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An event by the student group ‘Brahmins of DU’, sponsored by the University of Delhi, was supposed to be held on May 10, 2024, i.e., Friday. However, the event faced protests from the left-bloc of student politics, alleging casteist and discriminatory sentiments, causing the event to be consequently canceled.

In the continual skepticism over the democratic nature of Delhi University and the inherent ‘saffronization’ and ‘brahmanization’ that is allegedly being promoted by the university, there was yet another DU-Admin-sponsored event organized by the student wing, ‘Brahmins of DU’. The university-wide association announced an event titled ‘Brahmins and the Tapestry of Hindu Civilization: Weaving Bhartiya Heritage and Calling Astikas to Fulfill Rșiṛṇa  that was programmed to take place on May 10, 2024, at the Conference Center of the North Campus, along with a campus-wide ‘Shobha Yatra‘ on the same day.

The event received widespread backlash from the student community, citing its alleged casteist approach. This was further vitalized by claims from Professor Abha Dev Habib, an Assistant Professor at DU, who, in conversation with EdexLive, cited a recent example of how events are being ‘policed’ and ‘restricted’ and a poetry reading session on the Palestinian crisis that was supposed to be held on April 15 was canceled by the university ‘without citing any valid reason’. In opposition to the event by ‘Brahmins of DU’, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), under the umbrella of Humans of DU, organized a parallel event on the same date, i.e., May 10, 2024, at the Arts Faculty. The event organized was a photo exhibition and open mic themed around the ‘Saffronization’ of DU and against the ‘Normalization of Casteist Politics on the Campus’. Students university-wide joined the event in solidarity with the cause and presented their ideas, pieces, and writings, and the words of prominent Dalit writers like Omprakash Valmiki were also echoed.

Aditi, State Committee Member SFI Delhi, adds about how the undertakings in the university are a “direct reflection of the societal tapestry of our country”, expressing her fear over an ‘uncertain future’ wherein incidents like the “recent TISS debacle could be replicated in Delhi University”. She further states that, with opposition events like this:

 we will not let them destroy the dissent, debate, and other progressive nature of our campus.

Besides SFI, the All India Student Association, AISA, also made a post on Instagram condemning the event, stating:

Their ideologies promote hatred, discrimination, and division, which directly contradict the values of equality, solidarity, and social justice.

While the SFI Event was an alleged success in presenting their opposition to the events and undertakings held by the group Brahmins of DU, the event organized by Brahmins of DU did not materialize. In a consequent press release, SFI states that fervent backlash and dissent from “progressive student pressure groups” and political bodies compelled the administration to call off the event organized by ‘Brahmins of DU’ eventually.

Read Also: TISS Scholar Suspended for Two Years Due to ‘Anti-National Acts’ and Protests Outside Parliament

Featured Image Credits: SFI Official Instagram

Shikhar Pathak

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In a swift response, Delhi University takes action against a staff member accused of sexual harassment, reflecting a commitment to student welfare. As students rally for justice at the Central Institute of Education, officials ensure a thorough investigation by the Internal Complaints Committee, prioritizing safety and transparency.

The University of Delhi’s Establishment Branch has terminated the employment of a non-teaching staff member who was allegedly involved in the sexual harassment of a student at the Central Institute of Education (CIE) earlier this month. The incident occurred in the Department of Education’s new building, per the student’s official complaint with the Head and Dean of CIE. The defendant is alleged to have engaged in several inappropriate behaviors, such as unwanted approaches, invasive personal inquiries, and acts that created a great deal of discomfort and fear for the student’s safety.

The student has asked for her peers’ support, expressing how the encounter violated and deeply distressed her. She also expressed fear for her safety because the harasser was walking around the department unhindered. Students came together to plan a demonstration at CIE on Wednesday to support the student’s right to justice.

The Indian Express was notified by Pankaj Arora, Head and Dean of CIE, that the Internal Complaints Committee was notified of the student’s complaint as soon as it was received on Monday. The accused, who worked for the company under a contract, was let go early on Wednesday.

We have engaged in extensive discussions with the students and have assured them that the university’s ICC will handle the matter with care.” Arora said in response to the protest.

While the ICC investigates the case, questions remain about the student’s ongoing safety and the support system available. Did the University offer counselling services or connect her with external support groups specializing in trauma recovery? Transparency regarding the ICC process would also be beneficial. What are the expected timelines for the investigation? Are there resources readily available to explain the process to students involved in such cases?

