In the heart of Maharashtra’s sugarcane fields, a sinister reality unfolds as women laboring
for giants like Pepsi and Coca-Cola face exploitation through forced hysterectomies,
overshadowed by corporate profits.

About a third of the sugar produced in India, the second-largest producer in the world, comes
from the state of Maharashtra alone. Maharashtra is a key supplier of sugar to global
corporations such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and Mondelez, the parent company of Cadbury. The state
prides itself on the sprawling 1.487 million hectares of lush sugar cane fields with about
203 crushing factories producing 138 lakh metric tons of sugar every year becoming the
state’s major support system. One such district is Beed, although this one in particular is one
that the state shouldn’t be proud of.

This picturesque field of Maharashtra hides a darker reality – the exploitation of women at the
hands of sugar-producing companies. While these companies reap immense profits from the
sweet harvest, the women toiling in the fields are left to endure the bitter impacts on their
health. The issue dates back almost 30 years, when the New York Times interviewed some of
the women working in the fields to find out that the vicious cycle starts with underage girls
getting married off to the men working in the field which ropes them into a contract that seems more like lifelong slavery than wedlock. The men and women are expected to work alike at the same potential for 16-hour-long shifts every day without breaks. Tampons and pads are expensive and hard to find, and without access to running water, women address their periods in the fields with reused cloth that they try to wash by hand. The fields are located in remote locations, and it’s a whole other world in itself with workers
living under tarps, and companies seeking forced hysterectomies as a way to combat the issue of
lack of washrooms on the field.

One local government report surveyed approximately 82,000 female sugarcane workers from
Beed and found that about one in five had had hysterectomies. A separate, smaller
government survey estimated the figure at one in three. Women, already marginalized and
disadvantaged, are coerced into undergoing these surgeries under the guise of ‘health
benefits’ or as a means to prevent pregnancy or period leaves from work. This reprehensible
practice not only robs women of their bodily autonomy but also perpetuates a cycle of
systematic abuse and inequality. The issue at hand unveils a centuries-old taboo enveloping
menstruation, casting a shadow of “unsanitary” perceptions upon women during their natural
cycle. This mindset, steeped in misconception and bias, tragically manifests in the coercion of
women into undergoing hysterectomies, all in the name of the illusion of “cleanliness” on the

According to the New York Times, sugar producers and buyers have known about this abusive system for years. Coca-Cola’s consultants, for example, visited the fields and sugar mills of western India and, in 2019, reported that children were cutting sugar cane and laborers were working to repay their employers. They documented this in a report for the company, complete with an interview with a 10-year-old girl. In an unrelated corporate report that year, the company said it supported a program to “gradually reduce child labor” in India possibly referring to their plans to increase hysterectomies. This Great Indian exploitation game is nothing less of a spectacle, when women working in these harsh conditions visit the nearby gynecologists with problems like forming of cysts and irregular periods, the doctors take advantage of their patients’ illiteracy and are given an ultimatum that “hysterectomy” is their only option. The whole process is orchestrated not only by the companies but also many health practitioners from the district. These major companies even have moral codes of conduct for their workers which they evidently throw out the window in a bid to make corporate profits. After facing backlash and solely because people threatened to boycott the brand, Pepsi released the most generic statement expressing their grief over the issue while Coca-Cola still hasn’t issued a statement and continues to live in ignorance.

Of the many stories that flood the Indian news channels, none have ever made reports on this
issue, it’s as if they would rather turn a deaf ear than face the truth. In conversations with
reporters from The Fuller Project, as the workers gave them a peek inside their lives, they
sang folk songs which were inspired by Bhimrao Ambedkar in unison and had only thing to
ask everyone who visits the field, a promise; that one day the world will know their plight.

Featured Image Credits: The Fuller Project

Read Also: Feminism: A Belief or a Tagline?

Saanvi Manchanda
[email protected]

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

[email protected]

JNU VC Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit emphasized that JNU was never anti-national, and the institution is not subjected to saffronization, following the University’s 20th ranking in QS World Rankings for development studies.

