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As Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) set the line of protest and pave the way to resistance and agitation, how morally appropriate is it to attend fests and celebrate?

University of Delhi (DU) has been synonymous with its celebrity-laden, pompous, over the top exuberant range of cultural fests. Freshers eagerly await for the fest season like the rest of us wait for the waiter to bring food to our table. Come even semester, all Students’ Unions gear up to seek sponsorships, chase celebrities, and promote, promote, promote! The hype, experiences, and enthusiasm surely shape a DU student’s course of study and social relationships.

However, the country has been in a problematic and controversial state since the past few months. Amidst members of our own student fraternity as AMU, JNU, and JMI set the line of protest and pave the way to resistance and agitation, how morally appropriate is it to attend fests and celebrate? DU has been at the forefront of political mobilisation, dissent and protest since time immemorial. Taunts of “degree protest mein kar rahe ho kya” (Are you pursuing your degree in protests?) remains a constant as we take to the streets.

Keeping in mind DU’s legacy and staying in solidarity with India’s depreciating democracy, several colleges have voiced their concerns over not organising a fest. Tarang, annual cultural fest of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) remained at the centre of a controversy as several General Body Meetings later, Tarang remains “deferred until further notice.” Prashansa, a member of the Students’ Union of LSR told DU Beat earlier that LSR must look beyond the factor of enjoyment and overlook their apathy, indifference and insensitivity. The Students’ Union of LSR released an official statement expressing “that they do not feel appropriate to have Tarang at this point given that it
revolves around a sense of enjoyment by having pro nights and food fests.”

Ullas, annual cultural fest of Kamala Nehru College too met with contention, voices clashed for and against the
celebrations, however, preparations for the same are in full flow. As proponents of those favouring the celebrations, the fests elevate to a platform to dissent. A platform to voice their opinions and criticise through the medium of art, culture, and music.

Gargi College’s Reverie 2020, witnessed a political art mural which was later asked to be removed by the principal claiming it to be “too political.” The mural which expressed solidarity with activists like Akhil Gogoi, and Chandrashekhar Azad, voiced the students’ stance on CAA. When authorities shun and open platforms curb the freedom of speech and expression, how morally correct is it to swing to the tunes, swipe at the tips and splurge on tastes?

However, keeping DU’s diversity and heterogeneity in mind, not all of them think alike. Avni Dhawan, a
student of Kamala Nehru College is of the opinion that there is no point in cancelling college fests. “There are
always going to be issues with the government and the country. There’s a reason for annual fests and it’s to give
students a break and make memories in college. There are a lot of ways to express your dissent and solidarity with those suffered, which involves actual help and involvement. Fests took place last year when we lost 40 soldiers in Pulwama attack, where did the “solidarity” go then? If you really want to do something good, don’t just cancel fests and sit with a pout face to show your “anger”, donate your fest funding to those in need and those who suffered from
political turmoils, otherwise, don’t come up with these publicity stunts.”
As colleges celebrated while the country was protesting, Nandini Sukhija, a student of Mumbai University encourages a small act of acknowledgement to be enough to show solidarity with a nationwide movement. “I personally do not mind the idea of fests going on at a time of political turmoil because it is almost impossible to choose a time when some form of injustice is not happening somewhere.”

The next time you lose yourself in the crowd at a fest, stop. Ponder. Introspect. Question. Where should DU draw a
line between festivities and politics?

Featured Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandani for DU Beat

Anandi Sen
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Kirori Mal College (KMC) administration stops concerned students from protesting on campus due to lack of administrative approval, allegedly said that such events will not be allowed to take place on campus.

After days of sustained communal violence in parts of Northeast Delhi, instigated by Hindutva goons and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders such as Kapil Mishra against the Muslim communities in the area, concerned students from KMC decided to hold a protest gathering in the canteen lawn at 12:40 PM on 26th February 2020. This protest was however not allowed to carry on. After initial sloganeering against the communal violence and calling for the arrest of Kapil Mishra, who had incited the violence, the protesters were confronted by Dr. Vibha Singh Chauhan, the Principal of Kirori Mal College.

