A silent protest which was supposed to take place by students of Kamala Nehru College stands allegedly cancelled by the college authorities.
On 31 January 2020, students of Kamala Nehru College (KNC), were set to organize a silent protest at the pavement, opposite to college, themed around ‘students demanding change’ around 10 AM. Posters were circulated the night before in different class WhatsApp groups about this mobilization.
However, on the morning of 31st January, confusion filled the air when talks of change in venue started to fly around. Around 11 AM the word which spread was that the venue has shifted to the main gate of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC).
Messages which were in circulation read,
Since the admin and the principal have chosen to give us a hard time we are now mobilizing at the DCAC main gate.
A call has been given to all the south campus students to come there. CLASSES CAN HAPPEN ANYTIME BUT ATROCITIES AGAINST STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE A SPACE IN THIS COUNTRY.
It’s at 11:30 at the DCAC”
Since the incident, a lot of confusion started to fly around. According to sources, a meeting took place to aid communication between principal and students regarding this, however, the content of the meeting was not shared exclusively.
DU Beat approached the Students’ Union of KNC for more clarity on this issue and they said, “Keeping in view the current scenario, if we’re convinced about our actions we can always meet the Principal and have an open dialogue with her, as far as we know she would be positive. That day during the interaction she talked about innovating the method of protest and didn’t disapprove of the idea of dissent.” They further added, “The dialogue does not only bridge the communication gap between the administration and the students but also helps a way out of the situation in the best interest of KNC.”
This stance, however, differed from what students thought. Initially, when asked upon, teachers and students expressed their qualms and denied openly talking about this issue. A source, however, agreed to talk, provided her request to have her identity remain undisclosed said, “In recent times students of KNC have faced a lot of backlash from college authorities, especially from the Principal. The students of Theatre Society were made to cancel their street play because the principal found it to be too political.”
While hinting towards the recent shift of silent protest, she added, “On 31st January the students of the College, organized a protest, which was supposed to take place outside College pavement, and she stood against it. She talked to the faculty to stop students from protesting and threatened students with rustication. She even announced on college speakers that if anyone is seen protesting, strict disciplinary actions will be taken against them. Later, she pinpointed departments and called for an emergency staff meeting which led the students feel scared about losing college.”
Similar patterns of events were observed when rumours about the authorities cancelling Lakshya: the Theater Society’s Fest: Concoction, went around. The cancellation was believed to be on the grounds of play having a political inclination. Although sources have confirmed that society members have communicated with the administration amidst the rumours and permission for fest has been granted, and they will proceed with it.
Kriti Dwivedi, an alma mater of KNC, batch of 2019, openly expressed her disbelief through her social media pages. However, when asked upon to provide concrete evidence on which she based her accusations, she denied expressing it, the reason being the safety of those students who have some lead.
The notion of students having the liberty to express themselves freely and authorities meddling in between has gained quite a momentum in the campus. The Union and Society Presidents hold different ideas compared to what general students think.
So far, no concrete evidence has been found which validates that the authorities hamper freedom of expression of students. But the eerie similarity of silence has started to raise apprehensions.
There’s silence in Kamala Nehru, and there’s no backing to say that if it’s for good or bad.
Feature Image Credits: College Dunia