In a recent meeting with the editors of the Press Trust of India (PTI), Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, the first female Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), addressed various aspects concerning the university’s current state and its past challenges. Ms. Pandit emphasized that despite speculations, JNU is not subjected to saffronisation or undue pressure from the Central Government in its daily operations. She asserted, “As a university, we should be above all this. JNU is for the nation, not for any particular identity.”

Acknowledging the presence of divisions on campus during her tenure, Ms. Pandit termed that period “unfortunate”. She attributed errors to both the administration and the students, acknowledging the mishandling of the situation by the leadership. 

I think that phase was bad, and there were mistakes on both sides, and because of polarization and the leadership not understanding… You have to understand that people will differ and argue. The university was never anti-national. When I studied (at JNU) it was the height of the Left’s dominance, even then nobody was anti-national.” – Ms. Pandit remarked.

Furthermore, she openly declared her affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), stating that she neither conceals nor regrets it. 

Ms. Pandit reaffirmed JNU’s commitment to fostering dissent, discussion, and democracy, asserting that the university has never been “anti-national” or associated with the “tukde-tukde” gang. She stressed the university’s dedication to inclusivity and development, encapsulated in the seven principles of Development, Democracy, Dissent, Diversity, Debate and Discussion, Difference, and Deliberation.

Reflecting on her journey, Ms. Pandit shared details from her birth in St. Petersburg, Russia, to her upbringing in a middle-class South Indian family in Chennai. When she assumed the position of Vice-Chancellor in 2022, the University was grappling with student unrest, compounded by the aftermath of the 2016 incident involving purportedly anti-national slogans being raised on campus. 

I believe there was a phase of unfortunate ignorance on the part of the administration regarding JNU.”- she commented. 

Regarding this tumultuous phase, Ms. Pandit acknowledged mistakes on both sides and criticized the leadership’s attempt to control the situation, emphasizing the inevitability of disagreements and the importance of handling extreme viewpoints with understanding.

You have to accept that disagreements and arguments will arise. The college never held anti-national views. Even at the height of Left dominance, when I studied (at JNU), nobody was anti-national.” – Ms. Pandit reflected. 

The meeting concluded with Ms. Pandit’s reaffirmation of JNU’s commitment to its core principles and her dedication to steering the university towards inclusive growth and academic excellence.

Read Also: ABVP and Left Front Clash Ahead of JNUSU 2024 Elections

Featured Image Credits: Hindustan Times 

Divya Malhotra

[email protected]


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
[email protected]

As DU gears up for the fest season, the supposed fortress of security seems to crumble each year. Are women’s colleges equipped with the required security measures?

For the past few years, Delhi University (DU) has consistently witnessed incidents of unwarranted male trespassers into women’s colleges every time there is a fest or any event for that matter, with students being sexually harassed, catcalled, and their safe spaces violated. In light of such incidents, the University issued an advisory with guidelines to be followed by all colleges during events likely to be attended by outsiders. Between April 2023 and January 2024, the notifications have been updated thrice ahead of the upcoming college fest season.

Surely, such an advisory may appear to be the need of the hour and perhaps even reassuring, but is it the case that the University has finally recognized the persistence of such pressing issues, or is the advisory, just like security in most women’s colleges, merely performative? Isn’t it high time that the University’s administration, instead of issuing such performative guidelines, actually addressed the larger issue of male entitlement, beyond just ensuring their students’ safety? College spaces, be it women’s colleges or co-educational spaces, should certainly not be places where women (or anyone for that matter) live in a sense of fear, apart from obviously the external world beyond college boundaries. 

It is also important to note that some of the security measures, for instance, the installation of CCTVs, pre-registration through Google Forms, and deployment of security personnel, have already been in place in many colleges, and yet there have been repeated violations. Most instances have been when the ones who “lawfully” entered the college premises became perpetrators of assault. So, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is completely ineffective when it comes to the “male gaze” and entitlement towards women’s spaces in a patriarchal set-up.