The case is presently under review by the ICC, and until the process concludes, it would be challenging to disclose specific details of the proceedings.” said DU Proctor Rajni Abbi.

The Students’ Union or other student committees at CIE likely played a crucial role in supporting the student and organizing the protest. Including a statement from a student representative would amplify the students’ voice and highlight the collective stand against harassment. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the prevalence of sexual harassment in educational settings. By creating a culture of support, ensuring a fair and transparent investigation process, and implementing robust prevention programs, universities can foster safe learning environments where every student feels empowered and respected.

Read Also: Where are you ICC: Looking at DU’s History of Sexual Harassment 

Featured Image Credits: India TV News

Divya Malhotra

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The Kerala unit of the SIO (Students Islamic Organization of India) took to the streets of Kochi to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetoric targeting Muslims during the election campaign in Rajasthan.

On Wednesday, April 24, activists from the Students Islamic Organization (SIO) in Kerala organized a protest rally in Kochi. The demonstration aimed to condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hate-filled speech targeting Muslims during his recent Lok Sabha election campaign in Rajasthan. The activists fervently raised slogans and demanded action against the prime minister during the protest.

During the protest, a group of students was seen carrying torches and a large banner that read, “Punish the hatemonger. Disqualify Narendra Modi’s candidacy… Resist Islamophoia… Resist Hindutva. etc.” Throughout the protest march, activists raised slogans against PM Modi and the RSS.

The protest stemmed from the Prime Minister’s remarks made during a rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara, where he hit out at the Congress over its wealth redistribution survey promise and said that the party, if voted to power, would distribute the country’s wealth to “infiltrators” and “those who have more children,” an apparent reference to Muslims. “It will be distributed to the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this? The Congress manifesto says they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, get information about it, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom? Manmohan Singh’s government had said that Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets,” PM Modi said.

In the wake of the hate speech that sparked widespread outrage across the nation, opposition leaders vehemently criticized PM Modi’s remarks, particularly those aimed at a specific community. Additionally, some leaders also urged the public to petition the Election Commission of India in response to the concerning statements made by the Prime Minister. Previously, the SIO Kerala Unit had also participated in a similar protest at Providence Girls Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode, where students were forbidden from wearing hijabs. The protest highlighted a broader issue regarding religious freedoms within educational environments.

Read AlsoRajasthan: Students Protest Against Suspension of Muslim Teachers – Reject “Conversion” and “Love- Jihad” Allegations

Featured Image Credits: SIO Kerala

Dhairya Chhabra

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With the recent acquittal of former Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba after a torturous 10 years of imprisonment under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), we take a look at one of the most important tools in the market of India’s barely-there-democracy: the UAPA.

In the Athenian State of 621 BCE, lived a statesman named Draco. Draco prescribed death for all criminal offences. Laws that were written in blood, not ink. Think of the word ‘draconian’ named after this infamous statesman, but in the Indian context, and perhaps what comes to mind is the notorious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) of 1967. 

Student activist Umar Khalid spent a total of three years behind bars in Tihar, with his bail pleas rejected consistently. The case moved from bench to bench. 84-year-old Stan Swamy, booked under the Bhima Koregaon case during his imprisonment, had asked for a sipper and straw in jail, citing Parkinson’s disease. It took the authorities a month to approve his request. On July 5, 2021, he passed away in jail, still awaiting trial. Journalist Siddique Kappan, on his way to cover the Hathras rape case, was arrested and detained similarly for a period of two years without trial. 

What brings these cases together is UAPA. Stringent conditions for bails (the accused will not be given bail if the first impression of the court is that they are guilty), the ability to declare an individual ‘terrorist’, and detention without producing any incriminating evidence have ensured the overturning of the precept of innocent before proven guilty. The investigating agencies are allowed to take up to 180 days even to file a chargesheet, which, in the case of Kappan, he claims to never even have received firsthand.

The process thus becomes the punishment. The asymmetrical power balance between citizen and state is clearly exploited to the citizen’s disadvantage. Dissecting the acquittal judgement of Professor G.N. Saibaba, Karen Gabriel, and PK Vijayan write for The Quint that the law comprises both the set of legislation that the state has to enact and uphold as well as the rules of procedure that the state must adhere to while doing so. They assert, “Procedure is an invaluable protective measure, not an incidental convenience.”

