Protests by Students


 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.


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Official statement by Students’ Union, Gargi College

Image Credits: Instagram @studentuniongargi


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Satviki Sanjay

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Millennials have come out on the streets to fight against the wrongs not just in India but all around the world. Read ahead to find out the reasons for the global protests.


All of us know about the protests going on against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in various cities across India. But it is not just the Indians fighting for what is right, but people all around the world are standing up against what they think is wrong, and are demanding change from those in power. This is the reason why Jackson Diehl has termed 2019 as ‘the year of the street protestors’.


It is the season of discontent and unrest in seemingly everywhere. Countries from Lebanon to Spain to Chile, Paris, and India amidst many others are burning with the rage of the protesters who have taken to streets to oppose what they think is wrong. While some are fighting against inequality and corruption, others are fighting for political freedom and climate change. The triggers are different everywhere, but the igniting fuel is similar. It includes stifled democracy, stagnating middle classes and the conviction that things could be different.


In Paris, protestors have been marching on the streets to show their opposition against the controversial pension reform introduced by the government. The country’s complex pension system has been shaken up by Emmanuel Macron, who promised to do so in his 2017 election campaign. The earlier attempts made at reforming the pension scheme were made in 1995 by president Jacques Chirac, but he failed to do so after continuous strikes which continued for three weeks. Paris has been witnessing transport strikes for two weeks and every day lakhs of protestors come out on the streets across France to show their opposition.

Massive waves of protest across Chile, Lebanon, and Egypt were ignited by government’s corruption. Starting in October 2019, the Lebanese asked for the government’s resignation and change of political establishment, after allegations of corruption against the government and its failure to provide basic economic and social rights. Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29, 2019, but anti-government demonstrations are still going on in the country.


The protests in Chile started after a hike in transport fare was announced by the government. It started in October 2019 and is still going on. The mass anti-government protests in Chile are organised to denounce the high costs of living, privatisation of water, rising electricity prices and other social issues. The politicians reached an agreement on November 15, to organize a referendum in April 2020 where Chileans will vote whether to replace the current charter of rights (Magna Carta) from Pinochet’s dictatorship and for a new legislative assembly.

In Guinea, opposition activists have been staging demonstrations since October 14, 2019. They allege that President Alpha Condé, who has been in power since 2010, is positioning himself to change the constitutionto then run for a third presidential term in late 2020. Condé has publicly called for a constitutional referendum on December 19.


In Hong Kong, protests began over a bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China in certain circumstances. The mass action in Hong Kong in the summer of 2019 led to the withdrawal of the controversial legislation, but the protests themselves continued. The demands of the protesters have now expanded to include complete universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, and amnesty for demonstrators who have been arrested.


The widespread protests going on in India against the Citizenship Amendment Act have gained global attention. Students from various universities along with other people have been coming out to the streets each day to show their opposition to the act, which they consider to be unconstitutional and islamophobic since December 4, 2019. The protests began in the north-eastern states and spread to all the other regions. India currently is witnessing a period of turmoil, which might lead the world’s largest democracy into shambles, with the government using anti-democratic means to deal with the protestors throughout the country. Although, the imposition of Section 144 CrPC, curfew, lathi charges by police and internet ban in various places has not reduced the rage in the blood of protestors.


The use of tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets have been some of the common practices adopted by the authorities to suppress the protests in all the cities throughout the world. But, it is still not enough to suppress the voice of today’s youth, which is burning with rage.


Feature Image Credits: ANI

Priya Chauhan

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Covering protests properly is important for journalists to present a real account of what the students actually think and how they behave. They are the tools for effective empowerment of a disgruntled section of the society.

In every University campus in the world, there have been agitations and instances of conflict between students and the people in power— whether they are teachers, student leaders or the administration. Sparks of dissent arise from such conflicts. Sometimes, these sparks also arise from everyday conversations among students. For instance, what happened in JNU in 2016 was an instance of conversations leading to protests.