“Because our college restricted male entry this year, apart from the participants, it did make the fest safer than last year, where a lot of chaos had ensued with guys passing lewd remarks at female students performing during the dance competition. Although such incidents didn’t take place this year, I believe restricting male entry is just an instinctive response to a much larger problem, that is, patriarchy, which is so deeply rooted in our society. Such measures end up putting the onus on women to protect themselves, as apparently “boys will be boys.” If the administration is unable to restrict students inside the campus, their immediate response is to just stop male entry. We need some long-term solutions to such problems, and sensitization of not just students but even the faculty needs to take place to uproot the actual cause of this problem.”

-said a student from Janki Devi Memorial College.

Students believe that the advisory is just the bare minimum, and the larger problem needs to be taken into account while ensuring security in women’s spaces.

Google Form registrations certainly do not amount to character screenings; thus, the University has no appropriate solution to this issue. At the college’s annual fest last year, the administration, as a security measure, made it mandatory for every male attendee to have a pass with a particular student’s name on it to ensure that they were invited by any of the students. Also, it was ensured that no guys entered the fest in groups. It’d be great if there was security present not just at the gates but inside the college, where a large crowd usually gathers, because that’s where fights usually break out. It would have been great if the University advisory came with a preface condemning the actions that took place not just at IPCW last year but what has been happening in women’s colleges almost every year. They need to realize that such incidents mostly just take place in women’s colleges because patriarchy allows men to feel entitled to women’s spaces and men fear other men, rather than respecting women as equal human beings.”

-remarked a student from Maitreyi College when asked about safety in women’s colleges ahead of the fest season.

A student from Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) spoke about how the college’s environment has changed significantly since the unfortunate incident at last year’s fest.

The college administration, just like the administration in almost every DU college, loves to put the entire blame on the student body, despite the Student Council being a mostly performative entity in our college now. Since the college is busy with its centennial celebrations, we are not even sure if the annual fest ‘Shruti’ will even take place this year. The advisory issued by the University just goes on to show that the onus of protection is always going to be put upon women rather than holding the perpetrators accountable. Despite there being extensive measures like Google Form registrations and screening of bags at the gate, they were certainly not enough to prevent overcrowding and its aftermath. Our college did not have enough security to handle such a large crowd, and sadly, it took the University that incident and many more past occurrences in women’s colleges to even issue an advisory, which was also the bare minimum, to say the least.”

Thus, the question is: are women’s colleges even equipped with effective security ahead of the fest season, or is just locking up women and not questioning the root cause of the problem, which is patriarchy, going to be the immediate response from the administration in most colleges? 

Read Also: Who Protects Our ‘Safe’ Spaces?

Featured Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Gauri Garg

[email protected] 


Former Assistant Professor Dr. Ritu Singh has been at the forefront of the protest against the alleged display of casteism in her dismissal from the Psychology Department of Daulat Ram College (DRC) by Principal Dr. Savita Roy.

Protestors from organisations such as the Bhim Army Students Federation (BASF) and Mission Save Constitution have since the past 150 days joined Dr. Ritu Singh in claiming Gate No. 4 of the Arts Faculty of Delhi University (DU) to display their resistance against the structural casteism pervading the University.

The dismissal of the former professor had taken place midway through the COVID-19 pandemic without show-cause notice. Her allegations of casteist harassment against the DRC principal were initially dismissed by the Sessions Court, the High Court, and even the Delhi Police. Later, on 23 May, 2023, a complaint was registered by Delhi Police upon the intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. A list of the signatures of 35 students provided by Dr. Savita Roy as evidence backing up the termination of Dr. Singh’s services was also, as The Quint reports, falsified.

The Mooknayak presents a recurrent account of alleged police supression against the scenery of blue flags fluttering in the midst of small businesses selling books on Dalit literature at Gate No. 4, which was then reportedly vandalised, protest tents removed, and protestors detained. The incident took place in the early morning of 9 January, 2024. Questions were raised about the subsequent imposition of Section 144, and a complaint was said to have been filed against the looting of Dr. Singh’s personal belongings and the alleged unruly behaviour of the police.

Protestors have further claimed that the site was washed with Gangajal and Gaumutra for its apparent purification, along with the locking of the university gates and the dismantling of a poster of Babasaheb Ambedkar. The protestors took to social media to question the motives behind such actions. Supreme Court Advocate Mehmood Pracha questioned in a post on Dr. Singh’s X (previously Twitter) handle,

How will a space become impure if Dr. Ritu sits down?