A Brief History

In the year 1967, the Indira Gandhi administration sought to bring out a law against the secessionist activities that the government observed in the country. The Parliament thus passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. What initially emerged as legislation to counter the problem of secessionist tendencies, however, would quickly assume an altogether different colour. 

After the Prime Minister’s death and with the advent of the Punjab insurgency, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) was introduced. Criticised widely by human rights organisations for its arbitrary tendencies to centralise the onus of justice, it was later withdrawn. TADA trickled down in 2001 to POTA (the Prevention of Terrorism Act) in 2002, which met with concerns of misuse and was scrapped by the UPA government in 2004. The provisions of POTA, however, were in essence transferred onto the UAPA, which was the first introduction of anti-terrorism into the primarily anti-secessionist legislation. The central government could now overlook rules of evidence when it came to interception of communication and vested in its hands the power to declare any organisation as a terrorist organisation without trial. 

In 2008, the Act was further amended to include longer police custody, longer jail time, and harder bail provisions. The latest and most important amendment in 2019 empowered the NIA further and gave the government powers to declare individuals terrorists. 

But It Works, Right?

The hardlined stringency should then naturally warrant efficiency in curbing the “disturbances” that it claims to protect us from. The Home Ministry’s 2020 report, on the other hand, tells us that only 212 of the 24000 convicted in UAPA cases in 2016–2020 were found guilty. As Kappan puts it, “a conviction rate of less than 3%.”

Acquitting DU professor G. N. Saibaba, who has been in prison for 3600 days, the Bombay High Court noted:

No evidence has been led by the prosecution by any witness to any incident, attack, act of violence, or even evidence collected from some earlier scene of offence where a terrorist act has taken place, in order to connect the accused to such an act…

The court further stated that there had been an evident “failure in justice” in the flouting of mandatory provisions in Saibaba’s case. The appalling conditions of his imprisonment, along with those of many others, lead one to wonder whether the crushing impact that callous state persecution has on an individual’s life can ever be undone with mere acquittal. 

The persecution of intelligentsia, which asks difficult questions of institutions, is no new phenomenon. Considering, however, that as we function under that nimble concept of what is known to some of us as a democracy, the state would do well to clothe its atrocities better and be less conspicuous about them. The UAPA, with its in-your-face authoritarian tendencies, does not seem to be helping in that front. 

Read also: The Donkey Dance of UAPA: Criminalising Dissent in a Hollowing Democracy

Deevya Deo
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This is a narrative of dissent, dissatisfaction, and a culture of resistance.

On a sunny winter morning, five young women sit on the bricked steps of Miranda House (MH) with a single tiffin in their hands. Inside the tiffin are meagre portions of flaxen Lauki and three stiff rotis. This is food they have collected from the hostel mess, and it is food, they decide, that must be served to the college principal. Not out of the graciousness of their hearts but out of an overwrought sense of frustration that they allege has been building up since their first semester at the Miranda House hostel.

Dissent runs rampant in the history of the hostel. The Pinjra Tod movement arrived at its gates in 2018. Demands for the removal of curfews were initially met with a pity extension of 30 minutes. Today, the MH hostel stands as one of the only DU hostels that does not lock up its women at night. The strain of resistance that went into this achievement belongs solely to its residents. Today, however, it has been reduced to a tussle for basic necessities.

Food. It is truly as basic as it gets. The major grievances put forward by the hostel residents include two-pronged complaints of quality and quantity. General complaints of food quality have now pervaded the hostel for quite some time, with instances of people falling ill after having consumed the mess food. In one instance of the burner supposedly having broken down, the residents claim to have been served partially cooked chicken, paneer, and later burned food. On the other hand, I am told that food getting over before the end of meal times is a regular occurrence.

Even as I write this piece, a message circulates in the hostel WhatsApp groups about “uncooked aloo” having been served for dinner. At night, under the lofty palm trees that feature vibrantly in every single equally vibrant photograph of the illustrious institution, residents sit and compare the circumferential edibility of the rotis. Some claim to have stopped eating in the mess altogether.

These grievances are met with rationalisations on the part of the authorities, which residents cite as ranging from “taste is subjective” to, at times, blatant denial. While the gallows-humour approach adopted by the residents is indeed laudable, what of those who cannot afford to eat outside? Must they be punished for entrusting reliance on promised subsidised food and quality residence? A second-year resident aptly asks,

After such a competition to get a seat in the hostel, why do we have to face issues regarding basic things on a regular basis?

