This report aims to highlight the recent resignation of over 40 members, including office bearers, District Committee members, and general members of the All India Student’s Association (AISA), affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. It is important to note that the resignation letter was posted on the Instagram account of AISA Bangalore Resignation, while subsequent information was sourced from DU Beat’s conversation with the resigned comrades.

On February 15, 2024, over 40 members, including office bearers, District Committee members, and general members of the All India Student’s Association (AISA), Karnataka affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, announced their resignation. This announcement was made through an Instagram post and on an official resignation website they created. The resignation letter claimed problematic practices such as rampant misogyny, transphobia, patriarchy, glorification of hyperactivity, anti-intellectual attitude of the leadership, and trivialization of mental health, among many others. These issues were described as being perpetuated under the guise of progressive, proletarian ideology, which the mass organisation purported to embody.

The resignation letter also claimed that their approach to combating fascism in India neglects alternative strategies and prioritises electoral alliances over genuine resistance efforts. It was argued that the parliamentary opportunism, combined with the control exerted by AISA National and the Party over local units, stifles the political will and independent initiatives of young cadres, leaving them feeling disheartened and lacking confidence in their own abilities.

In an interview with DU Beat, Atika, Ex-member, AISA Bangalore; A, Ex-Joint Secretary, AISA Bangalore (CPI (ML) Liberation Party Member); and S, Ex-District Committee member, AISA Bangalore (CPI (ML) Liberation Party Member), discussed issues of abandonment, trivialization of mental health, and transphobia, among many other issues brought to notice.

Speaking to DU Beat, S highlighted the toxic culture within AISA Bangalore that devalues personal struggles and dismisses mental health issues. He shared that while a mental health resolution along with a gender resolution was passed in the first district conference of AISA Bangalore, despite that, no meaningful actions have been taken to address the issue.

The first edition of Spark Magazine had an issue written on mental health by me, but no actual structural change took place in the organisation, perpetuating a dismissive attitude towards mental health concerns.

Moreover, many members of AISA Bangalore have faced challenges balancing their revolutionary activism with personal responsibilities such as education, work, and mental health. Instead of recognising these challenges, the constrained structure within AISA trivialises and simply dismisses them.

Highlighting the cisheteronormativity and how neurodivergent issues were not taken seriously in AISA. A shared,

During a party cell meeting where issues related to transphobia were addressed and comrades apologised to me for questioning my queer identity, misgendering resumed as soon as they learned it was my birthday. After the meeting ended, they intentionally called me out and said, “Oh, it’s ‘his’ birthday.” Additionally, despite the positive reception of the Gender Line Forum by everyone, the leadership labelled it “Khak Panchayat.”

Such patriarchal, misogynistic, and cisheteronormative practices within the organisation, leading to a lack of inclusivity and representation for marginalised cadres, including women and trans people, worsened the state of an already endangered democratic platform. Highlighting how patriarchal attitudes were upheld within AISA Bangalore, S said,

The union members projected workers as having ‘issues’ working with women cadres.

Grievances raised by female members were dismissed, and attempts to address sequel harassment were met with slander and intimidation. In conversation with DU Beat, one such incident was revealed where the grievance was taken to AISA GSCASH, an institution convened by AISA, for ensuring gender equality. But a chain of events, ranging from slandering and isolation from all sides to receiving an unsolicited intimate image with no accountability from leadership, led the cadre to ultimately leave AISA. S added,

The leadership was heavily criticised for their inability to take adequate action, but they brushed the need to address structural changes by pointing fingers at the committee and appointed a new one instead.

Furthermore, a bureaucratic system characterised by a top-down approach exists, hindering organisational democracy, grassroots empowerment, and the ability to effectively address the needs and concerns of all members. S said,

There was bureaucratic functioning, wherein executives would simply delegate work to cadres, and disagreements, opinions, and criticisms would all be kept at bay.

This led to a lack of transparency, accountability, and democratic functioning within the organisation, with members feeling disempowered and disconnected from the decision-making processes. S also expressed the guilt stemming from such undermined effectiveness and legitimacy, stating,

While we were a part of this organisation, we were also leading others to an organisation that was not going anywhere, giving us a sense of guilt.” The executives’ meetings led nowhere, and the organisational structure was greatly constrained, with no accountability and shrinking spaces for democracy. The organisation seemed more concerned with projecting itself as a local party in leadership, prioritising national vision over the principles of what the organisation originally represents.


Abandonment of Cadres-1

During an interview with DU Beat, Atika expressed feeling abandoned by the leaders amid an incident she encountered while studying at Jain University. This incident involved her being asked to distribute Spark magazine on Jain’s campus and at another university, where she lost her phone. Concerned, her parents reached out to the authorities to locate her. However, instead of receiving assistance, she was slut-shamed, verbally abused, and intimidated by members of the management, including her Head of Department (HOD) and some faculty members.

Despite reaching out to senior members and leaders for guidance on how to handle the situation (considering the fact that I was new to the organisation and unaccustomed to such a hostile political environment), I received no support. I tried seeking guidance from senior members and leaders within the organisation on how to navigate through the targeted harassment, facing the HOD, and other concerns, but I found myself utterly abandoned. Faced with constant threats and intimidation, I had to drop out and restart my degree elsewhere. Given my financial constraints, the situation became even more challenging.

Abandonment of Cadres-2

S continued to elaborate, sharing another instance of facing similar abandonment in another issue, where last year, some members of the Christ University unit of AISA took a stand against strict attendance policies and money-laundering practices by the university.

We created posters to highlight issues and student demands, placing them in nearby student-populated areas like hostels and eateries, avoiding the campus. Later, we were summoned by the police, citing CCTV footage showing us and four others posting the posters. Despite seeking clarification with AISA leaders, the police harassment continued, leading to anxiety within the unit. Eventually, the university took action; I was detained and had to abandon my degree, despite being in the final year, while my comrade was barred from exams.

When asked about how the AISA leadership handled this incident, S continued and replied that initially, a few members of the leadership did accompany them to the police station and attempted to mediate, but, following the university’s punitive actions against them, the leadership’s presence became almost non-existent.

When my father reached out to a leader seeking legal assistance to address the matter, none was provided. Despite the leader being an experienced lawyer himself, he distanced himself from the situation by claiming that nobody in the organisation had expertise in educational law.

Furthermore, he noted that after several weeks of deliberations, a District Committee (DC) meeting was convened. Subsequently, a joint meeting was held where various proposals, including protests, legal action, and others, were discussed.

It’s crucial to note that throughout this period, the leaders failed to inform the rest of the members, and even the majority of the District Committee members were unaware of the incidents that had been unfolding. Despite us being willing to accept the potential risks of legally challenging the detention, we were discouraged from pursuing this avenue.

The leadership agreed to these proposals, expressing readiness to take action; no tangible steps were taken afterward. Given all of these circumstances, along with the educational pressures I was facing, I made the decision to step down from the district committee.

