Campus community holds vigil in honor of student Tarishi Jain, other victims of the Bangladesh terror attack

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Jihoon Park/Staff

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The flags of America, Bangladesh and India stood tall on the steps of Sproul Plaza as a memorial vigil took place to commemorate campus sophomore and Indian citizen Tarishi Jain and other victims who lost their lives alongside her in the terror attacks that took place in Bangladesh on Friday.

A crowd of more than 100 people, from students who knew her personally to individuals who came to offer their support, gathered from noon to 1:00 p.m. to hear speeches honoring Jain. The memorial vigil consisted of  speakers from the International Students Association at Berkeley, Institute for South Asia Studies, Indian consulate in San Francisco and others.  

Jain, 18, was in Dhaka completing an e-commerce growth internship with Eastern Bank Limited organized through UC Berkeley’s Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies. She began her internship in early June.

“In Dhaka just a few days ago, we lost 20 people in a way that I can only describe as senseless,” said Mackenzie Monroe, a close friend of Jain. “One of the people we lost was my friend.”

Jain was having dinner with two of her other friends, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, students from Emory University, when the gunmen attacked. Twenty hostages and two police officers were killed as gunned militants stormed and took control of Holey Artisan Bakery cafe, a popular restaurant in Dhaka, for nearly 11 hours.

Many present at the memorial vigil expressed their shock and pain felt at the news of her death.

“I think it’s just really shocking to hear about everything that happened, especially to someone that was my age,” said campus sophomore Krupa Modi, who was present at the vigil and shared mutual friends with Jain.

The vigil, hosted by the ASUC with assistance from UC Berkeley, was “to be a place where folks who knew Tarishi and all facets of her life could congregate together and reflect as one,” said ASUC President Will Morrow.

Asif Khan, a campus alumni born in Dhaka, and Tina Jabeen, a Bay Area Bangladeshi community leader, noted their shock and disbelief at the current state of their home country, Bangladesh.

“I don’t know how my country became like this,” said Khan. “Until something happens to your close ones, you don’t really feel the magnitude of the disaster.”

Jain had a significant impact on the campus community, touching the lives of many of her friends. She was a dedicated member of ISAB and EthiCAL, a group that creates clothing for those in poverty to enable them to start their own businesses.

“She was the first person I truly connected with at this school,” said Anisha Chemmachel, a campus student and close friend of Jain. “She created a space for me to feel comfortable, she was so good at that — making people truly feel that what they had to say was heard and important.”

Contact Roann Pao at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @roann_pao.

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  • Dan Spitzer

    The following bears repeating after the memorial to honor a truly remarkable Cal Student. One must in the honor of Tarishi Jain, a truly remarkable young woman, not merely mourn her. It is also imperative to be aware of the root cause of an unspeakable violence which terminated a life filled with promise so precipitously and therefore to do all that is necessary to keep such monstrous acts from being repeated.

    Which is to say that this is tragic nearly beyond words. And like the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Israel, the Syrian civil strife, etc., this slaughter of innocents is beyond repugnant. It reflects a cancer–a cancer festering in an ideology called Islam which condemns to death all non-believers of specific Koranic interpretations. And because of this festering malignancy, thousands of decent Muslims too are regularly paying with their lives.

    And what will be the response of those who claim to speak for our fellow Islamic citizens? Will it be on the local level the likes of Professor Hate’m Bazian, SJP, MSA, and influential imams who will cry crocodile tears asking us to condemn Islamophobia while they fail to criticize the source of this savagery, found in the passages of the Koran and given full reign by those who think themselves to be the arbiters of what Allah believes to be right on the planet?

    I mourn for the young Berkeley student struck down in her youth just as I do for the 13 year old American Israeli girl who was stabbed to death simply because she was a Jew. Until Bazian and his co-religionists start taking responsibility for this assault on those who differ and finally call this mayhem what it is, “Islamofascism,” there will be no end to these unspeakable acts…

    • Arafat

      To put Tarisha Jain’s life in historical context let us remember the other 70 million Hindus killed by Muslims during the millennial long jihad against southern Asia. All of the lost life tragic and all of it due to Islamic jihad and terrorism and all of it due to Islamic caliphate building.

      Today this Muslim terrorism continues. Yesterday Muslim terrorism devastated Sudan, today it is devastating places like Biafra, Nigeria, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere.

      Islamic caliphate building is core to Islam and Tarisha’s tragic early death is a direct result of core Islamic tenets. This is something this article – like all DC articles – ignores.

    • Arafat

      To put Tarisha Jain’s life in historical context let us remember the other 70 million Hindus killed by Muslims during the millennial long jihad against southern Asia. All of the lost life tragic and all of it due to Islamic jihad and terrorism and all of it due to Islamic caliphate building.

      Today this Muslim terrorism continues. Yesterday Muslim terrorism devastated Sudan, today it is devastating places like Biafra, Nigeria, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere.

      Islamic caliphate building is core to Islam and Tarisha’s tragic early death is a direct result of core Islamic tenets. This is something this article – like all DC articles – ignores.

  • Arafat

    Not one mention of her death being at the hands of Muslim terrorists. Why is that? Is it no longer acceptable to report the truth if it dare involves Islam?