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]

The ‘Prana Pratishtha’ celebration of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on January 22 has evoked varied responses across India. Its impact is particularly noticeable in educational institutions, where some colleges experienced joyous events while others faced instances of violence and police intervention. Amidst resistance and celebration, the article aims to explore the question of religion within educational spaces by examining diverse perspectives.

On January 22, Ayodhya celebrated the grand opening of the Ram Mandir, which was celebrated like a national festival. A celebratory vibe permeated both outdoor and digital areas as the streets were decked out in saffron and echoed with “Jai Shri Ram” chants. Temples and streets flourished in the festive mood, signifying a unique happy occasion for believers. To underscore the importance of the occasion, several state governments went a step further and declared holidays for businesses and educational institutions.

As New Delhi was rife with saffron flags and bhakti music on January 22nd, the merriment was shared by educational institutions alike in the centre. The grandeur of the ‘Prana Pratishtha’ festival was evident by the active participation of educational institutions, with some expressing support and others voicing opposition. This dual participation highlighted the complexities of sentiments that many, particularly younger generations, had about the occasion.

The celebrations demonstrated a dichotomy in how individuals perceived the event—whether it was seen as solely religious and legitimate or as part of a greater political agenda. This interplay of ideologies was displayed with enthusiasm by diverse student groups across various universities.

Prestigious colleges like IITs and IISC, Bengaluru were out in force for celebrations. A student group at IIT Kharagpur took out a procession in support of the inauguration of the temple, while IIT Delhi organised the Akhand Ramayana path, followed by a bhandara and deepotsava

We’d been given a half-day, but then eventually the holiday extended up to being a full day. There were rallies from the main gate to another end of the campus, with many saffron flags.

-A Student from IIT-Delhi

In Ashoka University too, celebrations were observed through bhajan sandhya and pooja organised by students.

On Delhi University’s North Campus, festivities were observed at the Arts Faculty while candles were lit near the streets of Hanuman Mandir. The University of Delhi itself was shut for half a day until 2 p.m., according to the notification released by the authorities. Many such campuses across the country organised hawans, rallies, and even allowed the live telecast of ceremonies being held at Ayodhya.

In Shivaji College, University of Delhi, a student who was visiting the campus during the weekend for a debate tournament said,

Shivaji College had conducted an event with the campus being decorated with rangolis and diyas, as it set up a stage for live music performances and had visitors showing up.

This, however, is only one side of the story; many students expressed their disapproval and criticism, and not all student factions were in agreement with this kind of festive mood.

For instance, Fraternity Movement Jamia Millia Islamia organised a university-wide strike in remembrance of the Babri Masjid. “Boycott for Babri, Resistance is Remembrance,” said a post on X (previously Twitter)  by the Fraternity Movement, along with a video of students protesting with posters of the Babri masjid. As the videos of the protest went viral, police forces were deployed outside the premises as precautionary measures.

NIT Calicut’s students were forced to witness the cancellation of Thathva, their techno-management festival, which led to a stream of angry comments online. The festival was first postponed and then cancelled due to Central Security Agencies ordering the college after a student protested the Ram Mandir inaugural celebrations and was beaten up by the police, leaving no entity from the college with the power to intervene. Indignant NIT Calicut’s students’ comments read online, “Imagine all the work done by students to hear its cancellation due to a communal riot in the north.”

Tensions were also observed in Pune’s FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), where banners condemning the demolition of Babri masjid in 1992 were displayed with the statement ‘Remember Babri, Death of Constitution’. They took it a step further with the screening of the 1992 Anand Patwardhan documentary, “Ram Ke Naam.” The documentary delves into the communal violence that ensued after the Vishva Hindu Parishad campaigned to build a temple at the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. Additionally, they even invited Patwardhan on January 22nd for it.

However, according to a press statement released by the Students’ Association of the institute, chanting of the “Jai Shree Ram” slogan took place loudly outside the main gates, which the security was initially unresponsive to. Then, an agitated mob of 20–25 people entered the campus, and security was unable to contain them. Many students of FTII were brutally beaten up, and the banners were also damaged. 

While the side of Samast Hindu Bandhav Samajik Sanstha, who was involved in the clash, claims that the move of FTII students was offensive to the sentiments of Hindus, provocative statements against Lord Ram merely created more rift amongst two religious groups. However, the students at FTII clearly see this violence as an attack on their democratic rights. They also claim that no action was taken towards the offenders, and they were allowed to roam free.

A post on Instagram describes the events that led to the violence at the FTII Campus, which involved the vandalism of college property and harm to students. The press release statement reads,

We appeal to the police and all relevant authorities to take prompt action against those who perpetrated violence against the students and who entered with the intent to vandalise property on the campus of FTII, Pune.