The Principal ordered for the protest to be stopped citing lack of approval from the administration. She can be heard in a video recording dismissing one of the protesters who pointed out that the process for approval was not available and easy for common students, which she refuted saying that the process is available and these events should be held only with approval.

Lakshay Talwar, a third-year Political Science student who was part of the protest said that it was called to march around campus to collectivize people to show the gravity of the situation and to build some resources in the form of people willing to help. He says that when they were confronted by the Principal, the students tried to negotiate saying that they will conduct a silent march which was not allowed.

Talwar, along with two other protesters held a meeting with the Principal in her room. He describes the events as follows, “She initially is adamant about the fact that they need to take permission because if they don’t, other groups can see it as a means to instigate violence, which is absurd considering that it was a peace march. After which, when asked for permission to hold a peace march on the next day with prior intimation, the Principal denied them permission going back on her previous statement. The reasoning given by her was the safety of the students and avoiding violence.”

Lakshay said that they pointed out that collectivization in campus spaces is a means of safety as Kashmiri and Muslim students on campus already don’t feel safe, and that it is already the administration’s responsibility to make sure that violence does not occur. The Principal continued to deny the responsibility of the administration for the safety of the students. Lakshay stated that when they pointed out dissent is a democratic exercise, the Principal replied with, “If you think this is undemocratic, so be it but I am not granting you permission, you do it outside of college.” The problem with doing it outside of college is more dangerous to the student’s safety from right-wing groups, a responsibility which the Principal refused to take today.

DU Beat has reached out to the college for comments on the matter, to which there has been no reply. This report will be updated if they comment on this issue.

Featured Image Credits: Anonymous

DU Beat Correspondent

All of us, at some point, have had an opinion about a controversial issue but refrained to express that opinion. This may be due to a host of reasons, be it fear of backlash or societal pressure, but is it right to refrain? Read on to find an answer.

Spiral of silence, is a term extensively used to describe many political and social situations. This term defines the circumstances under which a person refrains from expressing their views on a certain topic, due to the fear of social backlash and societal pressure. This backlash leads to either a forced change of views or silence altogether.If we look around, one will find several instances of this practice take place pretty regularly.

Be it the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, or the Ayodhaya verdict, there was one thing common among all these, a large scale of dissent and assent. Both these factions were pretty rigid in their views and utterly disregarded the other side.

A student of Delhi University (DU), who does not wish to be named, says, “My dramsoc members were adamant to give the society’s official stand on CAA- NRC. When they asked me about my views on the same, I stated that I don’t want to express it, however, I condemn the violence during the protests. This led them to moral school me on the issue, even though they were pretty biased. How is this rational?” On the other hand, Pyare Shyam, a student of Hindu College, says, “Just a week before the elections, my parents wanted me to vote for BJP. But I just won’t. Hence, a series of taunts like “you don’t know anything about politics”, was shot at me.”

The moment we enter DU, one can see the restlessness of many students to find a political identity. In this dilemma, most of us, somehow, find such an identity and defend the same on all grounds, however fallacious we may be. In this process, we also, knowingly and unknowingly, shame others for having a different point of view.

Talking to students, I got to know about the effects of such a backlash. Students pointed out that this exclusion leads to major self-doubt and the adoption of silence as a defence mechanism. Some mentioned that whenever someone doesn’t agree with them, they just tell themselves that, “I know that I am right and that the person isn’t wise enough.” While others were adamant about the fact that, “People have forgotten to find a middle ground and understand that both the view points can be correct in a certain way. Everyone thinks that they are right about everything.”

According to some students, their friends have changed their views to get more social acceptance. “People who don’t even know everything about certain political and social issues, post various IG stories just to get social acceptance. It’s like people have forgotten to differentiate between hate and criticism”, says, Shinata Chauhan, a student of Maharaja Agrasen College.

Due to such extremes, neutrality gets lost and silence prevails. Trisha, a journalism student, says, “I don’t want to express my views anymore, as people won’t change themselves anyway and they are mature enough to understand issues themselves.”

Though the spiral of silence flourishes in the political sphere, it also blooms in common culture. Be it patriarchy, LGBTQ rights, sexism, casteism, etc., a wide generational gap makes the spiral go deeper and deeper.

Umaima, a student from Kamala Nehru College, comments, “I once told my mother that I don’t believe in God and the caste system. She was furious. And she had no facts to counter my arguments; in the end, she just told me that these are beliefs and you have to follow them.”

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” It is important for one to realise as individuals, and as students, that despite many external stimuli and agents affecting our decision-making and thinking-both politically and ideologically, we must invest our time and efforts to make balanced and well-informed opinions. Be it the internet or others’ personal experiences, there is only so much that you can adopt from these sources. Beyond this, the judgement of either remaining silent or vocalising one’s views, rests in the individual’s own hands.

Feature Image Credits: DevianArt

Aniket Singh Chauhan

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Motilal Nehru College(MLNC) witnessed a two-hour-long protest organised by the Student Union; many students blocked the college gate, making it difficult for vehicles to enter or exit. The protest was called off and many students went down to the Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) office to protest again.

It all began from MNLC’s Student Union’s desire to have a high budget fest this season. Before this year; the cultural society of MLNC(M), the student union of MLNC(M), and the student union of MLNC(E) used to have separate fests with separate names. This year, all of them collectively decided to have a single, high budget fest. There were many issues within the organising committee itself regarding the name of the fest, given all 3 used to have different names, but more problems awaited them owing to lack of cooperation from the administration.

As it goes at any other college’s fest, the organising committee worked day and night to gather sponsorship and finalise an artist to make their event bigger and better. The union had finally locked down Punjabi Singer “Karan Aujla” and even a pseudo-MoU had been signed. Whatsapp Groups of the students of MLNC saw this graphic being circulated.

IMG-20200219-WA0067

But shortly after, the administration office introduced several restrictions for this new fest, they demanded no other student apart from MLNC to be able to enter or attend the Star Night event. This caused a lot of backlash from the student community and only half an hour later, these two graphics were circulated amongst similar groups.

IMG-20200219-WA0060

Next Morning, many students participated in the protest organised by the Student’s Union. The Student’s Union highlighted many incidents of Corruption from the Administration office, giving examples of Letterheads and lack of Nescafe booths in the college premises, and demanded for the star night to be brought back with their demands and for the administration to cooperate regarding the signatures on the MoUs.

Screenshot_20200220-194306_WhatsApp

An English Professor from MLNC said, “There is always a gap between the understanding of the advisory committee of the Student’s Union and the people from the Student’s Union. If they claim for the Administration (office) to be corrupt, you cannot ignore the fact that they are somewhat corrupt too and this might be the reason that they joined student politics in the first place.”

According to the Union and the organising committee, the administration office has not been really helpful or supportive regarding the annual fest ever, and this year has been way worse compared to previous years and the efforts being put in the Student Union.
The sit-in protest at the college gate lasted for almost 2 hours, during which only selected vehicles could enter or exit the gates. This led to disruption in the day-to-day activities of the college and after a while, the protest had to be called off because of pressure by the Police officials and the administration.

Featured Image Credits: Anonymous

The SRCC Administration cancels North East Cell’s panel discussion on the grounds of misinformation and violence mere hours before the event.

On 23 January 2020, the North-East cell of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was going to conduct a panel discussion on “Why the North-East is Protesting,” where the cell wanted to create awareness about the ongoing protests in the North-East against Citizenship (Amendment) Act. However, after concerns of violence, the administration canceled the event a mere few hours before.

The speakers invited were academic scholars and journalists, among which two were faculties of the University itself. Apparently, the administration convened an emergency meeting and without any prior information to the organisers of the Program and the Heads of the Cell, called off the Program.

The statement released by the North-East Cell says, “The event scheduled to take place today, organised by the North-East cell SRCC stands cancelled by the administration.  In an emergency meeting held mere hours before the event, the Administration and Dr.  Simrit Kaur, the Principal, informed us that the event is cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances. We were told that they received information about the possibility of violence on campus, if the event was to take place. We were also told that there was no balance in our panel and all our speakers had the ‘same bent of mind’.”