On 19 January, 2024 Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad joined the protest site to extend support and mark the death anniversary of Rohith Vemula. The Press Trust of India (PTI) reports that Azad, along with Dr. Singh, advocate Pracha, and around 80 other protestors, were detained and subsequently released.

In a conversation with DU Beat, BASF President Ashutosh Boddh confirmed the account of repression and claimed the structural complicity of the Vice Chancellor in the denial of justice and maltreatment of not just Dr. Singh but her fellow protestors. He cited the refusal to take action against the chargesheeted Dr. Savita Roy and DU registrar Vikas Gupta, the former of whom was in fact later appointed General Secretary of the Principals’ Association. He posed the question,

Why is it that we see locks on the University gates only when our demands are in question?

In a recent video uploaded to her YouTube channel, Dr. Singh sought an update on the five demands made before the Dean of Student Welfare. These demands include the immediate suspension of both Dr. Roy and Vikas Gupta, an investigation into the ‘NFS’ or Not Found Suitable option that the University allegedly resorts to when it comes to candidates of the reserved categories, as well as an inquiry into the other allegedly fraudulent appointments made to the University.

As of now, no requisite actions or response has been made on the aforementioned demands.

Read also : Protesters Demand Suspension of DRC Principal Dr. Savita Roy

Featured Image Credits: Bhumika Saraswati via Instagram

Deevya Deo
[email protected]

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]

The arrival of DUSU campaigning has heightened the tension in the University campus. Several reports of misconduct and threats have surfaced on the internet, posing a risk to the safety of regular students and residents.

On Saturday, September 16th, the AISA (All India Students’ Association) stated ‘outsiders’ had been spotted within the university campus and that a student had also been attacked. Aman Rawat, an activist for AISA, was allegedly confused for another candidate, Aditya Singh, and was abducted, threatened, and physically assaulted by some strangers, according to a video clip the organisation uploaded on social media.

Aman, an AISA activist and a law student, was approaching the traffic circle near Daulat Ram and Ramjas College when he was confronted by a group of unknown people. Aman can be seen in the video discussing the incident and mentioning how he was threatened, saying, ‘They recognized me as an ASIA Activist and started beating me, they warned me that AISA activists should stop campaigning or else they will face the same thing.’ He further said that those who attacked him realized they had confused him for Aditya Singh, the candidate for secretary from AISA. However, they continued to assault him.

He was brought to a Black SUV car that was covered in ABVP posters, and that’s how we found out who is behind this because we can’t identify these outsiders who are doing campaigning for ABVP in the campus.” – Anjali, AISA DU secretary.

Anjali adds that this is not the first time their student activists have faced threats. “Numerous incidences involving intimidation of students at various colleges have taken place, particularly of female candidates who receive texts even on Instagram.

Additionally, she emphasizes one of AISA’s key goals, which is to protect the gender minority and particularly prevent trespassing and harassment events that frequently happen at females’ institutions like IPCW and Miranda. One of their demands in this regard is for a gender sensitization community against sexual harassment. The student organization calls for a campus free from danger and fear.

While the organization has filed an official complaint in the nearby police station, they are dissatisfied with how the administration and police refuse to take the appropriate actions.

This incident is not the only one; a third-year student was seen in another social media video with what appeared to be a gun during campaigning at Kirrori Mal College. According to a statement made by the student group, neither the college security nor the police took any legal action against the offender.

According to The Indian Express, the principal of the institution, Dinesh Khattar, stated that the gun-like device was a lighter and was in the possession of the proctorial board. Additionally, he assured that the students will face harsh punishment.

AISA, however, asserts that the student is an ABVP member. Aiyesha Khan, the AISA candidate for president, states in a video released on their Instagram account that there has been an upsurge in these kind of incidents across the university’s campus and in the surrounding areas.

The campus has been hijacked by outsiders, and there have been cases of assault and intimidation since the beginning of the DUSU elections. While preaching about free and fair elections, the University and Delhi police refuse to take proper action.” – Ayeisha Khan in the Instagram video clip posted by AISA.