Political Façade or Genuine Commitment?

When questioned about whether the claimed ideologies are genuinely upheld within the organisation, S emphasised how some of the joining cadres were truly committed to fighting against the issues.

It’s notable that the cadres who join are the ones truly committed to fighting against the issues. They demonstrate sincere efforts and hold positive aspirations to address these concerns in their own capacities. However, the series of events highlighted a clear neglect of queer and women’s issues, alongside other concerns mentioned within the organization. Some individuals have worked tirelessly to uphold democratic and progressive ideals.

On remarking about the leadership’s inconsistency and failure to address important matters, S shared that while they understand no organization is perfect, their departure was preceded by a long chain of progressive efforts undertaken and meaningful initiatives before they decided to part ways with the organization. S expressed that while these issues remain prevalent in society at large, it was their deep-rooted presence within the organization, accompanied by the leadership’s inability to take action and recognize the issues, that acted as a trigger and intensified their long-felt feelings of dissatisfaction and dejection with the organization.

We understand that every organisation faces challenges, and it’s natural to encounter such issues. However, before any action can be taken to address them, acknowledgment is crucial. The first step is acknowledging that these issues exist. The leadership’s inconsistency in addressing these matters and failure to promote collective decision-making have been evident.

When asked about how things have been post-resignation, especially with the matter being discussed on social media, A replied, “There are cheap slanders and memes being circulated post our resignation.

Expanding on this, S continued, expressing concern over false claims suggesting that they hadn’t contributed anything to the organisation.

This is nonsensical considering the significant designations we held. How could we have reached such positions if we hadn’t actively worked for the organization? Moreover, the president resigned alongside us. If we supposedly didn’t work, how did we attain positions like that? All of this happening clearly hints at a lack of accountability and denialism on their behalf.

S also added that out of 4 college campus units, 3 have resigned, leaving the organisation half as strong. Addressing these concerns requires open dialogue, active listening, and a commitment to collective action.

DU Beat also attempted to contact members of AISA Karnataka for their perspective on the concerns raised by exiting comrades, but has not received any response as of yet.

Read Also: ABVP and Left Front Clash Ahead of JNUSU 2024 Elections

Featured Image Credits: AISA Karnataka X Account (previously twitter) 

DU Beat


On Friday, February 9, 2024, ABVP members and left-wing student groups, including AISA, SFI, and DSF, got into a clash during the University General Body Meeting (UGBM). Videos of the clashes show both groups engaging in sloganeering and clashing at night. Both sides have claimed that their students have been injured and targeted by the other party. Videos of the incident show ABVP members obstructing the meeting by encroaching upon the dias and getting into a confrontation with the council members. The SFI has alleged that JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh has been attacked by ABVP members with water thrown at her. ABVP JNU has also alleged that Vikas Patel, the ABVP-JNU secretary, disabled student Divyaprakash, and other supporters of ABVP have been targeted by the United Left groups.

The JNUSU stated that they had earlier on the day established the necessary quorum, but the ABVP argues that the rule for quorum of one-tenth of the university strength was defied. ABVP alleged in a comment,

Disparaging casteist slurs were made against a worker handling a mic and speaker. We had agreed to initiate the UGBM even without the mic, but it wasn’t agreeable to the communists who silence others with loud noises of dafli.

They further claimed that:

The dafli, made from hard steel, was used by the anti-Democratic left to batter JNU students in order to stop UGBM.

The incident lies ahead of the JNUSU elections, which will take place after four years in the month of March. Currently, the office-bearers elected in 2019 are holding the office as agreed upon in an earlier UGBM held in September 2023. Anagha Pradeep, a JNU Councillor, has called out the administration and ABVP for together supporting the agenda that the JNUSU is illegal since, according to them, it is not a recognised body. The JNU administration had halted the elections in lieu of the pandemic and stated that they would follow the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and must wait for PhD admissions to be completed. Representatives of all fronts had staged protests demanding a free and fair election for the Student Union at the earliest. The students had pointed out that if elections in other universities like DU have been running in parallel, then perhaps the administration is purposely dodging the election question. The JNUSU and the administration have been at loggerheads with each other since last year. Aishe Ghosh commented,

Recently, in interviews given to several media outlets, the JNU vice chancellor claimed that JNUSU elections cannot be held until the entire admission process, including that of Ph.D. admissions, has not been completed. These are patent lies and tactics at dilly-dallying, as the same vice chancellor and administration refused to hold elections in April 2023 even after the completion of the entire admission process.

She also added,

It is a deliberate strategy of the JNU Administration to curb the growth of the students’ social and political consciousness, which leads to the growth of the students as critical citizens capable of asking tough questions to those in power. The RSS-controlled administration, hell-bent on turning the campus into the breeding ground of the saffronization of education, is perennially afraid of students who are aware of and capable of seeing through their agenda.

On Febrary 10th, the ABVP staged a march owing to the incident and demanded “free and fair elections.” In response, the Left Front has also formed a human chain “of solidarity and resilience against the ABVP.” Aishe Ghosh has also raised the slogan, “Reject hooliganism!”

Read Also: “Allowed At Designated Places”- JNU Bans Protests Within 100m Of Any Academic Building; Violators May Face Rs. 20k Fine Or Expulsion

Featured Image Source: Shiksha

Sarah Nautiyal
[email protected]

With an overwhelming abundance of saffron flags and Jai Shree Ram chants across the North Campus of Delhi University, students have their opinions divided over the future of sanctity of educational spaces.

22nd of January, 2024 saw the North Campus of Delhi University wrapped in saffron. Saffron flags, streamers, sashes, ‘tilaks’ adorned every corner of the campus. Imprinted on them were the signs of ABVP, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student-wing of RSS, along with images of Lord Ram and slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Diyas spelled out as ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and a giant poster of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ marked the entrance to the Arts Faculty of Delhi University. Bhajan Mandali, LED-screens live screening the Ayodhya ceremony, community kitchens as well as a miniature structure of the Ram Mandir was established within the campus to emulate the celebrations at Ayodhya.

The Pran Pratistha Ceremony at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, Ayodhya was a truly historic moment, one that generations have waited for. We have been fortunate to witness it live with our eyes. The students of Delhi University, like the rest of the nation, were beyond themselves with joy on this occasion. The constant slogans of Jai Shree Ram during the screening held at North Campus, the hawans in various colleges, all tell us how emotional the student fraternity was about the event. Lakhs of diyas were lit across the North and South Campus, and the off-campus colleges, and the turnout for the same was completely spontaneous, especially that for more than 2.5 lakh diyas being lit at the North Campus, Chhatra Marg and the law faculty with students turning up in large numbers for them.

-Ashish Singh, State Executive Member of ABVP.

While the celebrations continued, the student community within Delhi University is divided on the connotations behind this saffron wave. Contrarily, the Faculty of Law saw the Tiranga wave on 23rd January.

