Lately across the country, in the absence of a notable opposition decisions of the establishment, students have taken it upon themselves to stand up to the authoritarian policies. Lately, the spur of student movements in the JNU, DU, University of Hyderabad and other campuses has also spiked up the enthusiasm in other Universities where student politics have been suspended for long for the revival of Student Politics and the demand of Student Union elections. On Thursday, students of Jamia Milia Islamia University staged a protest march and submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad demanding the restoration of the Student Union and demand of elections.
Eleven years back, the University had suspended the Student Union on the account of student leaders interfering with the administrative process of the University in 2006. The Union was disbanded after a scuffle broke out between the union president and the proctor over the former having a say in the allotment of hostel seats, which the university was not willing to agree to. Later in the year 2011, Hameed Ur Rahman, a student approached Delhi High Court for the matter. Najeeb Jung, who was the VC during that period told the court that the environment was not conducive for polls.
Recently the students have formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) with members from various students bodies’ including the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti, All India Students’ Association and Jamia Students’ Forum to raise the demand for a Union. Speaking to a major national daily, students of the JAC said that they would “resort to democratic means of protest” in case the varsity does not meet the deadline of announcing a date for the polls.
However, the administration on receiving the memorandum said that the university had no objections to the formation of a students’ union but it could not give the go-ahead as the matter was sub judice. Talat Ahmad, the vice chancellor of the University who is known to be personally in favour of having a student’s union said, “When the matter is in court, I cannot take decisions that would end up in contempt of court.”
The University which has a rich past of student activism during the freedom movement remains an environment devoid of a students’ voice today.
Interestingly, Jamia has a strong union of teachers and non-teaching staff.
Image Credits: jamiajournal.com