Hostel dwellers of Hindu College protested in front of the Principal’s office against the new stricter criteria of attendance and GPA to be maintained to retain hostel accommodation in the second and third year by residents.
Recently, the newly-elected Students’ Union of Hindu College, led the protest against the hostel administration, as allegedly the college administration was threatening them by making calls to their families, and disciplinary action in terms of electricity cuts was imposed on the students.
The Union claims this was a protest to demand their rights. It was also said that these stricter rules were just to discourage the students to avail hostel facilities. The students also believe that the increase in fees of hostel facilities is just to pave way for privatisation of hostel in the coming years.
Delhi University (DU) Hostel for outstation students, who cannot afford the expensive PG life that Delhi has to offer, works as a suitable alternative. However, one must question the relevance of this protest.
Two years ago, the College Hostel administration had decided that only those who get above 6.0 CGPA in the Arts stream and 6.5 in the Science stream and who have above 67 per cent attendance will be able to retain their hostel accommodation.
Last year the it had been increased from 6 to 6.5 for the Arts stream and from 6.5 to 7.0 for science stream and the attendance criteria had also been increased to 75 per cent.
Many students were affected by this criterion, as it was stricter and student weren’t made aware of this earlier. However, no immediate protest took place.
There are few arguments that show this protest as a political move than a liberal one.
A Hindu College student who lives in the boys’ hostel, under conditions of anonymity told DU Beat, “The protest is not for the rights of the students. As the students of this year were well aware of the new rules as mentioned in our undertaking. The GPA and attendance criteria were mentioned.”
The Statement of undertaking is a legal binding document that is made signed by each hostel dweller. It is done so to make the students accountable for the conditions they have agreed on to avail hostel facilities.
As all the students had signed the undertaking in their complete senses, without any use of force, their right to protest against the rules is invalid legally.
Other than this, what is more astounding is the fact that when these rules were first implemented a year back, no protest or resistance took place, neither by the hostel dwellers nor the student union. The sudden need for protest raises questions of the intention of the protest.
Whether the protest was necessary or not, one must not forget that the hostel facility is the only way many outstation students can afford to study in DU.
For the update on the protest that took place, another student in anonymity told DU Beat, “There was only one protest by the newly elected Students’ Union and the other inmates. It was just really a one-evening-thing, and was resolved (called off) when they finally discussed the issue with the Principal.”
Feature Image Credits: Yaksh Handa for DU beat