“The students of the Faculty of Law conducted an event emphasising the ideas in our Preamble as well as the Indian Constitution. The event was in contrast to the politicisation of the Ram Mandir celebration by ABVP with communal slogans of ‘Kaashi Mathura Abhi Baaki Hai’ and writing ‘Hindu Rashtra’ with diyas. Like our nation, our campus is also a diverse space with students from different backgrounds enriching it and the Law Faculty event highlighted that the flag of no other ‘sangathan’ is above our Tiranga at the end of the day.”

-Hitesh Kumar, state executive member of SFI.

The three-day event conducted at the Faculty of Law since the 23rd of January saw preamble readings, marches, speeches by advocates emphasising the ideals engrained within the Preamble of the Constitution.

However, as ABVP flags overwhelmed both the campuses of Delhi University on the 22nd of January, the absence of alternate student parties’ inclusion in the celebration was alarming. Like the nation, the lack of opposition at a national event like the Ayodhya celebration led to a political showdown of saffron and ‘Jai Shree Ram’. In response to claims why the Faculty of Law event was not conducted on 22nd itself, a member of SFI says that:

We did not want to interrupt the ABVP event as the sentiments of general students would have been hurt. Anything beyond the Pran Pratistha event would have been marked as an act against a particular religion, which we are not. The Faculty of Law event was not a reactionary one. It’s the need of the time that we should remember and embrace the secular, democratic, socialist ideas enshrined in our constitution.

“We have all witnessed the saffronisation of buildings, universities and streets just before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and we have taken up a nationwide campaign, ‘Modi Sarkar Ke Dus Saal’ to gauge the real issues concerning the nation like unemployment and we conducted preamble readings across DU campuses at a prime time when the constitution of India is under blatant attack and the campus is being communalized.”

-Anjali, AISA DU Secretary.

While several perspectives crop up with respect to the University embracing ‘religious symbols’ on the 22nd of January, several questions remain to be answered by the student fraternity. Should university grounds be open to embracing religious connotations? Has religion become a politicised tool in the campus and the country today? Where do we draw the line between religion and culture today?

Public-funded educational spaces must not have such blatant display of religious ceremonies. If you take a walk around Arts Faculty, Ram Mandir and bhagwa flags take over the Indian flag and this can occur only if the administration is involved along with DUSU, which is dominated by ABVP. We have requested the Dean of Arts Faculty to take down the saffron flags at our campus to let our campus be a secular space.

-Aditi, SFI DU Convenor.

With the introduction of the National Educational Policy, subtle saffronisation of public education had taken it’s roots with Hindu Studies being introduced as a major, removal of Islamic thinkers from undergraduate syllabus as well as introducing subjects like Fit India, Horoscope Reading as skill-enhancement courses. However, the Pran Pratistha Ceremony of 22nd of January, let loose the gradually boiling saffronisation and unveiled it in the open.

Cultural ceremonies pertaining to the feats of Lord Ram, Bhajan Mandalis concerning Lord Ram and slogans of ‘Ram Mandir se Ram Rajya Tak’ were heard across North Campus with hundreds of devotees gathered round. While streaks of saffron crawled through our education space previously, 22nd of January marked a saffron-tsunami for DU. And the most alarming part lay in the lack of alternative voices within the campus. This brings along another important question, is our campus still a safe-space to provide alternate views? Or will only the way of the saffron community exist from now on?

While the Hindutva debate rages on, right-wing parties often claim the salience of being a Hindu as a geographical identity, much beyond the boundaries of religion and culture. Hindutva is seen as a force of unity, a reason of national pride.

Opposing the claims of ‘communalism’ propagated by ‘Hindu Rashtra’ written using Diyas within North Campus, a state-executive member of ABVP notes that:

In our understanding, Hindu Rashtra is not a symbol of communalism, it is a geographical concept. Even if this particular word was written, there is nothing wrong in it. It is the origin of various names our country is known by like India and Hindustan.

Another perspective that must be noted in the Ram Mandir celebration was the mass number of students who turned up. Colleges across DU noticed tides of students turning up to embrace the celebration, in various ethnic attires and saffron sashes, which depicts where the sentiments of the student fraternity are mostly inclined today.

While debates rage on if the Ayodhya celebration was used as a mass-politicised tool, the association of Ram Janmabhoomi with saffron-right wing flags rather than national flags paints an all together different picture. Ram Mandir celebrations have been localized only for right-believers, as the ABVP symbol conjugated with ‘Jai Shree Ram’ flags suggests. To what extent must religion go hand in hand with politics? To what extent must religion be allowed to enter secular educational spaces?

While controversies and discussions run around in this heated political climate, we need to gauge some important answers, is the Ram Mandir celebration a symbol of United India or of Hindutva Dominance? While the national as well as campus community remains divided upon the answer, Naya Bharat aka Naya DU is rapidly reshaping itself as per majority sentiments!

Read Also: Saffronisation of Cultural Expression

Featured Image Credits: Ankita Baidya For DU Beat

Priyanka Mukherjee

[email protected]

DU politics can be seldom described as “Chacha Vidhayak hain humare,” but no one is interested in addressing the people they are about to serve, or at least promise to serve.

Try describing Delhi University (DU), and you will realise that politics is inseparable from it. When we turn the pages of history, we see DU emerge as a political hub that we never knew existed. These pages of history stand as proof that the protest culture, which is still so ingrained in DU students, emerges from a time where all that mattered was the notion of freedom, and to live and breathe independently. However, in 2023, all of this can be described as “bigoted irony.”

And as we take a sip of tea, here we are, days away from experiencing the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, which are back after a hiatus of three years. While all the organisations are busy preparing for it, however nobody is actually dwelling on the reason behind these elections.

Being one of the greatest democracies in the world, “democratic politics” plays an instrumental role in shaping our nation. While mainstream politics may be at the core of this country, DUSU breathes at the core of this mainstream alignment. If we try to draw parallels between the two, the story may turn out to be much more similar than what we comprehend. The result of both political scenarios is the same: the common man and the common students are the ones who suffer.

Political campaigns and rallies are an important part of the “election culture,” but in a varsity that is as dynamic as DU, it becomes quintessential to address the solutions to the problems that are eroding its structure. When men climbed the walls of Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) and Miranda House, or when a ceiling fan fell on a student of Lakshmibai College, the contesting student organisations did voice the students’ concerns, but only a few did, and those few completely took away the focus from the students to themselves.

Arguments may be presented that when any political outfit addresses a problem, it may get politicised, but when the parties and organisations clearly act in a way that adds to their advantage, I think we lose the main reason for even having elections and choosing the candidate that should have “represented students.”

So, when everyone around is so focused on the elections and the candidates, the question about the students is completely neglected. DU’s political atmosphere includes everything except for the concerns of the students. With or without the elections, most of the students of the varsity feel that it does not matter who comes to power, as they will be neglected either way.

Vijeyta Panjwani, a student of Miranda House, expressed that while organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) pick up on student concerns, others like the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) or Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) tends to be missing in action. However, the entire matter often gets politicised, and the focus shifts away from the core problem and the students.

