Students Show of Love in the Time of Hate
AISA strongly condemns the show-cause notice issued to the students of Calicut Law College for organising a “Hug of Love” event in their college on 10 December 2014. The very next day, twelve students received show-cause notices from the college administration. Left activists including those from AISA received the notice along with common students. The show-cause notice says:
“Your act of indiscipline has attracted unwanted media attention which was telecasted throughout the world creating negative image and tarnishing the reputation of the institution.
The college views your action as an act of gross indiscipline affecting the reputation of the college.”
AISA stands in solidarity with all the students who have received such notices and demands that the college administration unconditionally revoke these notices. AISA salutes the Calicut Law College student community for organising an event like the “Hug of Love” which asserts students’ and people’s rights over the spaces that they inhabit daily. This event strikes at the heart of the state’s and right-wing groups’ desire for moral policing and it is this that has rattled the college administration.
Any college/university’s first principle is the presence of critical thought and freedom of expression, and the college/university administration is beholden to safeguard that freedom. By issuing such a show-cause notice, the Calicut Law College administration has violated the first principle on which any institute of higher education is founded. It has further proved itself to be an unthinking agent of the status-quoist and right-wing forces in the state, when it considers students hugging each other an act of indiscipline.
At a time when the self-appointed guardians of morality have been busy spreading “hate” through divisive speeches and campaigns like “love-jihad” targeting different communities, the students’ of Calicut Law College have undertaken this initiative to ensure that we remember love, the most unifying of human emotions. In denying the expression of such basic human emotions, the college administration only manifests its own regressive views about human relations and feelings. The college administration’s move to brand a peaceful protest by students’ as ‘indiscipline’ will only work to strengthen those forces who are attempting to curb citizens’ freedom through moral policing and hate-speeches.