Protests are perhaps the most spontaneous form of political action that would take place. Not surprisingly in the so-called liberal, freethinking, modern campuses of Indian education system, protests seem to become the norm and not the aberration. For better or for worse, these protests empower students to show their dissent, ideas, frustration, and their power. The protests also teach important lessons in organisation, mobilisation, symbolism, use of rhetoric and actual politics to the students. At an age when we are constantly evolving, the power of collective action, through protests, can be very stimulating for young minds. At the heart of their inception, therefore, protests represent battles fought everyday— between the all-powerful and the less powerful; the privileged and the dispossessed; the adulated and the marginalised. They are the quickest and best way to gauge the pulse of the youth.

So, is it any wonder that in DU Beat we cover protests diligently and doggedly? As a student journalist who has been to several protests, I can honestly say that it remains the most exciting part of the job. The interactions between students, teachers, police and the often unhelpful (seldom benevolent) University staff provide unique glimpses into the status quo. When these protests turn violent, it becomes all the more incumbent upon us to draw out the truth and find out what really happened. Providing an unbiased account of the ground reality has to be the aim of a good journalist.

Therefore, covering protests right— and not necessarily participating in them— become all the more important. In fact, it is almost unethical to be a part of protests which you are covering. Although it is true that journalism is hardly unbiased and journalists, like any other people, are political beings, some ground rules do apply on the field. For instance, I never indulge in sloganeering when I attend a protest I intend to cover. I try to talk to almost all the parties involved in the protest: the protesters, the opposition, the police and the officials. In fact, in one of the protests I covered one person asked me why I kept on sitting and clicking pictures for hours without uttering a single word. Did I not believe in the cause? My answer was that it was because I believe in the cause I cannot be seen to be biased when I report on it. My personal opinions can, in no way, clash with my professional practice.

However, what journalists in the country often succumb to is a false sense of objectivity. In pursuing a so-called “impartial” narrative, they often fall trap to a he-said/she-said view of events which leaves the reader more confused than ever. The primary goal of journalists has to be to uncover the truth, no matter the consequences, and present it in the best way possible.

In this vein, protests remain one of the most challenging aspects of the profession we are involved in. Its fast-paced nature, its unpredictability, the manifestations of power relations, which are themselves very fragile, the slogans that pulsate through the air— these are some of the reasons that will draw me to my cause of covering protests every single time.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Sara Sohail
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After 4 days of hunger strike, protesting day and night, being denied entry in their own campus, and heated discussions with the administration, the students of Delhi School of Journalism called off the protest on 21st September 2018.

On 17th September 2018, violence broke out in the campus of Delhi School of Journalism after the talks with the officials of the University regarding the poor infrastructure facilities reached no conclusion.

The protest took a different turn when a second-year student, Ambuj Bhardwaj was arrested by the Delhi Police. He was dragged by his neck openly in the college premises and was brutally thrashed by them. On speaking to DU Beat, Ambuj said, “We were protesting peacefully near the gate of our college. When we tried to protest near the gate of the Vice Chancellor’s office, the security guards manhandled us, one of my friends was also slapped by the guards. The moment I tried to defend him, the police caught hold of me and thrashed me. I was taken into custody for six hours.” The police was called by the administration to curb the protest. However, the students complained of being manhandled by the police.

When the discussion with the administration of the college and officials of the University didn’t prove feasible, six second-students, namely Ambuj Bhardwaj, Mohammad Ali, Prashant Yadav, Roshan Kumar, Vipul Sharma and, Suman Shekhar went on an indefinite hunger strike. They were supported by both the students of the first and second year. The administration responded by issuing a warning to take disciplinary action against the students who were protesting in the campus. This was ineffective as the students continued their agitation. Continuous health checkups of the students on hunger strike were done by the WUS Health Centre. Vipul Sharma, one of the six students on hunger strike said, “We tried many different methods of protest in the last few months, but the administration did not bother. We could not reach a proper solution to the problem. At the same time, the students were facing huge academic loss. Therefore, we had to take such a radical step. The hunger strike was a pure Gandhian step.”