The ones who stood up for Students

When things did not go as planned at IPCW’s annual fest Shruti 2023, a few student organisations did take up the issue and protested for it. The students at the college went through a traumatic experience. When asked about the entire thing, they do recognise the efforts that were put in by the political outfits, but at the same time, they felt that soon the matter became something that was only concerned with the politics and not what the men did with the students of the college or how some students were locked up or were asked to leave their own college while outsiders were still in.

However, the contesting candidates have a different tale to tell. While the students may feel neglected, according to these candidates, that might not be accurate, and as one of them expressed, “We are humans too. We can’t take up each and every problem, but try to take up as many as possible,” for which I can give them a little credit. Nevertheless, when we take a look at the broader picture, not everything meets the eye.

Aditi Tyagi, a SFI state committee member who is contesting for the general secretary’s position, explained that each issue that emerges in the campus space is political. According to her, the organisations work as a bridge to get the media focused on student issues, and in the process, it might look like that issue has been politicised. She believes that without these outfits, student issues might never come up. Aditya, a member of AISA who is contesting for the secretary’s position, on the other hand, said, “Issues did not get politicised earlier. Now they get as a result of the idea to dominate each issue under the current organisation that is in power.”

One side of the politics is all up to take up the student concerns, and though it comes at the cost of politization, the other side dictates a tale that is no less than blatant hypocrisy.

Will they Stand with the Students?

One does not have to dig into the past to see what went wrong when we take a look at organisations like ABVP and NSUI. The campus space has been engulfed with sloganeering, pamphlet throwing, and, of course, the endless SUVs and huge banners, and “coincidentally,” they all belong to just two of the outfits: ABVP and NSUI.

NSUI is a name that does not resonate with a lot of students on campus since, according to the latter, they were nowhere to be seen over the months. However, the organisation has claimed that they have always stood up for the students, especially women-centric issues, though they could not point out any specific incident other than the gruesome act that took place in Manipur. The question about the students of DU still hangs dry for them.

Hitesh Gulia, a NSUI member who is contesting for the president’s position, has a vision to resolve the issues of fee hikes and women’s safety and wants to start a global youth festival. When asked about their absence in comparison to other organisations, Gulia pointed out that they are the first ones who pick up any issue that arises in the campus, but he could not particularly pin-point anything concrete except for the OBE protest, which happened earlier last year.

If we take a look at the campaigning of the ABVP, firecrackers were burned in Shayam Lal College and Deshbandhu College, fights broke out in Ram Lal Anand College, Ramunujan College’s gate was broken, and male candidates broke into Miranda House; this may not be too appealing to earn the votes of the students. However, the organisation claims to function in the most democratic way and has assured that they were always and would be with the students, though they have also claimed with sheer confidence that no matter what, they would again come back to power.

While other organisations did express their “concerns” about how the ones in power do not resonate with students, intimidate them, and do not look like one of them, the ones in power stood by their seemingly “strong moral grounds.” Speaking with Ankita Biswas, who is a part of ABVP but whose nomination did not get clearance, she stated that the organisation works for the students around the year, irrespective of the fact that the students may feel otherwise.

When asked about the recent incident in Miranda House where ABVP members scaled up the gates, including herself, she explained, “Our supporters get enthusiastic, and in that moment, they might do such things. As for Miranda House, the administration made us stand out for over 1.5 hours and did not allow us to carry out our campaign, which is a part of this democratic process.” Ashish Kumar Singh, another ABVP member, further explained that, as per the directions of the organisation, they are allowed to take just three cars for three candidates in colleges for campaigning. When asked about it, Biswas remarked, “What is wrong with it?” Well, it is safe to say that ABVP’s supporters are a little too zealous, which “might have” caused a little too much trouble for the common students.

No matter which ideology an organisation is inclined towards, all of them have one thing in common, and that is their assertion that they are with the students and they will be with the students, irrespective of these elections. Students have, however, lost their confidence in this democratic practice, and as for me, I still had a few questions left, but all I got from the karyakarta (s) was, “Muddhe muddhe pe depend karta hai, ab mai kya hi karu?

Read Also: Under the Shadow of DUSU Elections: A Stage for Sexual Harassment and Caste-based Politics

Featured Image Credits: Ankita Baidya for DU Beat

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]


The arrival of DUSU campaigning has heightened the tension in the University campus. Several reports of misconduct and threats have surfaced on the internet, posing a risk to the safety of regular students and residents.

On Saturday, September 16th, the AISA (All India Students’ Association) stated ‘outsiders’ had been spotted within the university campus and that a student had also been attacked. Aman Rawat, an activist for AISA, was allegedly confused for another candidate, Aditya Singh, and was abducted, threatened, and physically assaulted by some strangers, according to a video clip the organisation uploaded on social media.

Aman, an AISA activist and a law student, was approaching the traffic circle near Daulat Ram and Ramjas College when he was confronted by a group of unknown people. Aman can be seen in the video discussing the incident and mentioning how he was threatened, saying, ‘They recognized me as an ASIA Activist and started beating me, they warned me that AISA activists should stop campaigning or else they will face the same thing.’ He further said that those who attacked him realized they had confused him for Aditya Singh, the candidate for secretary from AISA. However, they continued to assault him.

He was brought to a Black SUV car that was covered in ABVP posters, and that’s how we found out who is behind this because we can’t identify these outsiders who are doing campaigning for ABVP in the campus.” – Anjali, AISA DU secretary.

Anjali adds that this is not the first time their student activists have faced threats. “Numerous incidences involving intimidation of students at various colleges have taken place, particularly of female candidates who receive texts even on Instagram.

Additionally, she emphasizes one of AISA’s key goals, which is to protect the gender minority and particularly prevent trespassing and harassment events that frequently happen at females’ institutions like IPCW and Miranda. One of their demands in this regard is for a gender sensitization community against sexual harassment. The student organization calls for a campus free from danger and fear.

While the organization has filed an official complaint in the nearby police station, they are dissatisfied with how the administration and police refuse to take the appropriate actions.

This incident is not the only one; a third-year student was seen in another social media video with what appeared to be a gun during campaigning at Kirrori Mal College. According to a statement made by the student group, neither the college security nor the police took any legal action against the offender.

According to The Indian Express, the principal of the institution, Dinesh Khattar, stated that the gun-like device was a lighter and was in the possession of the proctorial board. Additionally, he assured that the students will face harsh punishment.

AISA, however, asserts that the student is an ABVP member. Aiyesha Khan, the AISA candidate for president, states in a video released on their Instagram account that there has been an upsurge in these kind of incidents across the university’s campus and in the surrounding areas.

The campus has been hijacked by outsiders, and there have been cases of assault and intimidation since the beginning of the DUSU elections. While preaching about free and fair elections, the University and Delhi police refuse to take proper action.” – Ayeisha Khan in the Instagram video clip posted by AISA.