The student fraternity of ILS stands in solidarity with the Students’ Association of FTII and has even released a joint statement with signed signatures. Additionally, multiple students of FTII have released their own statement with signatures, demanding a response from Bollywood actor and Chairman of the Institute, R. Madhavan.

Similarly, in another college, the Indian Institution of Science and Research (ISSER), Pune, witnessed a distinctive response from certain students. Allegedly, on January 22nd, some students celebrated the temple’s inauguration in the campus common room. The movie club coordinator then planned the screening of Ram Ke Naam, sending details to students with a description of the movie copied from its IMDB review page. Unfortunately, this led to an unexpected turn of events, with policemen arriving at the campus. They questioned the movie club coordinator and, without clear justification, took them into custody. The move has left students at ISSER feeling intimidated by law enforcement, especially since they perceive a lack of support from the college administration.

Similar cases of violence and protest were observed in places like Jadavpur University and Hyderabad University.

In Hyderabad University, NSUI, which is the student wing of the Indian National Congress, organised a protest against the inauguration by intending to screen Anand Patwardhan’s documentary ‘Ram ke Naam’. The screening was disrupted by ABVP students, leading to its cancellation. The screening was later conducted peacefully at the North Ladies Hostel in the evening. Students in opposition state that campus spaces belong to everyone; hence, it’s their democratic right to express their concerns, and the screening of ‘Ram ke naam’ was a symbol of their resistance and not a step to offend people.

We ensured that organisations conducting their events went peacefully despite threats and attempts to disrupt by ABVP. Campus spaces belong to everyone; all ideas exist here. However, the administration and ABVP don’t want dissenting voices to be heard. The student community strongly opposed the saffronization of campus spaces; they attended in large numbers for SFI’s ‘Ram Ke Naam’,

-Md. Atheeq Ahmed, HCU Union President (source: Maktoob Media).

The unfolding of two contrasting scenarios in various universities prompts reflection on the democratic principles by which the country aspires to abide. The celebration of religious victories and moments in educational institutions raises a fundamental question about the integration of religion within these spaces.

We observed different celebrations, including bhandaras and rallies, where students enthusiastically chanted ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and danced.

Since religion is a very personal subject for me, I  personally decided not to take part because I feel it is improper to hold large-scale religious festivities in colleges where you have such a diverse population. Students from minority groups experienced exclusion as well, and those who chose not to participate in the festivities were called anti-Hindus.

-A mass communication student from Madhya Pradesh described the events at her college. 

She went on to say, “The decision to celebrate such moments should be left to individuals, and nobody should be placed in situations where they feel alienated in their own colleges.”

If institutions are justified in endorsing such events, does it imply that religion is an inherent part of educational institutions? If so, the ramifications in multi-religious countries like India are complex, as institutions should then consider accommodating the religious sentiments of each community rather than catering to the majority alone.

Would this extend to allow students from diverse communities to practice their religion within educational institutions through their own expressions of uniform, festivities, and prayers? If such practices become widespread, it raises concerns about their impact on student identity. Will the subject of religion either further divide them in spaces where they seek empowerment and education or provide them with greater freedom to embrace their individual selves?

Students are free to choose sides and voice their emotions, whether it be joy or dissent. However, carrying out religious activities in an educational setting is inappropriate and goes against the goal of the organisation, which is to safeguard students’ rights, interests, safety, and development. In these situations, political factions’ fuel for violence and conflict goes against both religious and constitutional norms.

-A second-year Delhi University history honours student

Through this, one can note that if educational institutions strive to maintain a secular nature, any form of religious exhibition contradicts their fundamental goal of providing education free from religious influences. At the same time, they must safeguard students from feelings of alienation or offence.

Can dissent coexist alongside the celebration of the auspicious arrival of Lord Ram? If one student group is allowed to express their joy, should others be hindered when they protest against it?

Lastly, considering religion is a personal matter for individuals, how appropriate is it to introduce it into educational institutions? Can our colleges and universities become safe spaces for discussions, education, and growth, free from the spectre of violence over religious differences? Can the youth liberate themselves from the constraints of rigid political and religious ideologies?

As we grapple with these questions amid both joy and turmoil, the answers lack uncertainty. The quest for meaningful resolution necessitates a delicate balance between respecting individual beliefs and nurturing an inclusive educational environment that promotes intellectual growth for all.

Read Also – Saffronisation of Cultural Expression

Image Credits – Bloomberg.com 

DU Beat 

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has introduced stringent rules in its revised CPO manual, prohibiting demonstrations near the academic and administrative complexes. Students flouting these regulations will face penalties ranging from hefty fines to expulsion.