Hostellers claim that they are reminded, upon complaints, that they are paying less and hence should learn to adjust. While a comparative analysis of hostel fees in the North Campus domain confirms the assertion that the 27000 (rough per semester standardisation) being paid by Miranda Hostellers is indeed moderate, whether nominal fees are justification enough for compromise on basic tenets of existence is left to the discretion of the reader.

To track the quality of water, some residents recounted a diarrhoea outbreak in the month of January. Such an account is provided with the backdrop of the NAAC visit in mind.

In doing so, residents recall the Student Federation of India’s (SFI) threat to protest in front of the NAAC delegation should their needs remain unmet. The memorandum containing the same was said to have been signed overnight. This raises another point of contention on the part of the hostellers, wherein the authorities are credited with being responsive to concerns, but only after the residents have reached a point of saturation, which only precipitates dissent.

An analysis of this point of contention rings true, as one observes that UV filters have been installed since the last few months had featured reports of illnesses and mass mailing. Rat holes were filled, and hair strands in Dal were addressed with plastic caps for the mess workers. The fact that authorities address issues only in the face of dissent is perhaps emblematic of larger, more systematic problems.

The hostel union, for instance, consists of third- and second-year residents. As a medium of communication between the administration and the residents, the existence of a student body makes complete and perfect sense. What does not, however, make sense is the delegation of responsibilities for looking after the hostel to the students, who are also burdened with their hefty academic degrees, which is what ex-union members allege has been happening. This has led more than once to multiple resignations, even, at one point in time, the dissolution of the union, as well as an unwillingness on the part of the residents to be part of the hostel’s students’ bodies.

It is easy to dismiss these grievances with the refrain of ‘controlled expectations’ from all things ‘Sarkari’. In doing so, however, we reward structural and governmental complacency. Resistance thus has a degree of inflated importance within the walls of the hostel because things are scarcely resolved without it. As residents grapple with the resolution of basic necessities, it only makes sense that they uphold the legacy of the hostel, as they appear to have been doing: the letter accompanying the tiffin calls it “a signal of distress.”

Read Also : Miranda House Students Protest for Removal of Curfew – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: Telegraph India

Deevya Deo
[email protected] 

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad organised a protest at the Aryabhatta College on 21st June, in order to express concerns regarding student safety and student welfare in the campus. The college administration received condemnation from the protestors for apathy and indifference towards student issues.

On the 21st of June, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a protest at Aryabhatta College in the South Campus of the University of Delhi. The protest was reportedly organised in order to condemn the inability of the college administration to ensure student safety in and around the college campus. On 18th June, a 19-year-old student named Nikhil Chauhan was allegedly stabbed to death outside the Aryabhatta College. The protestors blamed administrative negligence and poor security conditions around the college campus for the murder.

The protest, which was scheduled at 10:30, finally began at 11:30 and lasted for about 2 hours. The protestors reportedly bolted the college gates, not allowing students and faculty members to enter the campus. The protestors raised ‘vande mataram’ slogans and ‘bharat mata ki jai’ chants while asserting their demands.

The members of the ABVP made a list of demands that included – recruiting more female security guards, ensuring the availability of sanitary pad vending machines, renovating washrooms across the college campus etc. While some of the demands were specific and aimed at student welfare, other demands such as – “proper and strict action should be taken against incapable and abusive admin staff” were vague and incomprehensible. The protestors were mostly men and very few women were present at the site.

A student getting murdered right outside our college is a big deal. This could have been prevented. No action was taken by the admin staff even though they were aware of the fight between the victim and the accused that happened a week before the murder. The administration has been apathetic to student concerns. Students have to struggle for days even to solve minor issues. Our sports ground has been out of use for the past four months. We have made a list of demands addressing these concerns that we intend to place before the principal.” – Tarun Yadav, ABVP President for Aryabhatta College

The students, after staging the protest outside the college, marched inside the campus, raising slogans and vocalising their demands. The members of the ABVP expressed that they intend to place their demands in a meeting with the principal. There was tussle between the members of the admin and the protestors that resulted in chaos. Four representatives of the ABVP finally met with the principal and a meeting was held in order to discuss the concerns raised by the protestors. After the meeting, the members informed the protestors that almost all their demands had been readily accepted by the principal.

There was considerable police presence at the protest site. On being asked about how they feel about the deployment of police forces at the college, an ABVP representative stated that the police was present to help them carry out the protest without interference.