There are alleged violations of the election rules and outside involvement, according to numerous student groups. Several acts of violence were reported during the elections in 2019 as well. The student groups argue that the ABVP maintains musclemen to threaten their activists. On the other hand, the ABVP has denied these accusations.

The campus stays crowded and tense as the election approaches, with roads covered in pamphlets and candidates passing in convoys. With the increase in these instances, there is growing concern about student safety, particularly for female students, and the security of women-only spaces.

In all, many groups demand quick and strong action against such mistreatment and violence in the university, as well as an election free of muscle and money.


Read Also – https://dubeat.com/2023/09/09/under-the-shadow-of-dusu-elections-a-stage-for-sexual-harassment-and-caste-based-politics/

Additional Source – https://www.newsclick.in/delhi-university-student-activist-explains-why-dusu-election-matters

Image Credits – Google Images

Priya Agrawal

While the University Officials work on finalizing the dates, student leaders have started preparing for their election campaigns.

The student elections at Delhi University are scheduled to take place in September. The Delhi University Students Union is the representative body that stands for the majority of colleges and faculties’  students. Aside from this, elections are also  held each year for the students union at every college. The Delhi University Students Union is elected directly by the university’s and its member colleges’  students. Every year, the elections are typically held in August or September. Occurring every four years, it was last held in 2019, and was halted as a result of the Corona virus pandemic and its effects on the academic calendar.

Officials from the university stated earlier in July that election preparations will begin as soon as the university finished the admissions process for the upcoming session. Although the date has not yet been confirmed, DU registrar Vikas Gupta stated that it would be announced shortly and that one may anticipate it to happen in the final week of September.

Vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh, who will oversee the election process, named office bearers and members for the central council of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) for the academic year 2023–2024, according to a University announcement dated August 1. The VC also appointed college principals and heads of institutions to serve as office holders and council members in their respective colleges. The chief election officer, Professor Chandra Shekhar, has stated that the employing of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be done during the entire election process, which is expected to last between 10 and 12 days. In 2019, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gained three seats, while the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) gained one. Akshat Dahiya of the ABVP served as President, Pradeep Tanwar as Vice President, Ashish Lamba as Secretary, and Shivangi Karwal as Joint Secretary for the 2019–20 term.

Elections will be held for all four of these positions once again this year. All around the University, especially in the North Campus, preparations are being made for the same. While student leaders are planning, students are actively responding. The current president of the ABVP, Akshat Dahiya, states that they are getting ready to nominate their student leaders and will also begin disseminating information about the election procedure for students. Additionally, other organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) are prepared to start their election campaigns. The previous president of SFI says that they will focus on issues that are specific to students, such as accommodation and other problems that students have on a daily basis, whereas ABVP will centre their election campaign on the four-year undergraduate programme, FYUP. In the meantime, the elections for the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) have been set for September 27. The election calendar states that teacher nominations must be submitted by September 1. At the north campus of DU, the Arts Building complex and Satyakam Bhawan will serve as the locations for the voting.

On August 12, a number of teachers’ organizations, including the Democratic Teachers’ Front, merged to form the Democratic United Teachers’ Alliance. Among them were the Democratic Teachers’ Front, the Academic for Action and Development Teachers Association, and the Indian National Teachers’ Congress, which is a branch of the Congress. They declared Aditya Narayan Misra as a potential candidate for the position of DUTA president.

The University of Delhi student elections are unique and prominent, adding to the capital’s already politically charged climate. These elections hold value for the future of the University and also reflect student sentiments.

Read Also : https://dubeat.com/2023/07/12/dusu-launches-one-day-dusu-presidents-scheme/
Image Credits : Telegraph India

Priya Agrawal

Student activists of the All India Students’ Association (AISA), a student organisation affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, alleged that they were detained when the Prime Minister visited the University on Friday. In an exclusive conversation with AISA Delhi President Abhigyan, DU Beat discovered how the events transpired on June 30.

On June 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Delhi University as the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony of the University’s centenary celebrations. As celebrations were in full swing, a few kilometres away, Abhigyan and Anjali, student activists of the All India Students Association (AISA), were allegedly detained inside their homes without any warrant or notice.

At around 8 a.m. on the day of the ceremony, AISA Delhi University President Abhigyan Gandhi was reportedly running a few errands when he received word that 5–6 police personnel were looking for him in Vijay Nagar. By 9.30, they had arrived at his locality and demanded that he either go with them to the Model Town Police Station or be placed under house arrest and have his movements monitored for the next four to five hours. Anjali Sharma, the AISA DU Secretary, was also placed under house arrest. Reportedly, the police warned them that they were in a “circle of suspicion” and were under surveillance in order to stop any “protests or dissents from violating the discipline within the University.”

Citing the PM’s visit as a reason, I and AISA DU Secretary Anjali have been held in detention in our flat and are not allowed to go on campus.

– Abhigyan, AISA Delhi President

Abhigyan asserted that the police were present in their flat from 9:30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., during the entirety of PM Modi’s presence at the University for the closing ceremony. He claimed that when the police placed him under house arrest, neither a warrant nor an order were displayed. Following the 4-hour detention, a letter bearing the signatures of AISA functionaries was sent to the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Delhi (SDM) questioning the “illegal detention” of the student activists and stating that it was “a breach of personal space”. However, the Model Town Police Station house officer, Lalit Kumar, reportedly denied all allegations made by the activists.

AISA Secretary's Twitter Account

AISA Secretary's Twitter Account
In contrast to the denial of allegations, AISA activists shared photos showing the police seated in their hallway.
(Image Credits: Twitter account of Anjali, Secretary of AISA DU (@anjali1_27))

In conversation with DU Beat, the student activists revealed the entire situation through their lenses.

On being informed of the PM’s visit to the University, AISA DU had put up ‘Modi is coming to our campus!’ posters on the walls of North Campus, demanding accountability on behalf of the students. These posters posed relevant questions to the PM regarding the consistent fee hike, the rise in the unemployment rate to 8.1%, and the deletion of the chapters on Ambedkar and Gandhi from the curriculum. Allegedly, these posters were stripped off by the administration and members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) soon enough.

Primarily, I feel that the Prime Minister should have taken questions. Instead of having a crowd which claps when the teacher directs them to or instead of turning the campus into a cantonment ; he should have had a genuine engagement with the students. What ‘safety’ of the Prime Minister is being threatened and by whom?

– Abhigyan, AISA Delhi President

AISA put up posters across the University asking PM Modi certain questions.
AISA put up posters across the University asking PM Modi certain questions.
(Image Credits: AISA DU on Instagram (@aisa_du))

He also discussed the “FYUP KA REPORT CARD” campaign that AISA had launched in response to students’ disapproval regarding the implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 as well as the recruitment and ad-hoc crises that have repeatedly rocked the University.

