Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister for the Delhi government decided to cut government funding to 28 Delhi University colleges on Monday. Twelve of the aforementioned colleges are completely dependent on funds from the Delhi government. The decision was taken after the colleges failed to create a governing body which would regulate them and look into their finances. To protest against this, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad gathered near the Faculty of Arts today. ABVP students burnt a dummy representing Sisodia in order to express their outrage at his decision.
While Sisodia insists that he took this decision because of the delay in the creation of a governing body, ABVP claims that it is a threat to the reputation of the University and the well-being of its students. While speaking to DU Beat, DUSU President Amit Tanwar described this decision as a gamble with the future of students. He insists that ABVP would not back down from its demand that this decision be reversed. He also revealed that the organisation is willing to go to the residences of the Chief and Deputy Chief Ministers themselves if that means getting the students and colleges justice.
A considerable number of police officers were present at the location in order to maintain law and order and prevent the possibility of a violent outbreak. The National Democratic Teacher’s Federation (NDTF) also protested against the same decision at the Faculty of Arts. Slogans like “Manish Sisodia down down” could be seen on the placards being waived around. While opposition against this decision is strong, Sisodia insists that it was taken to prevent corruption and has even ordered a Comptroller and Auditor General audit into the 28 colleges for the same.
What remains to be seen is whether the Delhi government will soften its stance, and if it doesn’t, for how long will ABVP and NDFT protest against the issue? What happens to the 28 colleges and its students and how long will they be able to sustain themselves with the funds that they have?
Feature Image Credits: Kinjal Pandey for DU Beat