The agitation against fee hike at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) reached Delhi University (DU) when progressive student fronts performed protest demonstration and effigy burning at North Campus.
The movement against arbitrary fee hike in JNU has garnered support from educational institutions all across the country. After the inhumane brutality of police forces won, the JNU students protesting became national news, many organisations and bodies joined hands to bestow their support. Most recent in line are the progressive student bodies of Delhi University who conducted a protest march in North Campus on Wednesday which followed effigy burning of Delhi Police, Home Minister Amit Shah and Baba Ramdev, who made spurious comments regarding Periyar, Birsa Munda, Savitribai Phule, and B.R Ambedkar yesterday.
All India Students’ Association (AISA), All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), Pinjra Tod, Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and other progressive collectives of DU organised this protest demonstration at Art Faculty from where the protesters circled a part of north campus. Chanting slogans of “Azadi” and “Halla Bol” along with placards condemning Delhi Police and Government Forces, the protesters walked past Campus Law Centre, Law Faculty and came back to Art Faculty where effigies of the were burnt.
“For the last one month, JNU students have been protesting for 999 percent fee hike and the introduction of a new hostel manual which is a step to push people from a deprived background, women, Dalits away from the University,” said Ankur Agraj, a second-year Law student at Campus Law Centre.
On the question of ABVP demanding the formation of a joint struggle committee for fee hike issue the AISA supporter said, “After all, ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) is also a student organization. Their supporters will also be affected by this hike. But the ABVP wing of JNU has displayed a pro VC (Vice Chancellor) stand from the very beginning. It’s important for them to understand that it’s not about Left or Right. The institution comes before your ideology.”
Neel Madhav, a final year Journalism student said, “The time has come to burn all the educational institutions of this country. Because, the government has finally proved that knowledge, merit, academics, and art hold no value in this country. They have made it so evident that family of a king will hold kinship and a poor will rot as a poor coming from marginalized background will remain poor for whole of his life.”
The support came from teachers as well. Laxman Yadav, Professor at Zakir Hussain College addressed the protester after effigy burning. He raised questions about the whereabouts of Najib, who went missing from JNU last year. “Democracy is being assassinated in Kashmir and PM says everything is fine. The way Kashmir is being throttled, education will also be chocked to death,” he expressed.
Narrating a story on why it is important to fight against administrative cruelty, Laxman said, “When there was fire in a forest, the bird tried to control it. On asking why is she doing this when it is obvious that she won’t be able to extinguish it, the bird said that she knows that, but when the history of this forest will be written, they will tell that this bird at least tried to stop the fire.”
For more than 80,000 students in Delhi University, only 4,000 hostels are afforded. The movement at Jawaharlal Nehru University has raised a critical question for the lack of hostel facilities and high fee structure here at Delhi University.
Image Credits: Noihrit Gogoi for DU Beat