 On 24 November, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Executive Council approved a 15-page Chief Proctor Office (CPO) manual containing the “discipline and proper conduct rules”. The manual stated that JNU students will now be fined Rs. 20,000 if they participate in a hunger strike, dharna or any other form of protest within 100 meters of any academic and administrative complex. Any act to incite intolerance towards a religion, caste or community or the printing, circulation or pasting of posters carrying derogatory religious, communal, casteist or “anti-national remarks” may also attract a penalty of Rs.10,000. This development follows an incident the University witnessed in October, where an “anti-national” slogan was scribbled on the University’s School of Languages building wall and the administration had later announced to set up a committee to investigate the repeated nature of such incidents in campus. Earlier, protests within 100 meters of the administrative blocks, which house the offices of the Vice-Chancellor, the registrar, and proctors among others, were prohibited as per a High Court order.

The manual has listed 28 types of misconduct including blockades, gambling, unauthorized occupation of hostel rooms, use of abusive and derogatory language and committing forgery. If a student is found involved in a hunger strike, dharna, ‘group bargaining’ and any other form of protest or is found blocking the entrance or exit of any of the complexes, they will be either imposed a fine of Rs.20,000 , evicted from the hostel for 2 months or be rusticated and declared out of bounds for up to 2 months. All forms of coercion such as gheraos and sit-ins have also come on the banned list. Arranging events such as freshers’ welcome parties, farewells, or DJ events on the campus without obtaining prior permission may also attract a fine of Rs. 6,000. If a student is found guilty of being engaged in any of the prohibited activities and is given a punishment, they will not be eligible to register for the semester and won’t receive a “no-dues” certificate until the imposed fine is paid in full. In addition to posting the punishment on the official website, the administration will also send a copy of it to the student’s parents or guardian. If the student does not show up for the proctorial enquiry, the committee will assume that the complaint was filed with a malafide intention, and the student might be required to complete community service at JNU. A complainant may also be rusticated from the University for making any false allegations against any student. Additionally, the University will no longer permit cross-examination between the complainant and the defendant, which was an important rule of proctorial enquiry earlier. A student who has received 5 or more punishments during the duration of their study shall be expelled from the University, the manual noted.

The foreword to the manual by Chief Proctor N. Janardhana Raju emphasized the strong need to reassess the current disciplinary regulations of the Office of the Chief Proctor as there were “no substantially approved rules and regulations on proper conduct and discipline of students by the Executive Council of JNU in vogue”.  According to the manual, in the event that a dispute arises about the interpretation of any of these guidelines, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit or the appropriate authorities will have the last say. They will also have the power to waive, change or uphold the punishment if deemed fit. The university administration asserts that the new rules are important for maintaining academic and administrative order and preventing any disruptions. They argue that the designated protest areas within the campus are sufficient for expressing student concerns.

Responding to the uproar against the new regulations, VC Pandit, reportedly told the Indian Express that these rules have been fine-tuned on the directions of the Delhi High Court. (Source: CNBC-TV18)

This is not old not new. Passed unanimously by the EC last month as the manual had to be made legally sound. The fines are on indiscipline of drinking, drugs and misbehavior in hostels and towards women. The proctor’s office since 1969 has been taking action, imposing fines and rustications.

– JNU VC reportedly told the PTI.

 During her discussion with the Hindustan Times, she highlighted that the University has not banned protests on campus as freedom of speech is a Constitutional right, emphasizing that fines and rustications existed even during her student years at JNU. The recent move to make it public was undertaken to ensure transparency, aligning with their democratic functioning.

I have never imposed a fine on any student just because he or she participated in a protest on campus. The students even protested at my house over some water issue at a hostel. But I did not impose a fine on anyone for it. I have forgiven fines imposed by the latest regime on many students between 2016 and 2022 and closed their cases considering their futures.

– she told the Hindustan Times.

 Talking about how the recent approval by the Executive Council (EC) was aimed at ensuring the manual’s legal validity, she clarified that fines are imposed for issues related to indiscipline and that no slabs have been raised.

The manual was passed by the Executive Council of the University, which also has representatives from the faculty. The administration circulated the manual among all EC members on November 1, and it was unanimously passed by the Council during a meeting on November 24. Nobody raised objections over anything because there was nothing new in it, and no slabs were raised. We only put it in a legal language and got it passed legally. Till today (December 13), no single letter has been received by the administration or VC office from students or staff asking to withdraw the manual.

– JNU VC told the media.

 On December 12, a day after the University faced flak over its newly released stringent measures, an official clarified that protests have not been banned and are allowed at designated areas.

 We have not changed anything. These rules were already there in place. We have just introduced a few other regulations to ensure no disruption is caused to the academic process. Students still have the democratic right to protest at designated places.

– an official from the University told PTI.

 Reacting to the revised manual, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) termed it an attempt by the administration to “stifle dissent” on the campus and alleged that the Proctor’s Office is being used to carry out “political vendetta against student activists and representatives raising important student community issues”. Demanding its immediate withdrawal, the JNUSU added that the manual lacked clarity on several crucial aspects, leaving room for misinterpretation and arbitrary implementation.