The police forces are not here to suppress our protest. They are here to ensure our security and to prevent any unwanted interference from other parties.” – Tarun Yadav, ABVP President for Aryabhatta College

Read also – https://dubeat.com/2023/06/20/a-delhi-university-student-stabbed-to-death-outside-of-aryabhatta-college/

Featured Image Credits – Pratik for DuBeat

Tulip Banerjee

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For the past month, the non-teaching staff of Keshav Mahavidyalaya have been protesting in a sit-in dharna for demands such as pending promotions and timely payment of dues. The administration has allegedly not relented to any requests as of yet. 

In an exclusive conversation with DU Beat, a member of the Karamchari Union of Keshav Mahavidyalaya alleged that promotions of the college’s non-teaching staff have been halted since 2009. Instead, they accused, the appointment of retired individuals has been extended to fill up the posts that were supposed to be taken up via promotions. This has led to serious concerns about financial security and workers’ rights, given that 30-32 members of the Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union have been protesting in the college since April 12, 2023.

Jo jahan pe hai wo vahin hai. Job kisiliye karta hai aadmi? Isiliye ki jisse uski koi growth ho, wo zindagi mein kuch achieve kar paye… 17-26 saal ho gaye hain logon ko kaam karte hue. Mehangai badh rahi hai, par us hisaab se aapki salary nahi increase ho rahi. Aadmi apni zaruratein nahi puri kar paata, apne parivaar ke kharche nahi utha pata.

(Everyone is stuck where they are. Why does someone work at a job? So that they can achieve something in life and for growth… It’s been 17–26 years since we have been working. Prices have been rising, but our salaries have not been increasing in proportion. One is not able to fulfil their needs and fend for their family.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

Even though the number of students being admitted to the college has increased over the years, our sources claimed that the number of posts for non-teaching staff has not increased in proportion to the increasing workload. Reportedly, posts such as lab assistant, library assistant, gardener, etc. are vacant and awaiting promotions.

Additionally, our sources alleged that the college has not been adhering to the reservation policy; posts reserved for SC, ST, and OBC categories have allegedly been allotted to unreserved candidates. In another instance, they accused the college of allotting examination duties to “near and dear ones” instead of the existing college staff.

Our sources retold a particular instance of pending promotions which arose in the case of the post of Senior Assistant in the Administration department. According to the post-based promotion roster available on the college website, there are two posts in the cadre. However, our sources informed us that the same was reduced to 1 post in subsequent rosters. A plea filed in 2011 under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, once again revealed that there were two posts present of Senior Assistant in the college.

Alleging “a blame game on Dilli sarkar (Delhi government)”, they reported that inquiries with the administration were met with the response that Delhi government has not sanctioned or approved those posts and that the college lacks adequate funding. Letters and mails to the administration have allegedly not yielded much positive response either.

Admin se jo ek-do baar baat hui hai, tab unhone humein pressurize karne ki neeti apnai hai. Ki aap apne kaam pe laut jao. Darane-dhamkane ka bhi unka raha hai.

(In the one or two times that we have talked to the administration, they have adopted the strategy of trying to pressurize us. That we should return to work. They have tried to intimidate and threaten us.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

While headlines of fund-crunch in the 12 DU colleges that come under the purview of the Delhi government have surfaced before, our source reported that, as per their knowledge, the teaching staff of the college hasn’t faced any issue with promotion or dues. If the issue is reportedly limited only to the non-teaching staff, they raised questions about the validity of the fund shortage reasoning.

The protesting workers and non-teaching staff have pleaded for immediate redressal of their “long-overdue demands” and inquiry into all cases of alleged maladministration.

Read also: DU Non-Teaching Staff Protest Demands Pending Promotions

Featured Image Credits: Sourabh for DU Beat

Sanika Singh

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

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

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

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

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

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

– read SFI’s press release

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Image Credits: @sfidelhi on Instagram

Bhavya Nayak
[email protected]

 

The annual festival of Hindu College, ‘Mecca’, has allegedly been put in jeopardy by an administration order to reduce the 3-day, star-studded event to just 1. Students of the college have reportedly gathered outside the college gates to stage a protest against the same.

An important cultural event in the college calendar, this year’s ‘Mecca’ was scheduled to be held on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of April, culminating in a megastar evening on the final day with Sunidhi Chauhan. Agreements had been made, and Coke Studio had signed up for sponsorship of about Rs. 34 lakhs. However, with the event just a week away, on April 20, the organising committee was informed by the college principal that the event should be wrapped up in a single day, i.e., April 28.

