The elected students’ body of Delhi University, the Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) organized a protest march on Thursday, the 12th of November and called for a University Bandh on Friday, the 13th of November to protest against the unexpected hike in the examination fee, bus fare hike, metro fare hike and shutting down of the DUSU office in North Campus.
The student body, already two months into office, is yet to come out with a concrete agenda as to how they will fulfill their election promises. However, they have evidently already taken a stand on issues like the hike in examination fees and the metro and bus fare hike. As reported earlier, DUSU also protested against the DUSU office, on Chattra Marg in North Campus, being put under lock and key. The protest march therefore started from the DUSU office and moved on to Kranti Chowk, from where it progressed to Patel Chest Chowk, and finally, after passing through Mall road near Khalsa College went back to the DUSU office.
Manoj Chaudhary, the President of DUSU, in context of the examination fee hike said, “The University authorities should have discussed the matter of the fee hike with the students’ union before an implementing the revised fee structure. We need to protest against this commercialization of the university, as education is an investment in the national interest. We are students’ representatives, and we need to discuss the matters like these as they directly affect welfare of students of the University. The University has no right to undermine the Students’ Union.”
The DUSU also believes the hike in the fare of the public transport system of buses and the metro is uncalled for and hence staged the protest walk and called for a bandh. Incidentally the ABVP dominated DUSU panel called bandh coincided with the bandh called by the BJP against the hike in bus fares. As a result ABVP party workers also led a protest march from Deshbandhu College and ended in Nehru Place. During the course of this march, the party workers stopped buses, shouted slogans and burnt effigies of the Chief Minister. This disruption of the public transport system caused much annoyance to the various students travelling to and from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, as their fest, “Tarang” was underway. Says a student of the college on the condition of anonymity, “The DUSU claims that they work for the welfare of the students. I fail to understand how it’s achieving this by being a hindrance to something as essential as public transport. Instead of helping us, they are actually making things more difficult for us by creating such a ruckus.”