The stringent measures outlined in the manual are aimed at stifling the vibrant campus culture that has defined JNU for decades. Such excessive regulations are intended to discourage open discussions, dissent, and intellectual exploration, which are fundamental to the spirit of our university. Such ambiguous rules can lead to unfair and discriminatory practices, jeopardizing the rights of students

– JNUSU in a statement.

 Student bodies at the University have also condemned the move saying that it snatches away the democratic rights of students to register dissent.

Who will decide what is harming someone’s moral sentiment and what is not? How can my peaceful protest,‌‌ which is against fee hikes or injustice, be considered moral turpitude? Additionally many students in JNU are below the poverty line – so how do they expect these students to pay such high fines?

– said a student at JNU as reported by CNBC-TV18

Nine months ago, in February 2023, the University had issued a notification stating that the students can be imposed with a penalty of Rs. 20,000 for holding dharnas and face admission cancellation or a fine upto Rs. 30,000 for resorting to violence in the University. However, following its criticism, the notification was reportedly withdrawn within a week.


Read Also: https://dubeat.com/2019/12/14/mhrd-issues-a-statement-on-jnu-protests-offers-mediation-between-stakeholders/


Featured Image Credits: Deccan Chronicle


Manvi Goel

[email protected]

More than 50 academics from DU, JNU, and other institutions have written to the Delhi University VC, requesting the removal of the punishments meted out to students who were allegedly involved in the screening of the Narendra Modi BBC documentary.

On Thursday, April 6 2023, 59 academics, on behalf of the India Academic Freedom
Network, wrote to the University of Delhi, advocating for the revocation of the punishment
imposed on students for screening the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and his alleged involvement in the Gujarat riots. The letter addressed to Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh, stated that the failure to obtain approval for its screening is “not a serious enough offence” to prevent students from taking examinations.

“We need not tell you that the university is supposed to be a space where students and teachers feel free to get information from any source, decide for themselves and express themselves freely. They are adults and can make decisions for themselves. We, teachers and administrators are not here to police their thoughts or censor their sources of information.” The letter stated.

The documentary, India: The Modi Question, critically explores then Chief Minister Modi’s involvement in the Muslim genocides in Gujarat in 2002. It was screened on-campus by several student groups on 27th January,2023.  The following day, Delhi Police detained 24 students from Delhi University’s Arts Faculty and a disciplinary committee barred 2 PhD students namely Lokesh Chugh and Ravinder Singh from all academic activities, including exams for one year, for allegedly
planning to exhibit the documentary.

In the memorandum issued on March 10, the DU registrar claimed that the BBC documentary is ‘banned’ and requested 6 other students to submit written apologies to the administration for screening the film without permission. The professors response, however, questioned the disciplinary actions’ justifications, arguing that they were out of proportion to the alleged violation.  “The memorandum regarding the punishment, as published in the media, states that they had violated the ban on screening of the said documentary by the government of India,” the letter stated. “We want to bring to your notice that it is known to all that the documentary was never banned and is still not banned by the government.”

The letter then specified that the documentary was “only a critical examination of the present regime in the context of the situation of Muslims.” It was signed by Satish Deshpandeand Nandini Sundar from the Department of Sociology, Ashwini Kumar from DUTA and Sucharita Sen and Avinash Kumar from Jawaharlal Nehru University, among others.

“The only condition we all must follow while exercising this right is that it should not promote hatred and violence. How could it’s screening by some students become a threat to order on the campus, is beyond our understanding.” they added. The signatories stressed the significance of creating a secure environment on campus for students to practice critical thinking. “It is not the job of the university to defend the government or disallow thoughts critical to it. We hope that our concern would be heard and the said punishment order would be withdrawn.”, the letter concluded.

Image Credits: TFI Post

Read Also: Students Detained by Delhi Police after NREGA Discussions

Manvi Goel
[email protected]



JNU’s Students along with SFI-AIDWA-DYFI staged a protest against the police inaction and demanded swift action for identifying and arresting the suspect who sexually harassed a student on campus on Monday night.

On 21 January 2022, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) along with other student unions and associations, including All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI,) protested in front of Delhi Police Headquarters against the police inaction in regards to an attempt to rape at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).  On Monday night, 17 January 2022, an attempt to rape was made on a JNU’s student. The student was taking an evening stroll near the VC house when a motorcyclist tried to drag the student into the forest and attempted to rape her. SFI condemns the casual approach of the police in this incident. They strongly feel that this incident is a shameful reflection of patriarchy that persists in society. Such incidents have been on the rise during the lockdown when vigilance has lowered. They find it disgraceful that students who identify with minority genders have to go through such traumas in University space. Asha Sharma, State Secretary of AIDWA, also condemns Delhi police for their lack of accountability towards the victim and towards the due process of law.