This order by the administration was reportedly in part due to the recent advisory issued by the University for  college fests requiring NOC from the police or being limited to the students of the college. Students who have been working hard for months for this event have come out to protest against this arbitrary decision. The organising committee has also opposed this decision, saying that MOUs have been signed and all the arrangements have been made. The college administration has also allegedly made the distasteful demand that Sunidhi Chauhan be dressed in a saree; otherwise, she won’t be allowed to perform on stage, as a gimmick to stop the event from taking place.

“The admin has shown a similar attitude towards every event. We had a North-East Fest in our college which had an open entry, but the principal denied that just one day before the event. They’ve always opposed Mecca from the first day, but if they’re letting it happen, why cancel at the last moment? Coke Studio can easily file a case against the OC head of Mecca for breaking the MOUs.” – Devesh Arya, a third-year student at Hindu College

According to sources, various protesters allegedly came to the college on the night of the 20th, breaking the locks of the gates and protesting for Mecca to be held according to the original itinerary of 3 days. The next morning, they reportedly didn’t let the professors into the college as a sign of protest. Later in the day, they shifted their protest to the principal’s office. While some students alleged that protesting students were detained by the police and lathi charged, others have claimed otherwise. On the same day, i.e., the 21st of April, the principal issued a notice stating that they “were anguished to the state that they were left with no choice but to seek police assistance”.

“Students have crowded outside the auditorium since last night; they’ve spread the mattresses and are continuously protesting. Since then, the principal has also made many attempts to leave the premises, but every time was stopped by protesting students.” – An eyewitness from Hindu College

Many people in the organizing committee claimed having their own money pitched in, but now that there are limitations on the people allowed to attend the event, the students fear that the sponsors will back out and also tarnish the name of the college.

“We don’t have any additional demand; we just want to continue with the same old format that Mecca used to happen. This is all our demand, and as long as it’s not fulfilled, we will continue to protest. A meeting with the principal happened, but no response was received.” – Prabal Mishra, a student of Hindu College and Junior Executive Head in PR

Read also: ‘No event without Police NOC’: DU Releases New Guidelines for College Fests

Featured Image Credits: Devesh Arya for DU Beat

Samra Iqbal
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On Monday, April 10, the teachers and various teacher organisations of Delhi University staged a protest during an Executive Council meeting, demanding the absorption of ad-hoc and temporary teachers along with the formation of governing bodies in Delhi government-funded DU colleges.

The members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protested outside the vice chancellor’s office while the Executive Council meeting was underway. They were joined by the teachers’ wing of the Aam Adami Party, the Academics for Action and Development Delhi Teachers’ Association (AADTA). The demonstration included two members of the Executive Council itself, Seema Das and Rajpal Singh Pawar, who are also associated with AADTA. The primary issue raised was that of the displacement of ad-hoc teachers, leading to dire financial conditions and job insecurity.

 “The ousting of long-serving teachers is inhumane and promotes social insecurity in the working of the ad-hoc teaching community, which is not in the interest of the academic environment, teachers, and the community.”

                                            —AK Bhagi, Delhi University Teachers’ Association President

They demanded the absorption of displaced teachers and additionally called for the formation of governing bodies in colleges funded by the Delhi government, claiming that the “arbitrary displacements” had been a result of the absence of governing bodies.

“DU has been reneging on its promise of no displacement and warned that this is leading to the harassment of thousands of ad-hoc and temporary teachers working in the colleges of the University.”

                         —Seema Das, Executive Council Member and Member of AADTA

Displacement of ad-hoc teachers has been a pressing issue in the varsity, as data gathered by some University teachers suggests that nearly 76% of ad-hoc teachers have been displaced. Of the 615 ad-hoc teachers who were interviewed for permanent positions in various colleges, it is estimated that nearly 465 have been displaced as of April 8. Many of them have been teaching for several years, some even decades and nearing retirement.

“You cannot displace them in just two minutes. What will happen to them? Where will they go? Many of these teachers are above 40 and some are even nearing retirement. They provided their services despite knowing that they were not going to receive any facilities that the permanent staff do. We have been abandoned by the University and left in a lurch.”

                   — An anonymous ad-hoc teacher who was displaced recently

Some teachers alleged lack of transparency in the interview process, saying that they were not selected despite having experience and academic publications.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Read also: Chronological Account of the DUTA Ad-Hoc Crisis

Sanika Singh
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