We were trying to convey how the students should have their say in the policymaking on education. Yet, this is something the PM does not seem interested in. What he does seem interested in is ignoring the real questions of students, teachers and stakeholders. It is unfortunate how many respectable teachers have been lost by the University because of the hijacking of the appointment scheme by RSS and BJP.

As students across the University continue to express dissent over the hurried implementation of NEP, considering it a failure, the AISA Delhi President discussed the concerns and burdens of the policy for freshers and how the student organisation is actively trying to reclaim democratic discussion spaces within the University.

The way the students of DU are suffering right now, the way they are making their assignments, the way they are forced to study courses like Fit India and Swachh Bharat, is something that should concern all of us. Every student should feel the anger that the Prime Minister can come, simply ignore us by detaining those raising their voices, and leave without addressing anything pertinent. We are finding ways to bring back the democratic culture of dissent and debate within the University.

Highlighting the disturbing behaviour of Delhi Police in educational spaces, he further questioned the entire culture and definition of what a university stands for.

The way the Government, the administration and the Delhi Police is acting in our universities like DU, JNU and Jamia is highly terrifying. For the last 3 years, they have turned Jamia into a cantonment- any form of student movement or student gathering has become impossible. Detaining people without a notice or a warrant, by simply stating that you are in a list of people under a ‘circle of suspicion’- what does this signify?

In conversation with DU Beat, Anjali, Secretary of AISA DU, described how their detention came as a sudden shock.

The entire thing was very surprising to us. We are also students of the University and to be treated as criminals while being accused of potentially causing ruckus and being told that the PM is “unsafe” by our mere presence was highly shocking. The questions we raised through the postering across the University were a basis for them to house arrest us. On one hand they are painting a picture that is rosy and perfect, but it is clearly covering up the work that was going on behind this- attendance equivalent to 5 classes, no black clothes, and a strict code of conduct by colleges. Be it Kamla Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar or Vijay Nagar, police were heavily stationed at all these places to protect the PM from the students- the students he was supposedly coming to meet. 

They further talked about the “dual behaviour” being displayed by the University and the administration.

It was scary how they had our exact flat numbers. Comrades who called us before the arrival of the police told us how the officers were roaming in Vijay Nagar with our Facebook profiles, questioning students about us and our whereabouts. Within 5 minutes, they were at our doors. The larger question here is if we will be deprived of our spaces within the University only because of our political affiliation or just because we disagree?’

-Anjali, Secretary of AISA DU

As students across different colleges witnessed the Prime Minister on livestream, an online protest staged by the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) and joined by AISA and other student organisations, displaying placards with #GoBackModi, was witnessed. Miranda House professor and Secretary of the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), Abha Dev Habib, stated that the incident involving the AISA students was “highly regrettable”. 

AISA #GoBackModi Campaign
Students shared photos asking questions to the Prime Minister in regard to the ad-hoc crisis, cut down in fellowships and the ongoing violence in Manipur.
(Image Credits: AISA DU on Instagram (@aisa_du))

Featured Image Credits: Outlook India

Read also: ABVP Stages Protest at Aryabhatta College

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

 Several student organizations and students of Delhi University have come out to express solidarity with the ongoing wrestlers’ protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Many of the protesting students have been detained by Delhi Police.

On May 3, 2023, members of student organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA), the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), and other students of Delhi University staged a protest in front of the Arts Faculty, demanding the arrest of WFI President and BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment and intimidation. The rally, “Students for Wrestlers,” was organised in support of the ongoing wrestler’s sit-in, and wrestler Bajrang Punia had been invited to address students.

30 protestors were detained later by Delhi Police, who said that prior permission had not been given for the protest.

“They were asked to disperse from there and maintain the peace and tranquillity in the area. When they did not leave, they were peacefully removed from there and around 30 of them have been detained.” – Sagar Singh Kalsi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP North)

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI), in its press release, alleged police brutality against the protesting students.

“Before the students could even gather at Arts Faculty, before they could even start sloganeering – the police came with heavy deployment and started to brutally detain students. The guards of Delhi University administration were particularly brutal.”

– read SFI’s press release

In its press release, the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation Delhi (AIDSO) also claimed manhandling and called for an All India Solidarity Day on May 4th, 2023, demanding the expulsion of WFI Chief from the federation.

Top Indian wrestlers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia have been staging a sit-in since April 23rd, 2023, at Jantar Mantar, accusing Federation officers of financial impropriety and mental harassment. They have also called for criminal action against WFI President Singh for the alleged sexual harassment of several female athletes.

“Students of DU went on a march in support of the protesting female wrestlers. The harasser is roaming free but instead of arresting him, the police is catching those who are coming out in support of the wrestlers. The agitating female wrestlers condemn this.”

– Sakshi Malik, Indian wrestler and Olympic bronze medalist commented in a tweet in Hindi

Read also: Student Protesters at Arts Faculty Brutally Detained by Delhi Police

Featured Image Credits: @sfidelhi on Instagram

Bhavya Nayak
[email protected]


The absorption of temporary teachers initiated last year has been heavily scrutinised for being unjust and highly opaque, post the death of a DU professor who, after years of service at Hindu College, was told to vacate his position. This has sparked several protests and questioned the credibility of the recruitment process.

The suicide of a 33-year-old former Delhi University ad-hoc professor, Dr. Samarveer Singh, has sparked student and teacher-led protests throughout campuses. The deemed “institutional murder” of the professor hailing from Barna, a small district in Rajasthan, has led many to question the level of transparency and fairness in the system of inducting permanent faculty into central universities. Professors view this as an assault on their right to employment and dignity, while students have expressed great concerns and discontentment at the loss of a talented pedagogue and the unjust removal of plenty of other immensely competent academicians.

Professor Singh died on April 26, allegedly by suicide. His body was found hanging in his room in a rented apartment in outer Delhi’s Rani Bagh. As per police reports, empty liquor bottles and cigarette packets were found in the room. No suicide note was found. He was staying put in the accommodation with two of his cousins.

“The top floor of his house has two rooms. One of the rooms was locked. First, the mesh of the iron door was cut, and then the wooden door was broken. We took him to MV Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.” – Harendra Singh, Deputy Comissioner of Police (DCP)

Dr Samarveer, who had been working as an ad-hoc faculty member in the philosophy department for the past six years at Hindu College, was one of the many professors who were being displaced after the interview rounds for the recruitment of permanent faculty at Delhi University that started in September 2022. Despite having done his master’s from Hindu College itself, completing an M.Phil. degree, being enrolled in DU for a PhD, and having had the experience of teaching at Hindu College for the last few years, Professor Samarveer was mercilessly, in an utterly unjust manner, told to vacate his office merely on the basis of a highly opaque, unfair interview.