AIDWA Delhi was shocked by this unfortunate incident as it is a residential space where students return from libraries late at night. Moreover, since it has been considered a safer space for women, the female students often come out to walk even later than the time at which this incident has occurred. Satarupa Chakraborty from AIDWA points out that it is very irresponsible of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) who did nothing upon hearing about the incident. It is quite shameful that a young woman had to undergo such a heinous crime within the premises of a prestigious university.  She further adds the importance of escalating the efforts that are being made in bringing back the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) in JNU. In conversation with DU Beat, Twinkle Siwach, former GSCASH student representative, directed attention towards the ICC. According to her, ever since the ICC, the puppet body of the JNU administration (as opposed to the idea of GSCASH which was constituted with elected members from different constituencies) has been installed, they have witnessed that cases of harassment, stalking in particular, have significantly increased in number. She stated that woman students do not feel confident in approaching ICC, particularly because, in some cases, complaints have been leaked, or the blame has been put on the complainants. In the absence of GSCASH, students still find it a safer option to seek help from the former GSCASH student representatives instead of approaching any member from ICC. She points out that in some of the extreme cases; students prefer to contact the police directly.

This incident has once again highlighted the lackadaisical attitude of the JNU administration and ICC, which continues to control the freedom of women students inside the campus and does not outreach or come out in the support of the complainants or women students in general.

-Twinkle Siwach, former Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) student representative

Elora Chakraborty, an EC member of the SFI JNU unit, in conversation with DU Beat strongly believes that the JNU administration should immediately pressurize the Delhi Police to carry out the investigation and arrest the culprit. The administration should leave no stone unturned to help the Police with all necessary information and data. Alongside the Administration, including the JNU VC, must immediately take not only cognizance of the crime but also apologize to the student community in general for the inability to provide security. Further, she stated that the scandalous appointment of Cyclops Security and Allied Services Pvt. Ltd. must be undone at the earliest. She marked out that ever since the security agency has been brought to campus, the campus is seeing more and more instances of security lapses in recent times like in this case of an attempt to rape a fellow female student along with the regular cases of sexual harassment in the campus space or on 5 January 2020, when the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh was attacked by right-wing goons in a premeditated manner and also of harassment of students by the security agency. When the security agency is ill-equipped to provide the campus with the security they must immediately be replaced.

It is needless to say the JNUSU demands resignation of the JNU VC Mamidala Jagdish Kumar for degrading the institution and if the question is about what JNU students are doing, they already are protesting for justice to the survivor and for the revival of GSCASH in the campus alongside the JNUSU.

-Elora Chakraborty, former JNUSU councilor for School of Social Sciences, EC member, SFI JNU

Concluding her statement, Elora asserted that the student community in JNU will not rest until justice is provided to the survivor and the culprit is arrested. The voice for the reinstatement of GSCASH is getting stronger day by day and students are coming out on the streets of JNU and Delhi to demand justice for the survivor. On 20 January 2022, the student community walked alongside the JNUSU reclaiming the night with the campus in a March from Sabarmati hostel to the VC house. On 21 January 2022 the JNU student community and the JNUSU marched to the Vasant Kunj Police Station demanding speedy justice to the bone-chilling crime on the campus.  AIDWA-SFI-DYFI had a common call of protest at the Delhi Police headquarter to make campus spaces safer. The protest will go on in the demand for justice for the survivor and reinstatement for GSCASH.

Read Also: Multiple Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Against A Doctoral Student from JNU

Featured Image Credits: Chirag Jha for DU Beat

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

Casteism has been lurking in our systems as a product of historical grievances. From condemning the actions to being the perpetrator, is this deep rooted caste bias finding new ways to make itself comfortable?

Yet in another turn of events, a student from scheduled caste, hailing from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), had to face the atrocities of casteism. The victim, Sagar Kumar, was subjected to physical brutality over refusal to copy the assignment of the alleged attacker, Shubham Kumar. In a conversation with Dalit Desk, Sagar explained what he faced.

On 28 November, at night 11, I was studying in my room while Shubham came in and asked me to do his assignment to which I refused and told him the teacher can fail me for this. Several times he insisted but I refused. Thereafter he hurled Casteist slurs at me and started abusing me and beat me. Adding, I am mentally traumatized after this incident; strict action must be taken against him.

-Sagar Kumar told Dalit Desk.

