As no response seems forthcoming from the varsity administration, the second day of the indefinite sit-in continues at Arts Faculty – demanding reopening of the campus.
The 9th of November marked the second day of the indefinite sit-in at Arts Faculty by students and activists of the University of Delhi to protest the reopening of campus spaces and end the digital divide being perpetrated by the online mode of education. In light of no response from the end of the University officials with regard to their demands and concerns, the protest is likely to continue – till their concerns are met with an official response.
The protest also comes in light of the promise of the Vice-Chancellor to take a decision on the re-opening of campus spaces following the Diwali festivities – a front from where there has as yet been no response. Abhigyaan, a member of All India Students Association (AISA) said, “The administration had promised to take action following our hunger strike and we had said that if action is not taken we will continue with our protest till our demands are met. This lack of response, dialogue and violation of promises is saddening and frustration for the entire student community at large. Students have their hopes and aspirations set on this movement and the complete disregard for the same is a shame for a public university like DU.”
The site of the protest was visited by Professor Shamsul Islam, who voicing his solidarity with the movement and criticised the decision of the varsity to name colleges after nationalist figures like Savarkar – pointing out the the fallacy of the betrayal meted out by the RSS in the Indian freedom struggle. He said, “To name institutions after these hatemongers and rioteers is an utmost disrespect to the nature of public education”.
The protest also voiced support for the recent hunger strike conducted by PhD scholar Deepa Mohanan against rampant casteism in University spaces along with observing the second death anniversary of Fatima Latheef – who was in 2019 murdered due to institutional Islamophobia that is so rampant in university spaces. The second day also saw a public meeting protesting against the violence perpetrated by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) associated goons on the 8th of October on students returning from a protest – resulting in the grievous injury of three students as well.
“This movement is becoming a conscious instrument to give shape of what public education really means – with solidarity being extended to figures like Aishwarya Reddy and Fatima Lathef who have been subjects of institutional violence and to figures like Deepa Mohanan who are committed to fighting demons of casteism in our University”, added Abhigyaan.
Image Credits: Nikhil Kumar for DU Beat