Mumbai: Students belonging to various Engineering colleges across the state has sat down on a protest, urging the shops providing chai (tea) and sutta (cigarette) to clear all their balances with those shops.
These protests appeared to have been inspired by the recent protests by farmers from several states asking for loan waiver from respective state governments. The assembly for the protest had been spontaneous. It first started from IIT Bombay and soon spread to Chota Mota engineering colleges across the state.
Sitting on a protest outside Sabrang Engineering college here in the city, a final year mechanical engineering student, on conditions of anonymity said, “We had spent most of our college life here in this chai shop. After spending our parents’ earning on tuition fee and on other lateral spendings like xerox shops. So, we could not get ourselves to pay our shop owner Bhai. He is also generous enough to keep on supplying us with hot tea and cigarettes for free while keeping balance across our names in his smartphone app.”
“But suddenly, these chaiwallahs are demanding more money from us. They claim that GST is going to come and they have to be liquid enough to survive it. One chaiwallah is forcing all chaiwallahs to strangle our breath chord! We can never allow this! We will not walk out of this protest without getting our balances cleared off by all tea shops across the state. ” Immediately, the crowd surrounding the protestor shouted, “Modi Hai hai! Jaitley hai hai! Chaiwallah Bhai Hai hai!”
Another protestor outside Excel Engineering College claimed that their protest will not get over until their chai-sutta balances are waived off.
“Big banks waive off loans of big industrialists. Small banks waive off loans of small farmers. But our tea shops which are our medium credits financing instrument, are not willing to waive off our balances. This year, our pockets are too dry. We are unable to pay back the money. So many seniors have left the college without paying a single paisa to these shops and they remained silent. One senior named Bijoy Bhulaiya ran off to Delhi with 96K balance, but these tea shops didn’t even touch him. This is crony chai-suttaism. We will protest against this,” he said.
Meanwhile, leader of Maharashtra Chai Bakery Commission (MCBC) has decided to starve the students of tea and cigarettes. “When we cut off the supplies, they come back to us like rats that come to cheese. That time, they will have to pay. I have asked all our member shops to stop providing them free chai-sutta.” His statement has further aggravated the swelling student movement.