There are alleged violations of the election rules and outside involvement, according to numerous student groups. Several acts of violence were reported during the elections in 2019 as well. The student groups argue that the ABVP maintains musclemen to threaten their activists. On the other hand, the ABVP has denied these accusations.

The campus stays crowded and tense as the election approaches, with roads covered in pamphlets and candidates passing in convoys. With the increase in these instances, there is growing concern about student safety, particularly for female students, and the security of women-only spaces.

In all, many groups demand quick and strong action against such mistreatment and violence in the university, as well as an election free of muscle and money.


Read Also – https://dubeat.com/2023/09/09/under-the-shadow-of-dusu-elections-a-stage-for-sexual-harassment-and-caste-based-politics/

Additional Source – https://www.newsclick.in/delhi-university-student-activist-explains-why-dusu-election-matters

Image Credits – Google Images

Priya Agrawal

Hindu college students face possible suspension for having protested against the decision to reduce the 3-day college fest ‘Mecca’ to just 1. They have been asked to pay a heavy fine; failing to do so may lead to their being barred from writing exams. The affected students have held a meeting with the principal, hoping for the withdrawal of the notice.

On April 20th and 21st, students at Hindu College held protests against the administrative decision to wrap up the three-day fest “Mecca” in just one day. Eventually, the authorities allowed for a two-day fest. On May 8, more than a week after the fest, the administrative body issued a notice suspending the protesting students for two months. The notice states that the protesting students blocked the principal’s way, not allowing her to go for a meeting. It further accuses the students of causing damage to college property as well as “maligning and misrepresenting the college on social and print media platforms”. Furthermore, the students have been informed that they would be barred from writing their semester exams should they fail to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 by May 12th. According to the notice, the students would also be barred from holding positions of responsibility in the college.

Reportedly, 30–35 students have been suspended and fined. One of our sources informed us that some of the students who have been suspended were not part of the protest but were simply part of the general crowd. They alleged that these students had been arbitrarily named and punished by the college authorities. The protestors claim that the protest was conducted in an organised and orderly manner. One of the protestors stated that the students would organise a protest against the action if the notice was not withdrawn.

What has happened is extremely wrong and arbitrary. Many of the students who are affected by this action were not part of the activity and had nothing to do with the protest. We strongly condemn this action. The protest was not organised by any political group. It was an independently organised protest by the students of our college.

– A student of Hindu College who wishes to remain anonymous

Later in the day, the student body held talks with the principal in order to discuss the concerns of both sides. One of our sources states that the outcome of the meeting is expected to be positive. During the meeting, students expressed their concerns, and the principal reportedly attempted to hear them out and responded to their demands. The students hope that the suspension order will be withdrawn, although there is still some ambiguity around the removal of the fine and the complete dismissal of the notice.

We reasoned with the principal that various students cannot afford to pay the fine as it is a humongous amount. Many of us live off less than Rs. 10,000 a month. It is cruel to demand such a large sum from students. We hope that ma’am understands our concerns and waives off the fine.

– A student of Hindu College who wishes to remain anonymous 

Some of the students have their exams scheduled in less than a week, and the possibility of suspension and the imposition of a heavy fine has caused outrage and agony among many. The students are deeply disturbed by the notice and are keen on resolving the matter at the earliest possible time.

Read also: Hindu College Students Protest for Annual Fest ‘Mecca’

Featured Image Credits: Keshavi for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee
[email protected] 

On Wednesday, 29th March 2023, Delhi Police brutally detained student protestors calling for Delhi Police and the IPCW college administration to take accountability for the lack of repercussions towards the unidentified intruders at IPCW’s fest.

On 29 March 2023, the Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Association (AISA) gathered around Indraprastha College for Women to protest against the incursion by unidentified men on the previous day, on the day of the college’s fest, demanding questions from the authorities for the same. The protest, which started at about 11 a.m., was interrupted by Delhi Police, and they started detaining the protestors hardly 20 minutes into the protest. There was a protest inside the college by the students of IPCW as well.

