Between conjugated buildings, jutted roofs, kebab roasting coal smokes, and tuk-tuks. Beyond hollow stigmas and xenophobia biases, at the heart of Jamia is where this Delhi University student has found a home.

Reader Advisory – Intended dark humour can cause serious injuries to the fragile egos of monoculturalism flag bearers.

“Bhaiya Jamia jaoge?”

And after the fifth rejection, I feel like a Tamil hero trying to curse his love interest in a soup song while dancing obnoxiously to item beats with sloppy choreography. I know my amateur bargaining skills and the consistent hostile repudiation of auto-walla’s will serve no help. Who, anyway, in their full senses, would want to choke themselves in the tang gullies of Okhla Vihar, Okhla NSIC, and a bunch of more Okhla derivatives? An overcrowd of humans, the white-capped, the scarf-wrapped, old men with long beards, the indigo print kurtas that go to university, the rich Greek-God looking Kashmiri brats, racing their way to cricket practise after noon, and swarming the seating area of all food joints within a ten-metre radius by night. Beguilers, if it is the visual representation of a community that you are looking for to initiate some spicy riots, all the markers are present here.

Noor Nagar:  My misery seems to have found a home at the corner of a corner street, among
three conjugated apartments that boast magnificent balconies, a very common overstatement made by local property dealers for jutted roofs and make-shift washing places. A home built on overturned tuk-tuks and travel agent aunties who are almost universally dissatisfied with my creased cartilage line and the small-talk dodging earbuds I refuse to remove. A home on chipped metal stools, dousing chicken seekhs while the burning coal fumes play with your face like a country breeze. A home, in the dust-sniffing shopping sprees of Batla House and long walks into late nights. A home, in Fax shops and juice points, crocs over socks with the monsoon high, when overflowing drainage systems bring out the child inside.

“The next station is Jamia Millia Islamia.”

On the 15th, the flags billowed with a sense of longing, clipped on pigeon feeders and laundry nets like melted glass windows, stained pale and grey. The poles rattled now and then as the standing irony of holding
unity in a piece of cloth. Rippling over roads, they are often mocked as “Mini Pakistan” for their green haze. In the fainted screams of yesterday, of what was lost and what remains, this ghetto has withheld so much
that it has now become full. Full of meanings in torn-out posters and graffiti walls blackened with paint, as its glory is restored in the light of dawn, its spirit shines in the vivid symphony of eventide hues. And it is here,
in this bustling solitude, in the sound of the crowd, that pulls out strings of joy from the happy centre of my brain. I have found a home, a serenity for the soul.

Aayat Farooqui

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Shifa-Ur-Rehman, President, Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA), has been sent to ten-day police custody under the charges of planning a criminal conspiracy with Umar Khalid, a former Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) student.

A Delhi Court on 27th April sent Shifa-Ur-Rehman, President, Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA), to a ten-day police custody. The police informed the Court, about Rehman being involved in a criminal conspiracy, along with Umar Khalid, a former Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) student. Rehman has been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), for the riots that took place in Northeast Delhi in the month of February.

In the previous week the police also booked Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar under UAPA. The same students have also been booked for the offenses of murder, attempt to murder, sedition, and promotion of enmity between different groups based on religion. In the first information report the police even claimed the communal violence to be a “premeditation conspiracy”.

“We had technical evidence against him which suggests that he incited mobs during the riots. He was also seen in the CCTV footage which was collected from the riot-affected areas. We have checked his call record details and WhatsApp messages and found more evidence which suggests his involvement in the riots,” said police about Rehman, who is also a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC).

While taking his custody, police told the court that Rehman’s name popped up after the interrogation of others, who were arrested as a part of the same case. The case dealt with the communal violence, due to conflicting opinions regarding the newly passed law of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Registry of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Registry (NPR). The police produced Rehman in front of justice Sanjeev Kumar and told that his custody is important for disclosing the larger conspiracy, and would also supplement in revealing the other names involved. Many have criticised the charges filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against individuals protesting the CAA-NRC-NPR.

Clashes had broken out between the supporters of the law and those opposing it between 23rd to 26th February in Northeast Delhi, one of the worst the capital has witnessed since the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

Feature Image Credits: Scroll

Kriti Gupta

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Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) administration confiscated up to 700 non-valid Identity cards in the past three months after various “outsiders” were reportedly entering the University.

The administration of JMI has confiscated over 700 non valid identity cards in the past three months. Since August, 726 ID cards have been confiscated by guards on campus after “outsiders” attempted to enter the University Campus. Waseem Ahmad Khan, the Chief proctor, told Hindustan Times that checking for non-valid ID cards has always been a practice at the University. But, as complaints of “increased presence of outsiders,” surged, the administration decided to implement stricter checking measures.

The security guards stationed on campus said that “outsiders” tried to enter the campus for various reasons, including theft, harassment, substance abuse, and creating nuisance in the University premises. They also said students from other universities were allegedly coming to JMI to create unrest, and build a political space. When asked how guards detect the false ID cards, security person Nisar Ahmad, who currently mans the University’s main gate and has been working at the Varsity for over two decades, told a national daily, “Their behaviour and body language is different. When they are asked for student ID cards, these people either cover the hologram on the card, or hide the photograph or just show the backside of the card,”

Reportedly, not all the IDs that were confiscated were fake. Some were also expired cards of former students who wanted to access the campus. “People want access to our libraries. The card also doubles as a library card. We have found instances of people accessing our libraries using expired cards,” said Assistant Proctor, Shakeel Ahmad.