According to the report by Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), JNU, Shubham Kumar has been abusing Sagar Kumar for the past one year. This has put the latter through a great deal of purgatory and physical trauma. This incident is a reminder of the prevailing status quo arising out of casteism. BAPSA found Sagar Kumar with a high blood pressure. He was shivering in fear for his life while his voice was cracking. A complaint of the aforementioned incident has been lodged at National Commission for Scheduled Caste, Vasant Kunj Police Station, Equal Opportunity Cell (JNU) and Chief Proctor of JNU. The creamiest brains putting it out at the most premier institutions of the country makes me wonder, if we are too invested in literacy that educating the consciousness has taken a back seat.

The shameless shout out for impunity by Shubham Kumar only exposes the fault lines of the self-proclaimed island that JNU is.


The irony of the entire situation is the fact that we condemn the very actions that we see being perpetuated around us by our own people. From using the casteist slurs to mocking the minority in the name of comedy, we are witnessing a degree that is pulling us towards the breaking point. Institutional casteism is on the rise and this incident comes as no shock. A recent study suggests the lofty prevalence of casteism in higher educational institutions but the constancy of this sitch is quite overwhelming. What irks me is the smell of normalcy around it. Unless the blood oozes out of the situation, the discriminatory and defamatory acts are subjected to negligence. How can these deprecatory and belittling instances thrusted aside while condemning them?

The very existence of the grievances cell for the marginalised section in the educational establishments proves the existence of these preferential and unjust acts. Creation of these cells to seek redressal has pulled curtains over the actuality of the situation. This has made it easier to achieve those estranged dreams in the crippling shadows of the same. Meddling with casteism does question the political agenda and its pernicious relationship with it. A peculiar pattern can be observed in the same regard, even at the places of education. Meenakshi Yadav, the representative of Student Federation of India (SFI) from Lady Shri Ram College spoke to DU Beat. She questions the standing of this circle which instigates casteism while fulfilling their political dream.

Brahmans portray themselves that they are in-charge, they are in power. They feel a sense of superiority due to the presence of the current governing body.

-Meenakshi Yadav, SFI representative, LSR

It is a simple monopoly of strength to establish dominance of a caste by the ones in power. Showing the monochromatic nature of elitism, it pulls the reins of casteism. It aligns the political inclinations and caste-based notions, producing a class of inherent elitism. This is an establishment which teaches equality and the next minute pulls the card of ‘winner-winner, political dinner’.

Koi gujjar hai toh batado, humko dosti karni hai par sirf apne cast walo se.
-A first year student as quoted by Meenakshi Yadav, SFI representative, LSR

Delhi University has long been known as a place where tensions arising from casteism have been lit. Not long ago, it had displayed a reservation of their thoughts when the writings of two dalit writers, Bama and Sukhartharini, have been removed and replaced by the work of an upper caste writer, Ramabai. This altercation of syllabus poses a sheer threat to the sovereignty of the institute and questions the autonomy of the academic space. How can we account for the pillars of democracy with a prejudiced and biased eye? Is this discriminatory influence above the education imparted by the most premier institutions?

A student from Delhi University told DU Beat on anonymity, “It is quite usual for me to go about
my day and hear people using a language that might not be welcomed by any marginalised group. Even if we retaliate, all that comes out is a small laugh and the words are expected to be forgiven the next minute. It is quite normal to see the usage of such a language, be it in college or my neighbourhood. It is the same story spinning everywhere.”

Our civilizational past shows us the derogatory history of this section of the society. The pain inflicted on people like Sagar Kumar is told in pursuit of the lost self-respect and in anticipation to put an end to such infamous incidents. It is veracious to say that we are experiencing an infamous facade of cruel reality. The blatant act of turning a blind eye to the prolific iniquity by the prestigious establishments makes me question the due justice. Will a fair play swing by the wronged eyes or will it continue to serve exoneration to the offenders?

Featured Image Credits: ‘Skyscape’ by Rajyashri Goody via India Today

Ankita Baidya

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Delhi High Court places an interim order against the new JNU Hostel manual and asks JNU administration to keep registration fees, reservations, and priorities according to the old manual.

On 28thOctober 2019, The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Administration unveiled a new hostel manual with extremely steep hostel fee hikes. The rationale given by the JNU administration was that the hostel fees had not been revised for 19 years. However, these overall fee hikes would have led to JNU becoming one of the most expensive central universities in the country. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) held massive and continuous protests against the decision by the administration, stating that according to the University’s own annual reports, 40% of the students who come from lower income backgrounds would not be able to afford the revised fees and would have to pursue education elsewhere, if at all.


Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court has granted a major relief to the students of JNU upon hearing a petition filed by AIshe Ghosh, JNUSU President and other office bearers against the new hostel Manual. According to a legal update dated 24th January, 2020, from JNUSU. The High Court has directed the JNU Administration to:

Firstly, allow for registration at old rates, as per the previous hostel manual; for students yet to register. Secondly, extend the last date of registration for a week without late fine. Thirdly, apply reservations and priorities/benefits according to the old hostel manual. And lastly, to hold dialogue with the students in order to resolve the issue.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who was hearing the case, points out that “Government can’t get out of education. Government has to fund public education. The burden of paying the salaries of contractual workers is not on the students. Someone has to find the funds.”

