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Brotherhood in Times of Corona: Jadavpur University Students Respond to Racist Attacks With Cartoon Strip

Cartoon strip by JU students against racist attacks.

Cartoon strip by JU students against racist attacks.

The Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) Jadavpur University Local Committee released a series of cartoon strip to amid reports of students from north east being tagged 'Chinese' and blamed for the spread of the disease in the country.

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Sujit Nath

Kolkata: As several reports of racist assault surface across country amid the coronavirus pandemic, a student committee at Kolkata's Jadavpur University came out with a comic titled 'Love and Brotherhood' in response to the acts of hatred.

The Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) Jadavpur University Local Committee released a series of cartoon strip to amid reports of students from north east being tagged 'Chinese' and blamed for the spread of the disease in the country.

The comic with a caption 'Phone Call' starts with caricatures showing a father and son having a conversation over a call, where the father is advising him to stay safe.

In the conversation, the son tells his father that he is going to a place called Bijoygarh to help a security guard from Darjeeling called Dinesh Tamang, who is stuck at the office where works due to lockdown and is starving because the local grocery shop owner refused to give him a ration because he looks like a 'Chinese'.

In another chapter, the grocery shop owner is seen accusing Dinesh Tamang of spreading the virus, while other customers too gather around and all of threaten Tamang to leave the place.

Tamang pleaded that he is an Indian and not a Chinese but his pleas fall on deaf ears. In the next chapter, Dinesh Tamang is rescued and taken to a house by the students of Jadavpur University and he is given food and shelter.

The comic ends with the father appreciating his son and his friends for the act and asking him to stand by such people who are in distress and need help.

State Secretary of Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Srijan Bhattacharyya, said, "It is unfortunate that even during this crisis people are engaged in racial slurs. We received so many complaints and thought that this comic is the best way to remind people that people from North East are our own brother and sisters and we should not differentiate them and call them Chinese."

“In this time pandemic, I would like to urge people stop discrimination based on race, faith, gender and creed. It is high time for all of us to stand together to combat this pandemic,” he said, while adding that this comic was already shared in all the social media platform for maximum reach to the people.

Recently, the Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) Jadavpur University Local Committee have released another comic with the message to stay away from unscientific approach like drinking cow urine and consulting a occultist to deal with the virus and suggested people consult doctor in case anyone develops coronavirus symptoms.


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