Faizan, a second year B.A. (Honours) English student from JMI, told DU Beat, “Security Checking at Jamia was always a menace, and things get bizarre when you have as many as 23 gates to cover; but in recent times the varsity administration has reviewed it’s security seemingly, with continual and repeated security checks at every point which could be prompted by the outside interference and related instances of Id card misuse.”

In fact, students reported that it isn’t just stern checking of ID cards. Since the appointment of the new Vice Chancellor, Najma Akhtar, canteens too, are closed earlier than usual. This concern for safety was explained by the administration. Allegedly, men from nearby areas come to the Campus to peruse and sit in the canteens and parks. Taking into account the safety of girls in the University, and the fact that the girls’ hostel is on Campus, the administration felt that stringent security checks are essential for guaranteeing the safety of women.

Feature Image Credits:  Collegeduniya

Shreya Juyal

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Around 10 students have been on this strike since October 25, in a bid to demand student union elections in the varsity.
The protesting students say that the university was founded as part of the ‘fight for democracy’ against the British, which demanded that Indians be allowed to choose their own representatives to govern them. Protesting students told The Quint that they will celebrate Founder’s Day only after they are granted the rights their predecessors enjoyed.
Students quoted Jamia Vice-Chancellor, Talat Ahmed, as saying that the elections could not be held because the matter is sub-judice and thus any move made by the University will be seen as ‘contempt of court’ on their part.
But the real story looks a little different.
The last student union in place in the university was dissolved in the year 2006 claiming that the student body was hindering the academic progress of the institution. In fact, JMI is the only prominent central university in Delhi which doesn’t have a students’ union. The other prominent ones – JNU and DU – have a robust union and elections. The struggle to resurrect the body has been on for the past 11 years with the students claiming that the administration has left no stones unturned to thwart all their efforts.
Students have alleged the university has taken no steps withdraw its position from the court, a move that could re-open talks about the elections between the students and the administration.
Polls were banned in 2006 over allegations by Jamia that student representatives had started interfering in administrative work. In 2011, three former students moved the Delhi HC demanding a students’ union, reported The Indian Express.
It is indeed quite shocking and absurd that a central university, which is associated with the anti-imperialist movement, is apolitical.
Protesters also have a list of other student-centric demands which they claim can only be fulfilled once a democratically elected union is set up. Some of these demands are: setting up of a 24-hour library, a working anti-sexual harassment cell, and so on.
“The Jamia administration treats the university as their personal jaeger (fiefdom). They are completely anti-students and routinely issue diktats without even consulting anyone. Constant fee hikes, delay in declaration of results, regular paper leaks – you name it, the bureaucracy here is completely inefficient and corrupt. We want to ensure these things don’t happen,” says Ihtesam, a student of BA programme to ScoopWhoop.
In 2012, a group led by then-student Hamidur Rahman, filed a writ (Petition No 917/2012 titled ‘Hamidur Rahman vs JMI’), stating that they didn’t want Jamia authorities to hold direct elections for a student council.
In an official release, the university said: “ A group of nine students have intervened in the Writ Petition and filed an application dated February 2012 praying to present their case in the larger academic interest of Jamia. In paragraph 9 of the said application, these students have opposed any direction system of elections in the Jamia Millia Islamia. This application was admitted on record by the High Court of Delhi”.
“The writ for the case that the VC keeps mentioning, was filed in 2012. The student who had filed the case is currently not a student at this University anymore. More importantly, there were nine students who were forced by the administration to go to the court and file a case that they didn’t want any direct system of elections” said Amber Fatmi, President of AISA (Delhi Unit) told The Quint.
For now, the students have the blazing passion of not discontinuing the strike as long as the authorities give in to their demands and allow them to hold elections for a representative student body.

Image Credits: Scoopwhoop

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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Lately across the country, in the absence of a notable opposition decisions of the establishment, students have taken it upon themselves to stand up to the authoritarian policies. Lately, the spur of student movements in the JNU, DU, University of Hyderabad and other campuses has also spiked up the enthusiasm in other Universities where student politics have been suspended for long for the revival of Student Politics and the demand of Student Union elections. On Thursday, students of Jamia Milia Islamia University staged a protest march and submitted a memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor Talat Ahmad demanding the restoration of the Student Union and demand of elections.

Eleven years back, the University had suspended the Student Union on the account of student leaders interfering with the administrative process of the University in 2006. The Union was disbanded after a scuffle broke out between the union president and the proctor over the former having a say in the allotment of hostel seats, which the university was not willing to agree to. Later in the year 2011, Hameed Ur Rahman, a student approached Delhi High Court for the matter. Najeeb Jung, who was the VC during that period told the court that the environment was not conducive for polls.

Recently the students have formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) with members from various students bodies’ including the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti, All India Students’ Association and Jamia Students’ Forum to raise the demand for a Union. Speaking to a major national daily, students of the JAC said that they would “resort to democratic means of protest” in case the varsity does not meet the deadline of announcing a date for the polls.

However, the administration on receiving the memorandum said that the university had no objections to the formation of a students’ union but it could not give the go-ahead as the matter was sub judice. Talat Ahmad, the vice chancellor of the University who is known to be personally in favour of having a student’s union said, “When the matter is in court, I cannot take decisions that would end up in contempt of court.”

The University which has a rich past of student activism during the freedom movement remains an environment devoid of a students’ voice today.

Interestingly, Jamia has a strong union of teachers and non-teaching staff.

Image Credits: jamiajournal.com


Srivedant Kar

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