Maharaja’s Campus Hooliganism: A Shocking Reality Revealed

Exploring the Dark Side of Student Life in Kerala's Universities

Kochi: In the wake of the brutal death of Siddharth, a student at Pookode Veterinary University, Kerala, is grappling with revelations of rampant hooliganism on campuses dominated by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI). Social media has been abuzz with discussions surrounding the issue as more disturbing accounts surface.

Startling Disclosures by Prathap Joseph

Previously, film director Prathap Joseph claimed he was threatened with having his hair cut when he went to study at Maharaja’s College, an SFI stronghold. Ashiq Abu, a renowned director who was a campus leader, later admitted to being unaware of the incident.

Now, Prathap Joseph has made another startling revelation. In a Facebook post, he exposed a “thunder room” in Maharaja’s hostel and the practice of “moral policing” on campus. Joseph writes that it was a common tactic employed by the SFI to bring in showpeople caught around the ladies’ hostel, sex workers, and transgender individuals who entered the college grounds at night for sex. These individuals would then be taken to the hostel and brutally beaten until dawn. Many drew parallels between these accounts and the tragic incident at Pookode Veterinary College, suggesting that it was another facet of the same “moral policing.”

The full text of Director Prathap Joseph’s post is as follows:

Maharajas Days

“Iplol will give you an approximate picture of Maharajas College Hostel during the period 99-2001. It would be a grave injustice to the times if we did not do at least that much. The emotional maturity to write personal things is still to be acquired. It could be sometime later.

The “Thunder Room” Revelation

“Most likely, a junior student’s hostel life starts from this room—a room lined with everything from walking sticks to bicycle chains. No one will stay in that room, and it will be locked. People will have many stories to tell about that thunder room, and start your hostel life by listening to those stories.

“Whenever there is a conflict within the city limits, people will come to this room. Each of them will go out with whatever weapons they can get. I have seen this sight many times while staying in the hostel. The details of the events can be understood by reading the next day’s newspaper. Most of them stay in hostels. It can be alums, their friends, or anyone who has wandered in from somewhere. There will be people to take away food from the mess. Only the mess bill of those who pay fees will be double or triple.

Moral protection

Another critical art program was moral preservation. The victims are either showpeople who are caught from around the ladies’ hostel, sex workers who enter the Maharaja’s college grounds at night for sex, or anyone from the transgender community. If caught, they will be taken to the hostel and interrogated. Then it’s thunderous, running down the corridor until dawn. I sat and cried all night, listening to the screams. But they never dared even to take a peek or stop. During the two years of his life, he has witnessed at least ten people being beaten like this through sound. Most of the time, it’s early in the morning when the people who hit it are in a daze and running away somewhere.

Now, to those expressing moral outrage over witnessing students of Pookode College, you have never been through such a situation. This is the state of the culture-rich Maharaja’s College 25 years ago. Two years ago, a movie titled Bakitannavar from Maharajas College Hostel came to IFFK. I felt thrilled when I saw it. Apart from that, even once in the last 25 years, I have not felt the need to look back at the college hostel where I lived for two years.

I don’t think this situation is unique to any campus. The party needs goons. They need to be protected somewhere at cost. The safest places for it are campuses or college hostels. These are special spaces outside all legal systems.

In the aftermath of Joseph’s post, social media has been engaged in a heated discussion. Many are pointing out that the “moral policing promoted by the SFI is the same phenomenon that tragically claimed Siddharth’s life.

Public Outcry and Parallel Drawings

As more disturbing accounts of campus violence and moral policing come to light, director Prathap Joseph’s revelations about the “thunder room” and alleged assault of individuals deemed morally objectionable have sent shockwaves through Kerala’s academic community. His personal experiences at Maharaja’s College, along with Siddharth’s tragic death at Pookode Veterinary University, have reignited discussions about the role of student groups and campus safety.

The allegations that the SFI used hostels as safe havens for goons and engaged in extrajudicial acts of violence have raised serious concerns about holding these groups accountable. As public outrage grows, calls for immediate action and reforms are increasing. Educational institutions should be places of learning and growth, not breeding grounds for violence, intimidation, and moral policing. Ensuring student safety must be the top priority.

Emphasis on Transparency and Oversight

These revelations also highlight the urgent need for greater transparency and oversight within student organizations. While the right to assemble and express political views is essential in a democracy, it cannot be used as an excuse to perpetrate violence or infringe on others’ rights.

As the investigation into Siddharth’s death continues, authorities must remain vigilant and impartial, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice. Any attempt to cover up or downplay allegations would only erode public trust in institutions upholding the rule of law.

Fostering a Safe Learning Environment

Moving forward requires fostering an environment of open dialogue, accountability, and zero tolerance for campus violence. Educational institutions must work with student groups, law enforcement, and the community to address these issues and implement robust measures to ensure all students’ safety, regardless of affiliations or beliefs.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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