 

“They also suggested this event be conducted at a later time and said it was unwise to have the event in this climate. We insisted that this was not a politically motivated event and that it was conducted because there exists a complete lack of awareness about the North-East protests in the College. This discussion was the need of the hour which garnered immense support and we were expecting a large crowd of students all over the campus.” adds the statement.

In the letter by the Students’ Union to the Principal of the College, the Union cites ‘violence and misleading information’ as the main reason for the cancellation of the event.

The Letter sent by the Students’ Union said, “The North-East society of SRCC is conducting a seminar on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act today (23.1.2020) in room no:2. This seminar is based on a one-sided ideology on the CAA act which may indulge violence and misleading information among the students. Furthermore, the Government has already circulated to educational institutions regarding spreading awareness about the facts and right information about CAA. Being a responsible institution, SRCC must not accept this seminar which is against the norms of social welfare. So, the (The Students Union) considering the interest of the majority, request you to cancel the permission to host the seminar. If this request of ours is subject to cancellation, we request you to grant permission to our seminar which will include the same kind of one-sided ideologies. Taking into consideration the benefits and well-being of everyone involved, we request you to take a favourable decision.”

However, as alleged by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) in their statement, two days before the scheduled event, under the influence of threat of violence from Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Students’ Union and the Administration pressurised the organisers to call off the event.

As told by a student to The Wire, the students attending the event also received calls from the Students’ Union to discourage the students from attending the protest.

The North-East Cell expressed their disappointment in the message circulated by the Students’ Union and said it was disrespectful towards the speakers.

“Our speakers have years of experience and research to back any statement they make, and the Union didn’t have an issue blatantly attacking their credibility. We would also like to point out that the speakers were informed by the Administration that the event is cancelled due to a technical issue,” adds the statement.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

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DUTA protesters burned an effigy of Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi as the strike against the New Education Policy enters its 36th day. 

On 8th January 2020, hundreds of protesters gathered despite the harsh and severe climate to protest against the lack of action being taken by the University of Delhi and its Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi. The gathering was called by Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) against the inaction being taken regarding their demands of permanent absorption and time-bound promotions of the university’s teachers. The gathering burnt an effigy to show their vexation over his neglect and reiterate his removal.

DUTA  has been on strike since last month in demand of one-time regulation for the absorption of ad-hoc and temporary teachers, with the continuance of the indefinite strike with the boycott of invigilation, evaluation and all other official duties to press for their demand. In a press release, DUTA stated that the working conditions of DU teachers have continued to worsen in comparison to all other universities. They claim that without direct intervention from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC), it will be impossible to retain the academic talent that continues to contribute to DU’s position as a premier central university,” and insists that the only alternative for ending the strike is complete acceptance and implementation by the DU administration of all the points of agreement reached with the DUTA and articulated in its summary note of discussion released on 6 December 2019.

In the press release, DUTA president Rajib Ray stated, “The plight of ad-hoc and temporary teachers in DU is characterised by despair. DUTA reiterates that the only just solution to prolonged ad-hoc in DU (for which the current VC and his officials are responsible in a big way) is Permanent Absorption. The DUTA is dismayed that despite a detailed White Paper arguing the case for the VC’s removal, the MHRD and UGC has been dragging its feet and allowing him to continue his anti-teacher and inactive mode of administration.

The DUTA will mobilise the teachers and students in the coming days for massive action programmes unless its agreement with the MHRD and UGC is implemented immediately and decisive action is taken against the DU Vice-Chancellor.”

The teachers of the University of Delhi have been on strike since 6th December.

 

Feature Image Credit: DU Beat Archives

Shreya Juyal

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University of Delhi (DU) students organised a protest in the Arts Faculty of the university on 16th November, in solidarity with Jamia Milia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University.

 

The Political Science department of the Delhi University (DU) decided to boycott today’s exam. In the protest, the crowd could be heard chanting slogans like, “Amit Shah, Istifa Do” and “DU Prashasan Murdabad”. But, as the protest grew, the police were called in. The protest shifted from the Social Science building’s entrance to down the stairs where the police then began to manhandle students.