The next hearing of the case will be held on 28thFebruary , 2020.


Feature Image Credits: The Print


Prabhanu Kumar Das

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As India celebrates its 71st Republic Day, let’s take a look at our dissenting Republic.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a Republic is defined as a State in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated President rather than a Monarch.

India, the largest democracy in the world, became a republic on 26th January 1950. In over seven decades, 103 amendments have been enacted as of December 2019. India celebrates Republic Day with much grandeur where our military might is put on display for the world. The celebration witnesses world leaders as Chief Guests for the day. This year, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, has accepted to be the Chief Guest for the celebrations.

All the citizens of this nation have been granted the Freedom of Speech and Expression; however, many have questioned the Government when it comes to the Freedom of Dissent. A student from the University of Delhi (DU), on conditions of anonymity, said, “In 2014, our PM said that the country’s democratic principles will not sustain if we don’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression. When we go out to protest, we are detained, even when it is a peaceful protest. I ask ‘why’? Is the Right selective? Do we have the Right depending on the Government’s wishes?”

I believe that dissent is not anti-national. Our country has been built on expression at crucial times in history. Gautam Buddha and Mahavira had expressed their displeasure over the rigid Vedic system and the associated rituals during the sixth century. The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was the first form of dissent by the Indians against the British rule. This even continued after Independence.

J. P. Narayanan’s call for a revolution in the social, economic, and political sphere in 1975 led to the imposition of Emergency and the whole Country turning against the then Government led by Indira Gandhi. A country cannot be free if its people feel threatened in any way, or if there is a fear of expressing oneself.

It is important that the youth, as responsible young citizens of India choose to fight for what is right. It is our prerogative to make sure that there exists a culture of democratic discussion and peaceful dissent, where there exists no violence, where the youth protests for the cause, and not for name and fame.  It is disheartening that during the times when the entire nation was protesting, some student leaders found their way to be a part of larger political organisations to favour their interests. Thus, at that time, the cause is left behind, and the political career is given more light. I saw a few people who came out to ‘protest’ at Jantar Mantar on 19th December 2019, while they saw the protesters raise slogans against the Government, one of them remarked, “acha timepass ho raha hai” (this is a good way to pass time).

The Constitution also provides for an independent Judicial system and the integrity of the higher Judiciary. So, doesn’t the judiciary hold any conscientiousness towards the alarming situation of India? I strongly feel that the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary, and an independent Press are the real pillars of India. Even if one of them doesn’t question the damaging image of India, then they are not justifying their existence to the citizens of the country and to the rest of the world. In these times when grave violations of human rights are being alleged every day, it is imperative of the judiciary to fulfil its constitutional duty, maintain its democratic significance, and uphold its institutional prestige.

India’s population of over 1.37 billion people gives us an indication of how many ideas and opinions can flourish in a democratic set-up. Constructive criticism and meaningful dialogue area hallmark of a democratic society and depends on its informed and active citizens who will speak out and distinguish themselves from rabble-rousing.

Anoushka Sharma

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Universities, the breeding ground of education and ideals, echo today with chants of Azadi, and Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge. They think we’ll let go and surrender. However, they don’t know that our resistance is stronger than their hatred.

As another year goes by, the ‘one who must not be named’ reigns back to power and, yet again, the country erupts in massive dissent in one of the ways propagated by the moderate protests. While more universities get labelled as ‘anti-national’ by the followers of the ‘party that must not be named’, I am reminded of Satyajit Ray’s Hirak Rajar Deshe (1980); as the protagonist says, “Era joto beshi pore, toto beshi jaane, toto kom mane.” (The more they learn, the more they know, the less they obey).
Nandini Sukhija, a student of Mumbai University, said, “Our political leaders gain power by mobilization of groups, which are usually composed of brainwashed partisans. The intellectuals know better than of all for their cheap and divisive tactics, by which they threaten the Government’s power. It’s not hard to connect the dots and realise why fascist governments will always clamp down the educated and shut down channels of information.”
The well-read are rational critics whereas the ideologists are the irrational ones. Targeting universities, the educated, scholars, and writers, is an age-old gameplay to curb the anti- establishment voices, to curb nothing but dissent and voice.

Forcing the well- read to obey the regressive actions coerced on the vulnerable sections of the society is a task of great objection. The very reason why their voices are silenced is that the establishment is aware that they are wrong, they know that they’d fail if the truth prevailed, if the educated people’s voice reverberated.

The youth is the ‘future’ of India, long ahead after the remains of the politicians have vanished into thin air, their remnants left as a by-product of hate, fear and, fascism, the youth will still exist.