Hunger strike by DSJ students
The hunger strike by DSJ students

The students of first and second year also went to different colleges and departments and appealed to them to support and extend their solidarity with them in the cause. Support for the protesting DSJ students came from various students, organisations, political parties, leaders, and teacher associations. On 20th September 2018, Delhi University Teachers’ Association members including the President, Rajib Ray and Treasurer, Najma Rehmani visited the students and appealed to them to end their hunger strike. They spoke about the initial problems associated with implementation of the course and how DUTA was against privatisation of higher educational institution as it would lead to a violation of our democratic and socialist values encompassed in the Indian constitution. While addressing the dissenting students, Rajib Ray talked about the streak of fire the students have evoked in the education industry, which has transcended from the walls of Lutyens Delhi to the entire nation. He underscored how he and his friends used to perform hunger strikes back in their days and how we remind them of the zeal and energy the youth should possess. They extended support and also promised to be present in the rally being organised by the DSJ students on 25th September 2018 against the privatisation of education and high fees. Rajya Sabha MP, Manoj Jha also met the students and understood their grievances. Members of DUTA in their individual capacities extended their solidarity to the students. Abhishek Dutta, Congress leader, Professor Abha Dev Habib, Professor Ratan Lal, Professor Suraj Yadav, students from the Law Faculty, Sunny Chillar and Akshay Lakara and other members from NSUI, newly elected DUSU Vice President Shakti Singh, Kawalpreet Kaur and members of AISA , CYSS, ABVP, SFI, Disha Student Organisation also stood with the agitating students. The members of Academic Council and Executive Council of the University also appealed to the students to end their hunger strike. They also assured that the issue will be raised in their next meeting with full force and no one will be spared. One of the members of the Academic Council promised to make DSJ the best institute for studying journalism.

Support by members of DUTA and NSUI to the protesting students
Support by members of DUTA and NSUI to the protesting students

On 21st September 2018, conditions worsened as Roshan Kumar, one of the students on hunger strike was advised urgent medical help. Ms. Neeta Sehgal, Proctor of the University of Delhi visited the students to resolve the matter. After a series of discussions, the administration and the students settled the matter. Deadlines along with proper details were provided to the students failing which the students demanded the resignation of the administrative authorities- Dr. Manasvini Yogi, Officer on Special Duty and Professor J.P. Dubey, Honorary Director of Delhi School of Journalism.  The students called off the hunger strike at 8:00 p.m. in the campus in the presence of the college authorities and fellow students.

On speaking to DU Beat, Mohd Alishan Jaffri, a second-year student of DSJ said, “This is a moment to cheer, not for complete celebration. In all these eight months of protests, the students have fought remarkably with grace. DSJ is an isolated place in North Campus, where half of the colleges in North Campus don’t know about our existence. It’s an island of misery in a fortune called North Campus. We need the world to follow this example and ensure that academic discourses are conducted properly in every public institution. We hope that Delhi School of Journalism becomes the next Columbia School of Journalism. Through DU Beat, I would also like to invite all students, teachers, organisations to be a part of the rally being organized on 25th September.”

Students stood united
Students stood united

The students are organising a DSJ Chhatra Sangharsh Rally on Tuesday, 25th September 2018 at 1:00 p.m. in Arts Faculty.  Many organisations and students are expected to be present in the mass rally against privatisation of education.


Feature Images Credits: DSJ students

Anoushka Sharma
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Students and aspiring college teachers from across different universities staged a protest outside the University Grants Commission (UGC) office on June 16, 2017. The protest demonstration was against the scrapping of the National Eligibility Test (NET) in July.

Earlier in January, the University Grants Commission (UGC) decided to scrap the National Eligibility Test (NET) exam scheduled for July 2017 and shifted it to November 19. This meant that the NET exam in December won’t take place this year. The exam that was held twice a year and conducted for 83 subjects at multiple locations across the country, will now onwards only be held once a year.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which has been holding the test since 2014, had last week notified that the NET would be held in November. Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, chairman of CBSE, wrote to the HRD ministry resonating that due of heavy workload the JRF exam should be held just once a year. The exam in which over 5 lakh candidates take the exam every year, has been held twice a year since it was started in 1984.

The protesting students also raised concerns over the reduction of the cap to qualify for NET at 6 per cent from the 15 per cent earlier. They have also started a “Save NET exam” online petition, which will be submitted to the UGC. The petition can be found here. 

Demonstrators said that holding it once a year will increase pressure on students. They attributed the reduction in qualifying percentage is part of a bigger plan where the government is enervating public funded education, by scuttling funds and seat cuts.

Feature Image credits: DU Fights back fb page

Niharika Dabral

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