Although the police tried to snatch away the phones of the people recording, videos of the police manhandling the students chanting these slogans surfaced online. In one video, the policemen were dragging the All India Students’ Association (AISA) Presidential Candidate for Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) 2018, Abhigyan, while the student away while the crowd was chanting.

The police constables were allegedly heard saying “10 minutes mein sabka kaam khatam, ABVP bulaye hai abhi. (everything will end in 10 minutes for we have called ABVP)”

Soon after, other members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also arrived along with Akshit Dahiya, DUSU President. “Kitne bacchon ka paper hai… Sir aap inhe bahar karo na (so many kids are giving their exams. Please take these people outside),” said Akshit, referring to the protesters.

However, after the arrival of ABVP, the protesters got chased and beaten up by the ABVP members and the police. On multiple videos, the police could be seen manhandling and detaining the students. Bharat Sharma, State Executive Committee member of ABVP, and Sonal Sharma, Ankita Biswas, and Inderjeet Dagar, members of ABVP were caught on tape verbally and physically assaulting the student protestors.

“Akshit Dahiya arrived and ABVP goons started pouring in. Soon, it became complete chaos. Police and ABVP hitting the protestors. Those with the ‘dandas‘ are ABVP goons. Police lent them the batons. Many protestors were detained,” said Noihrit Gogoi, a student who got beaten up at the protest.

Another student present at the protest added, “I got hit on my face. Ten ABVP boys circled me and called me a terrorist and snatched my phone as I was making a video. Akshit Dahiya gave them orders to snatch my phone in front of me. Police were just watching and did nothing.”

Messages of students warning each other to stay away from the Arts Faculty were also circulated on Whatsapp. Meanwhile, the students of the University started sharing messages asking people to message Akshit Dahiya regarding his statement supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “Spread the word, guys. He has to take this statement down. And that can only happen when students across DU unite. Please text him and let him know that DU does not stand with CAA,” read one message.

“The Delhi University Students’ Union condemns the attack of the academic process of the university by student groups in a move of forcefully preventing students from appearing in examinations… When the affected students called the DUSU President for help, the DUSU President immediately reached the spot and asked the protesters to continue the protest but not force any student to either join or boycott the examination. This led to a clash which sustained injuries on DUSU office bearers and members,” said the DUSU, in its press release.

Akshit Dahiya added, “It is my duty to go out to help the students who are appearing for the exams if they are stopped from doing so. The students called me for help and when I went, I was attacked by them. They raised anti-national slogans in front of me. We can never let such things happen in DU. We reject any lockdown call for DU. We condemn the act of such violent perpetrators and such environment building cannot be tolerated.”

Saimon Farooqi, National Secretary, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) said, “We conducted a very peaceful protest inside the university campus itself. The police mistreated us. Rocky Tuseed who was the DUSU President in 2017 was also manhandled… we were just fighting for our rights and exercising our rights. If these ABVP members are against our protest, it reflects their ideologies. And because they follow the footprints of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it reflects in those parties also.”

The police then took the protesters at the Arts Faculty to Jantar Mantar in their police bus for them to continue the protest at Jantar Mantar as the situation became too violent on the campus.

 

Featured Image Credits: Arsh Mehdi

Satviki Sanjay

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DUTA demands boycott over delays in processing promotions, parity for librarians, opposition to proposed New Education Policy (NEP) and other changes.

Convening on 25th November 2019, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) came to a few conclusions regarding the long-pending demands of the teachers and their future course of action at the General Body Meeting (GBM). In a press release summarising the discourse of their meeting, teachers expressed their agitation over the illegal Delhi University (DU) circular of August 28th, 2019 that only allows the appointment of guest teachers against full-time posts in departments and colleges, which has adversely impacted the teaching-learning process.

Teachers are also angered with the University’s administration’s inordinate delay in processing promotions for long years, causing harassment and demoralisation of teachers. The demand for stopping of illegal recoveries from teachers and an end to the harassment of the physical education teachers were also raised. Immediate utilisation of the Second Tranche positions of Other Backward Classes (OBC) expansion and implementation of the Kale Committee report also figure in the list of their demands.

The GBM also called upon the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to respond to the demand for a One Time Regulation for Absorption of Ad-Hoc and temporary teachers. The DUTA GBM also denounced the attitude of the MHRD that has found reflection in the University Grants Commission (UGC) Regulations 2018, certain provisions of which threaten to exclude teachers in service due to unjust screening criteria and by not accounting for teaching experience adequately in the selection process.

The DUTA GBM also demanded that “the government/UGC immediately approve the provisions regarding relaxation in Academic Performance Indicators (API) for promotions made by the Academic Council and the Executive Council of the Delhi University to correct an infirmity in the UGC Regulations 2018 which has rendered the scheme meaningless.” The GBM also reiterated the demand for complete parity for librarians with the teachers. It also demands a restoration of the parity of instructors and programmers with respect to pay and service conditions.

The DUTA GBM reiterated its opposition to the proposed National Education Policy of 2019, as a proposal that seeks to privatise higher education and hand over these institutions to privatised the Board of Governors (BoGs) with full powers over educational activities and teachers. The privatised BoGs are to enjoy powers that till now were exercised by the Government or UGC, the Executive Councils and Governing Bodies of colleges. Teachers will have no say in the affairs of educational institutions. It threatens dismemberment of Delhi University (DU) by separating colleges from DU as autonomous units under separate BoGs. The DUTA GBM resolved to broaden the struggle against the proposed NEP through coordinated campaigns and protest actions with teachers, students and concerned citizens across the country.

DUTA President, Rajib Ray and Secretary, Rajinder Ray have also demanded immediate action on the DUTA White Paper on “Acts of mis-governance by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi”.

In order to press for the above demands, the DUTA GBM has decided on a complete evaluation boycott of the semester-end examinations and an indefinite strike starting from the second week of January in case the MHRD and the DU administration do not respond. The GBM also demanded that all Ad-Hoc teachers be allowed to re-join on 1st January failing which the strike may be advanced. The GBM also resolved to undertake outreach programmes, Jan Sampark programmes, Press Conferences and meetings with leaders of political parties and Members of Parliament (MPs) and other participatory action programmes will be held to highlight the issues and to spread awareness about the issues. The GBM also decided to join the All India Trade Union Strike scheduled for January 8th, 2020.

 

Image Credits: India TV

Bhavya Pandey 

[email protected]

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

Priyanshu

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Students protested against the construction of a 39-storeyed building near the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station. The construction of the building has led to the felling of 228 trees, aside from infringing on the University’s space.

 

Delhi University students on Friday staged a protest against the construction of a 39- storey building in North Campus, saying the structure will overlook six girls’ hostels and will be an “invasion of their privacy”. The building is coming up adjacent to the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station in the campus area.

 

The said construction has been opposed by the University and the Teachers’ Association (DUTA) as well. The students formed a human chain chanting slogans — “Private Building, Down Down” — at the entrance of the metro station.

 

According to a representative of the Miranda House Students’ Union, in conversation with The Hindustan Times, the construction of the building is “an invasion of their privacy.” A student said that the private builder should have held discussions with the Delhi University administration, the teachers’ association or the students’ union before beginning construction.

 

The land on which the construction is to take place, was initially owned by the Ministry of Defence was transferred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation after which it was handed to a private builder, a university official said. The construction comes after allegations by the DU administration towards the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) of ‘unlawfully’ permitting the construction of the building. Past month, the DUTA had also held protests to object to the construction.

 

“Construction of such a high-rise building in the university enclave area will negatively impact the ambiance of Delhi University. There are heritage buildings in close vicinity of this land. There will be serious issues of safety and privacy for adjoining girls hostels and staff flats. This extremely crowded area can’t burden such an extra infrastructural load. So, the Delhi University community as a whole is opposing it tooth and nail,” said Rasal Singh, Academic Council member, in conversation with The Hindu.

 

Image Caption: Protests against construction of 39-storey high-rise in DU North Campus, organised by student unions

Image Credits: Hindustan Times

 

Bhavya Pandey

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