History is evidential of the exemplary contribution and corrupt silence that students are bestowed upon by fascist governments. When the ones to oppose, the ones to criticise cease to exist, their propagation, their ideology, their reign thrives. Democracy without opposition is no democracy at all. Arresting the well-read and labelling them as urban Naxalites is a reminder of the very failure of democracy.
Central universities ordering students to not protest, charging them of disciplinary action to prevent dissent or questioning the Government, Is everyone an accomplice here?

“Educational institutions are the hotspots of awareness. Silencing educational institutions to gain peace is like burning the Amazon and then expecting the earth to be ecologically sound. The consequences will only intensify. “Finger on your lips is not something appealing to the youth,
neither is it going to stay for too long,” Priyanshi Banerjee, a student of Lady Shri Ram College rightfully explains.
If we go down the pages of history, Nazi Germany right before World War II reminds us of eerily similar circumstances. Sonderaktion Krakau, a German terror operation against academics at Jagiellonian University performed in order to eradicate the Polish intellectual elites.

Along with this, Frankfurt University was the first university targeted by Nazis for their liberal, exuberant academic record, scholarships, international faculty, and uphold of democratic values and ideals.
The times we live in are scary, they attack unarmed students, name-call academicians, murder journalists, hush down voices, curb protests. Where is dissent? Where did the safety valve of democracy go?
All revolutions, all rebellions, nationalist movements, demand for rights, protests, agitations, all starts from the students; the very foundation of a stable country. The recent attacks on students at various universities are nothing but an act of cowardice in the world’s largest democracy; the very country which once upheld the ideals of secularism, democracy, justice, liberty, and equality.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Anandi Sen 

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ABVP-led DUSU slams the Left for 5 January JNU violence and anti-CAA protests with hoardings all over North Campus. ABVP and NSUI exchange words regarding no official meetings, securing permission and wasting union budget. 

University’s North Campus has been covered with hoardings put by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP)  led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) blaming the Left for the January 5 violence inflicted at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). They have also blamed the Left for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. 

 Akshit Dahiya, President, Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) has accepted that the provocative hoardings have been installed by the ABVP. “They (the Left) are speaking about breaking India and slogans and banners seeking freedom for Kashmir have sprung up at their protests. There are attempts to project students’ protest in a negative way,” said Dahiya. 

The DUSU sits on an unbalanced note as three of the members are affiliated to ABVP while the post of Secretary comes from a rather different ideology; led by the Congress-led- National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). Dahiya added that three hoardings have been put up near Law Faculty after attaining the required permission from authorities. The hoardings have messages such as “CAA ke naam par desh jalana bandh karo” (stop burning the country in the name of CAA) and “Left attacks JNU,” carrying pictures of ABVP members injured in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) January 5 violence and those injured due to anti-CAA protests all over the country. One of the hoardings also shows mob pelting stones.

However, the National Students’ Union of India slammed the rather cheap move by ABVP. Ashish Lamba, Secretary of the DUSU questioned the ABVP’s decision to put up such posters as there was no official DUSU meeting regarding the same. Dahiya countered the claim by stating that DUSU Executive Council which comprised 15 members, including the four DUSU office-bearers who came to the conclusion with the consensus of 10 members.  

The Delhi President of NSUI, Akshay Lakra, criticised the wastage caused by ABVP-led DUSU of the Union’s budget. Accusing the ABVP in indulging in dirty left-right politics in free university spaces, Lakra continues, “Despite being exposed many times by media and JNU students, ABVP still hasn’t accepted its defeat in its own propaganda. The NSUI strongly condemns any sort of hate campaign run by political parties on university campuses. It’s high time that we restore peace and harmony on campuses,” he said. To counter this claim, Akshit Dahiya, DUSU President, denied using the budget for putting up the hoarding rather the Executive Council contributes 200 INR per member. 

January 5, 2020, went down quite unfortunate on JNU as masked men and women barged into the campus with weapons, vandalising and injuring people as the Delhi Police observed in silence. Media debated and conspired to blame the Left for inflicting violence on the left, thus perpetuating the idea of ‘Left Terror’. However, within a few days, Pinky Chaudhary of Hindu Raksha Dal took to video to claim responsibility for the merciless attack on unarmed students. In the video, Chaudhary says, “For several years, JNU has been a bastion of communists and we will not tolerate it. Hindu Raksha Dal, Bhupendra Tomar, Pinky Chaudhury take the responsibility of what has happened in JNU…all of them were our volunteers. Those who cannot do such work for Mother India don’t have the right to live in this country.” The violence instigated on students was deadly as over 30 injured students and professors were admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre on the night of 6th January. 

Featured Image Credits: Jaishree Kumar

Anandi Sen
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