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Protests over student's death cut across party lines: Priyanka Gupta


Updated: April 4, 2013, 7:06 PM IST
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Protests over student's death cut across party lines: Priyanka Gupta
Will student activist Sudipto Gupta's death cost Mamata Banerjee dearly?

Student activist Sudipto Gupta died in a police crackdown on a students' protest in Kolkata. The incident has seen thousands of people pour into the streets of Kolkata. The West Bengal government has been, till now, non-committal about a proper probe into the incident. To what extent will this incident turn the urban middle class in West Bengal against the ruling Trinamool Congress? Will a proper probe be instituted? How much has it affected the general public? CNN-IBN's Principal Correspondent Priyanka Gupta joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.

Q. Students must understand they should not become pawns in the hands of politician. Their prime duty is to study and not politics? Asked by: prathap

A. There are varied views on this. A student who I spoke to yesterday near the SFI HQ said she is tired of politicisation of campus unions, the counterpoint to that as told by many student wing leaders to me since the last few days is that 'politicians decide our destiny, if we want our voices to be heard we must also deal with it politically. Politics in our campuses is a reality, the onus is on the leaders to clean up the mess.

Q. Wonder what will happen if all students take to arms and start attacking policemen everywhere. What sort of training is given to the cops on mob control. The scariest sight in India, even for victims of crimes or accidents, is the sight of the KHAKI clad criminal called police. Why is there no better policing than using the lathi. Asked by: kp vidyashankar

A. The question is if the government, the political parties, and the powers to be are willing to recognise and acknowledge a vibrant, assertive and voluble youth of India. It's not just about Bengal but everywhere else administrations and powers at the helm are completely at a loss to deal with this constituency. We saw it in Delhi during the mass movement against sexual crimes against women.

Q. Why is the media trying to discuss the issue much more then trying to find what exactly happened? Report says that there were two unarmed home guards in the bus carrying Sudipto and his friends. How come two unarmed guards could beat a young man to death when he had almost 40 agitating students with him? Are you people not trying to sensationalize the issue since person you want to blame is Mamata Banerjee? Be frank and speak truth! Asked by: Indrajit, Kolkata

A. Fortunately journalists don't have agendas like political parties. We report what we see. The fact is there is a 23 year old boy who is dead, the fact is there is a grieving father and sister mourning his loss. The fact is the death happened while in police custody. the question is what happened? Is it really an accident or an act of deliberate aggression? What happened inside the bus? What was Sudipto doing near the exit? Why would he lean out of the exit and hit a lamp post? Why was a policeman also injured in the alleged scuffle? So is it an accident or a scuffle gone wrong or police high-handedness.

Q. So many students have died in the hands of SFI and CPIM in Kerala, why so great about death of an SFI student in Calcutta though it is sad to loose a dear one? As you sow so shall you reap Asked by: prathap

A. Pratap I think that's the trouble. We need to change our mindset and not seek vengeance. Death is a BIG DEAL especially of a young boy.

Q. One should certainly hope that Mamata pays dearly for this.... hopefully she atleast gets the cop who did this punished swiftly and judicially instead of stonewalling....Then we can say there is poriborton. At least Bengal students are still agitating. elsewhere students have become businesspersons. who has the time to worry about poor etc. Asked by: kp vidyashankar

A. We are an ideologically motivated and passionate lot :)

Q. Rizwanur Rehman was found dead in mysterious circumstances during Left regime. Mystery remained unsolved. Why is Left so vocal now? They are ruining the political scenario in WB. Asked by: Suprio Choudhury

A. Why shouldn't anyone be vocal about anyone's death irrespective of party lines. The problem perhaps is with the faultlines created by politicians and their rhetoric, it makes us lose sight of what is human in us- compassion.

Q. Whether fallen from the bus or pushed out of it or beaten to death , it was all whilst he was in POLICE custody. Does the police have anything to hide ? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. There is an investigation that's on, facts will emerge after the probe is over (hopefully!!).

Q. We've seen Mamata on a news channel behaving indifferently with students before. does she need to change and be more listening to students? why does she hate them so much? Asked by: nikhil_vb

A. I am not sure if she hates students but there can be a problem if people lose sight of the fact that these young boys and girls are just students and most importantly human beings- young and impressionable. The color of the political party should not blind anyone from seeing the basic human factor. And it's not about Trinamool I am talking about everyone.

Q. Because this happened in Kolkata city and the person involved happened to be a SFI student so much of noise.Is it not true that more serious wrongs by administration are taking place all over the country which get a para mention in the middle pages of vernacular news and forgotten. Would you accept visual media helping in fomenting problem to the governments - - Breaking news to break the governments? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. Let's not impute motives on anyone, it's unnecessary and unwarranted. Similar reports have been done even when TMCP students died and innocent villagers at Netai fell to bullets. It's not about SFI and it is certainly not about KOLKATA :)

Q. West Bengal middle class has always been anti establishment. Reason none of those in power have really bothered about them.Politicians in the country worry over the poor or rick and not those in between. Middle class are the ones who bother about morals and hence they question.Literate Bengalis are more emotional. Is this assessment flawed ? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. I don't think it's a class issue and neither should it be. We are all human beings and all guided by emotions and not social constructs.

First Published: April 4, 2013, 7:06 PM IST
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