The events of 19th September and subsequent days left the Jamia community shocked, aggrieved and fearful. In particular the manner and the suspicious circumstances in which young boys, many of them students of Jamia Millia Islamia, were picked up by the special Cell, and pronounced “dreaded terrorists” by a trial by an utterly sensationalist and prejudiced media, created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
We as teachers felt that we could not afford to isolate ourselves in intellectual ivory towers. There was an urgent need to reach out to the community, which lives at our doorstep, and where a large number of teachers, administrative staff and our students reside. Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group was thus formed under these circumstances. The need for a civil society campaign on this was further underscored when various contradictions in the police theories emerged.
Through a number of initiatives, including a Jan Sunwai in Batla House area, march to Parliament to demand police probe into the ‘encounter’. A demonstration against Special Cell, and public discussions on the role of the media, Supreme Court guidelines on encounter killings, etc., we believe we have managed to create a wedge, however small, in the prevailing discourse—a discourse that questions the nationalism and patriotism of people who ask uncomfortable questions. We believe that true foundation of a democracy can only be justice. Anyone with an interest in deepening and strengthening Indian democracy should raise voice against this brazen witch-hunt in the name of fighting terror.
In July 2009, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group was registered as an ‘association’ and formally became Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association.
Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) stands committed to the upholding of democratic and human rights, to the safeguard of justice, condemns terrorism of all kinds, including State terror, and shall oppose authoritarianism.