“It is very unfortunate and upsetting, and we are all shocked. Across colleges, the recruitment process is currently underway, and selection committees are holding interviews. Even though he had been associated for quite some time, he could not be regularised. The displacement happened in the first week of February, and he was asked to look for other opportunities. However, we had adjusted him for some time, but after that, it was not possible”.- Prof. Anju Srivastava, Principal Hindu College

The professor’s family and colleagues have spoken about his helplessness and distress. After being displaced in February, he was called back to Hindu College. Owing to his love for his college, Dr Samarveer decided to give up the position of a guest lecturer at another college, but no more than twenty days after resuming work, he was told to leave once again. Creating an insecurity this intense, constantly keeping professors in the dark, and treating the pedagogues of our nation this mercilessly exhibits the diminishing respect of academicians in the education sector. Such circumstances are grave enough to create an environment conducive to the development of feelings of constant self-doubt and helplessness, which is probably what led to the unfortunate loss of Dr Samarveer. Losing out on employment in an institution to which one has devoted so many years can be disarming for anyone.

“Sir was let go in February. It came as a huge shock for all of us, considering he wasn’t even a guest lecturer and had been teaching at the college for years. Then, after being called back, he was told to leave again. April 11th was his last working day, and April 17th was the last day I saw him. He was replaced by teachers far less competent, teachers who don’t even come from a philosophy background. All thanks to the highly problematic recruitment system. I regret not being able to spend as much time with him; I wish I would have.”- Keshavi Sethi, a student from Hindu College in conversation with DU Beat

Recent events have shown how there is a greater normalisation of recruiting mass ad-hoc teachers, paying them meagre salaries, conveniently displacing them, and brazenly prioritising those with political affiliations. Under such circumstances, where does a teacher hailing from humble grounds without “appropriate” connections stand? This is a slap in the face to the legacy of exemplary pedagogy that Delhi University has long been known for. Be it the attempts to revise the syllabus, politicise the learning spaces, rob students of valuable pedagogues, or displace them with political puppets, the University’s increasingly corrupt systems are failing everyone. Several professors from various organisations like Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), All India Students’ Association (AISA) have expressed their concerns on these perils.

“It is a fact that a sizable number of long-serving ad-hoc teachers, who otherwise fill all the criteria and have worked very hard for their institutions, have been displaced in the recent interviews. With permanent appointments being made through a so-called “open” recruitment process which has seen massive displacement, there expectedly looms in many ad-hoc teachers a sense of betrayal as they have been rendered without a livelihood after having taught in colleges/departments and contributing to the University for years. They have been falsely promised that they will be retained and regularized in open interviews, which of course has remained a hoax. In majority of these interviews, it has been felt that merit and past experience do not count, and that it is rather non-merit factors like nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, adherence, liaising, influencing and obeisance that are at play.” – Prof. Maya John, faculty at Jesus and Mary College and member of DU’s Academic Council, in a Facebook post

A deplorable state of affairs can be witnessed in the statistics presented in the Parliament by the Union Education Ministry. Of the total number of teachers employed in central universities, 3904 were in temporary positions; of these, 1820 were on a contractual basis and 1931 were guest faculty, with over 6500 permanent positions yet to be filled. 2,252 seats of these were for unreserved categories, while the rest were for OBCs, STs, and SCs. Dr Samarveer himself was eligible for application to a permanent job through the reserved category but was still denied a job.

“Academia is not as attractive a profession as it was earlier. It takes years to gain expertise, the necessary qualifications in one domain to be able to get a decent-paying job in the teaching sector. It is disheartening to see how the maltreatment of teachers is leading to a degradation in the quality of pedagogues owing to a lesser number of people opting into the profession. The career of all teachers is in a perpetual crisis. Under such conditions why would one want to become a teacher?” Dr Abha Dev Habib, a professor in Miranda Hourse, in conversation with DU Beat.

She continues,

“For as long as 10 years there were no appointments to permanent positions, with a greater number of ad-hoc and guest lecturers being appointed. 2017 was the year DUTA raised demands for absorption of temporary teachers. The deterrence to appoint permanent teachers stemmed from the larger conspiracy to weaken teachers unions which speak up against injustice. 2022 onwards, after great pressure the government finally opened up to the prospect of appointing permanent teachers. A huge number of teachers were awaiting their due. Injustice has been done to so many who have served their institutions for years. Services were taken from people, and were dishonored. There is a systematic rigging in the system which prioritises spouses, friends of office bearers over merit. Loss of a breed of exemplary teachers can cause an irreversible damage to the education system of our nation.”

Following the unfortunate demise of Dr Samarveer, several student and teacher unions have taken to the streets and college campuses to protest against the unjust system. The DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) held a protest on Thursday, followed by a condolence meeting. AISA (All India Student’s Association) has held protests against “brutal injustice to teachers.” Student groups like SFI (Students Federation of India) at Hindu College organised a condolence meet on April 27, the same day the college was celebrating its annual fest, Mecca, in full swing. Many students have also expressed their concern and frustration over the lack of acknowledgement and action on behalf of the college administration, the University, and even the student body.

“From diligently taking his classes to giving us an off whenever it got too hectic for us, Sir was a gem of a person. It’s sad to see that the college administration didn’t even bother to acknowledge the loss of such a brilliant mind while celebrating it’s annual fest. The ad-hoc issue is no longer costing professors their jobs, it’s costing them their lives, their dreams and their souls.”- Himasweeta, final-year student at Hindu College

Among the ongoing protests was the Joint Press Conference dated May 2, held at the Press Club of India. Students and teachers of DU met the press regarding the ‘orchestrated conspiracies’ of favouritism in recruitments against the backdrop of Dr Samarveer’s suicide. Teachers from CTF (Common Teachers Forum), Democratic Teachers Front, Delhi Teachers Initiative, and Samajwadi Shikshak Manchak participated in the conference. Representatives from DU’s academic council and DUTA were also present. The institutionalisation of NEP was severely scrutinised, with increasing privatisation, commercialization of education, contractual hiring, and an orchestrated attempt to weaken and demobilise the teachers union forming the core of the conversations. The speakers included Nandita Narain (President of DTF, former member of DUTA), Ratan Lal (senior activist from Hindu College), Udaibir Singh (member of the academic council), Aftab Alam (Zakir Hussain College), Maya John (academic council member and JMC professor), and Uma Raag (from IP College).

During the conference, Rusham and Keshavi, former students of Dr Samarveer Singh, expressed their frustration with the current apathy of the university community. Puneet and Sama, Hansraj College students, spoke about how the best of the faculty was being replaced methodologically, with 50–60 teachers having lost their jobs in their college. The speakers also highlighted the silence of the DUTA leadership and its inability to stand against political cronyism. Discussions on the selection committee’s selective work on furthering the interests of the ruling majority were held. It was reported that some interviews did not last longer than 2 minutes and seldom included actual meaningful questions. There are instances of candidates being humiliated by the board. All speakers finally agreed upon the solution that all teachers be absorbed, keeping the reservation roster in mind. All the teachers who attended the press conference have sent a letter to the Vice Chancellor underlining these issues and demanding justice for Dr. Samarveer and all other ad hoc and guest faculty of the University.

