After protests in Gargi College campus against the violence endured by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the government’s anti-people policies, the administration prohibited students from protesting in campus premises.
On 6th January 2020, the students of Gargi College carried out a peaceful protest and discussion in the campus against police brutality in campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and against Citizenships (Amendment) Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC). The gathering was supported by the Students’ Union and was attended by students with posters and placards.
However, on behalf of the Principal, Dr. Promila Kumar, the Union Advisor asked for the protest to be shut down as the posters, apparently, were inappropriate. The advisor also asked the students to carry out the discussion indoors and prohibited sloganeering.
As a result, the students of Gargi College proceeded to recite slogans outside their Campus.
On 7th January, the Principal, then, in a discussion with the protestors, said that no gathering would be permitted without the principal’s written permission.
The administration of the Gargi College released a notice prohibiting students from participating in any protests unapproved by the principal, stating that all students found doing so would be punished. Moreover, the college now requires prior permission from the police for any gathering outside the college.
Official Notice by the administration
The notice read, “All students are hereby informed that no gathering or protest of any form in the college premises is allowed without the prior approval of the Principal. Further, the prior permission is required from the police for any protests/gathering outside the College. In case, any student is found protesting in the College premises, disciplinary action shall be taken against such student. Further, if any student protests outside the college, such students shall be solely responsible for his/her action.”
Ashwini, an Applied Psychology student of the college says, “The gathering was actually something which was approved and put forward by the Students’ Union for which the permission has been granted. However, seeing this bipolar behaviour has upset me to my very core. My college has always been a safe space for something like this, so this wasn’t really something I expected.”
A student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “On one hand, by calling it a form of protection the College administration and Principal wanted the College to remain away from tangible issues, as they feared misrepresentation. At the same while, the students wanted to stand up and speak out together. It became a conflict inside the College itself where the positivity of solidarity transformed into negativity and resentment amongst students, students’ union, and the authorities.”
The Gargi College Student Union, on 10th January, along with college Department Presidents, organised another gathering in support of students and against the acts of brutality, which went on peacefully.
Students and teachers were witnessed reciting Hum Dekhenge, Hum Honge Kaamyab and other songs in solidarity. Members of Upstage, the stage play society of Gargi College also enacted a small performance on the ongoing distress in the Nation. The gathering ended with a recitation of the Preamble of the Constitution.
Official statement by Students’ Union, Gargi College
Image Credits: Instagram @studentuniongargi
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives