonder How come Police have supported these Hooligans ? This Guy is Bragging and feels he is doing the right thing in Beating up innocent students and teachers. This Has to Stop or Peace Loving Indians will see another Taliban or ISIS or Trump In India soon.

  • Srivatsa Kanchibotla

    Should not have published photographs of the person. He will now feel persecuted by the media (if he was not already). Also exposes him to ridicule/threats/violence from one side and hero worship from the other side

    • Kahula

      why not? images of those attacked & beaten, etc were published.

  • R Joseph

    The persons identified in the recordings should be arrested immediately and strict criminal action must follow speedily to its logical conclusion, otherwise we have become a banana republic.

  • Abhishek Bisht

    Please stop publishing such one sided view tomorrow some other news channel will post same conversation as AiSa supporter.