Read also: DU Teachers Stage Protest for Absorption of Ad-Hoc Teachers

Featured Image Credits: Rediff.com

Rubani Sandhu
[email protected]

With the attention being drawn to the public protests, a lot is being said and done inside the IPCW campus. Following these protests on the 28th and 29th of March, the IPCW administration along with the members of the student body held a closed-door meeting in the IQAC room of the college. Read along as DU Beat investigates the contents of this meeting and the spat between the IPCW administration and its Student Body through the verbatim of one of their students.

On 28th March, Monday, IPCW college’s fest was invaded by unidentified men leading to chaos. On 29th March, Tuesday, IPCW college saw protests including students and members from the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students Association (AISA). These protests were met with heavy police deployment and detainment – something that was missing on the day students were clamouring to get away from the men harassing them.

On Friday, March 31, following the events on the 28th and 29th, and the brutal detainment of students by Delhi Police, the agitated students of Indraprastha College for Women raised the twin demands of a public apology and a resignation letter from the principal, Poonam Kumria.

Amidst these protests, a student of IPCW, who wishes to remain anonymous, told DU Beat all about the spat between the student body and the college administration. They said, “because it was a holiday, on the 30th, occasion of Ram Navami, there was a meeting in the IQAC room of the college with the committee comprising professors, the principal, and the student’s union.” Within the closed doors, the Principal claimed that it was no one’s fault. However, based on her alleged political affiliations and saffron strokes on the logos and decorations, along with inviting Navika Kumar for the inaugural ceremony, her position was questionable.

“After reviewing the CCTV footage, it seemed as if the mob had been planted.” According to the source, there were three signs: first, a particular man raised his camera before the stampede began, which implied he knew it was going to happen. Second, a day before the fest, on the 27th, there was a group of men from a political party who were not allowed to enter because they didn’t register, and their reply was “dekh lunga tumhe kal” (I will see to you tomorrow). Third, someone had done something to the camera because it blacked out. “There was a particular point where we wanted to see what had happened and someone had, I don’t know, hit the camera, and there was a major lapse because of it”, said the IPCW student.

“The moment you try to speak to her about what happened on the night, down on the morning of the 28th, she gets a little hyper-aggressive. And we didn’t want to do that to her. Because you understand we are a group of 19-20-year-old women sitting among you know, 40-50-year-old people.” The meeting continued, and after a while, the union along with the principal exited the room to issue a statement. 

Now the principal gave a statement that was very contradictory to what was discussed in the room. She was like, in spite of the stampede, it was the Student Union’s decision to go forward with the fest. Even on the day of the first protest, she said it was the student union’s mismanagement that the stampede occurred. In the meeting, when it was happening behind closed doors, she blamed it on the Delhi Police. And outside, because she knows people are recording it, she blamed it on the Student’s Union. She knows if she blames it on the Delhi Police outside, it will backfire on her.”

The principal claimed that she had written letters to the police, the ambulance, and the fire brigade to provide security. However, an IPS officer while answering the students amidst the protest, revealed that they had never received any such letters from the college demanding security. 

Authorities denied receiving letters from the college demanding security.

By evening, there was a lot of movement of the police, both inside and outside the campus since Section 144 was imposed right outside the campus. The principal refused to come out of the room because of all the sloganeering. Soon enough, “the principal comes out of the room with a force of about 40-50 police officers assuring her safety. There were water tankers and barricades outside to ensure her exit. Not a single police officer was present on the 28th, but for this single individual, there was such a big force.”

The students, around 500 to 800 in number, had now formed a human chain right outside the main gate to prevent the principal from exiting the premises and to hold her accountable for everything that had transpired over the past few days. Between the blame game, and the police helping the principal to escape, “another stampede occurred…the two girls right in front of me fell and got injured. Naturally, the police also fell. Now to clear the way, some of these officers knocked some of the girls in the rib with their elbows, and others kicked the girls to get them out of the way. The Delhi Police, just a while ago in the college had remarked, “You can be safe with us, we’ll protect you…”” revealed the source.

A human chain formed in an attempt to stop the principal from leaving.

The principal sanctioned a 10-day leave for the entire Student’s Union right after they demanded she release an official statement on the account of the student body pressuring the union. “The union asked her to do this and to this she replies- It’s okay, tum log underground chale jaao aur 10 din ka leave lelo (you people go underground and take a leave of 10 days), I’ll handle everything…We felt she was doing this because the moment we left for our homes, she could put the entire blame on the union” stated the IPCW student. “They kept saying kuch nahi hua hai kuch nahi hua (nothing has happened) to console us. It all happened at the gates of IP college, which is ALSO a part of it…how can they say kuch nahi hua hai?” 

Upon being asked to comment and elaborate on the saffron hues that one can find IPCW’s walls painted in, the student continued, “The walls are being painted by the MCD, they want to paint the history, flora, and fauna of IP on these walls. Inside the campus though, there are logos and everything that she (the principal) has saffronised, and I don’t know why has she done that. There was a logo-making competition a few months ago, and I remember no one submitted this particular logo that ended up being used. And when everything got into the news, she changed the logo back to the older one, and never even informed the Union to switch to the older logo taaki voh fass jaayein (so that they get trapped)…”

The issue is why are we being recorded all the time? Every time there is a protest, we are being recorded by the staff, and there are even drones present. She can spend on an entire drone when the stampede is going on or when she’s being rescued from the college, but she could not apply for security which is free of cost when it comes from Delhi Police. Why?”


AISA, SFI, etc… we don’t wanna be a part of all this. We want to be a part of it as IPCW students and protest that way. AISA becomes a part of everything. Going inside the campus is a bigger fight. Imagine principal ke aankhon ke saamne unke students jinko voh family bolti hain crush hue hain amidst the stampede (Imagine the students she calls family were crushed in front of her eyes in the stampede), and she didn’t even look back to see…”

With the IPCW administration still choosing to stay silent on the matter, this student elaborated furthermore, “The Administrative Officer, Mr. Dinesh Sundriyal. He laughed off everything. There was a stampede going on, and we could see him far off, the man who denied us security, he was standing there talking, making conversations, and laughing. (On Friday), we got very angry and when we tried calling him out, he just laughed it out again. I don’t know…men being entitled all the time, they don’t take us seriously.”

Students continue to fight to reclaim their safe spaces and seek accountability from the authorities.

Poonam Kumria, the principal of IPCW has essentially passed the entire blame on the Delhi police and the Student’s Union despite both entities claiming that they were never asked to provide security or take a decision regarding the continuity of the fest, respectively. What Delhi Police has been active in, is dragging peaceful protesters into buses, kicking away students and indulging in other acts of police brutality. Measures are being taken, but the direction remains unclear, and with accountability still not finding its place in the matter, IPCW students continue to fight the administration. 

Read Also: Delhi Police Detains Student Protestors at IPCW.

Image Credits: Anshika for DU Beat, @manya3gaur (Instagram Handle)