On 28 March 2023, during the annual fest of the college, several drunk men scaled the boundaries of the institution and harassed the women students. Students who were waiting at the entry gate formed a huge crowd on the verge of a stampede. Allegedly,  there were no security measures in place except the gate not letting the people in. Soon enough, several men started causing havoc by climbing the trees and walls and jumping inside the premises.

The miscreants were screaming slogans of “jai shree ram” etc. and were hooted on by all other men in the crowd. One of the IPCW people (either someone from admin or security) jumped on the wall to calm everyone down and then the gates were opened to everyone, irrespective of whether they registered, or had student or govt ids, as a last-minute emergency action.,” – Molina Singh, a student who was in the crowd.

The drunk miscreants who allegedly smuggled alcohol and drugs inside the campus also took to hooliganism holding placards displaying obnoxious and vulgar slogans. Students present there reported use of slogans like, “Miranda nahi chhoda to IP bhi nahi chhodenge” (We didn’t leave Miranda so we won’t leave IP either), “We are single”, “Hindu ka yeh naara hain, IP college humara hain” (Hindu raises this slogan, IP college is ours). The harassment and vandalism continued while several women were escorted out by the organisers. 

 The miscreants wrote vulgar and obnoxious texts and flashed them to the female crowd

According to the students, the hooligans also tried to scale the walls of the IPCW hostel post which the entire college was locked down with students inside as per the instructions of the administration. 

The harm was verbal. They also would not stop shouting slogans of a certain religion and grouping up, and they were approaching random friends of mine, or ogling others down. There were Dettol bottles in hands of volunteers who were nursing wounds, ambulances were called, and we heard that a certain man blacklisted on the first day of the fest due to harassment of students had entered again” – an attendant in conversation with DU Beat

The police personnel present there were not proactive in stopping the vandalism. While the police officials stated that an FIR was lodged against 7 men, the protestors sought a chargesheet of the same which was not provided.

Students, who assembled to protest the following day demanding answers from the administration, were manhandled. Students also reported being groped. Reportedly, some people were severely bruised due to the manhandling and then detained at Burari Police Station in an attempt to disrupt the protest. The detainees were later released. 

After releasing us, they wanted to deport us back to IPCW so that the authorities could abuse us more but we refused and decided to walk out of the police station to go back by ourselves. We were extremely, violently manhandled and the police wanted our details even though they had no criminal proceedings against us,” – Titas Goswami, a third-year student from Miranda House in conversation with DU Beat

A press release, dated 29 March 2023, by the SFI DU stated, “Women are being harassed and mishandled inside the campus. When they decide to register their dissent against it, they are again harassed and mishandled by the police.”

It was reported by the volunteers of the fest, that a footfall of 10,000 people was expected. While the admin rejected the idea of having external security, the 20-21 students themselves were reportedly asked to control it. The miscreants were vandalising the walls and the admin allegedly asked for all gates to be shut down. The gates were only opened up for the car of a professor to be checked in when the pushing and shoving happened and that’s when the stampede started. Reportedly, people also tried to harass the professor inside the car and started piling and falling up.

Men started purposefully pushing the girls and then piling upon them, emerging with victorious smiles. Volunteers had to drag the girls out. People started panicking and there were no medical facilities available. One of our volunteers broke her leg in the stampede. Some girls had panic attacks while the men were trying to touch them inappropriately in the pretence of helping them.” – an anonymous member of the organising committee


After the ruckus volunteers were asked by the principal to escort the girls out. We were told to inform them that if they wanted to save their lives they must leave. And during the ruckus, the police instead started hitting our non-teaching staff volunteers and guards.” – an anonymous volunteer

A video of the principal alongside some identified Union members enjoying and dancing while this whole ruckus has also surfaced once making the students question the Accountability of the administration even more. 

After the entire chaos happened, the administration gave permission to complete the fest with the remaining students. A video has also surfaced showing the principal dancing alongside some students.

Similar incidents have occurred most recently at Miranda House’s Diwali Fest and before at Gargi College’s Reverie 2020. The continuation of such occurrences makes it appear that fests at women’s institutions are in danger. Although the DU Administration and Police are skilled in detaining protesters past destruction, the lack of such security as preventive measures results in hazy situations.

Read Also: Discovering DU: Indraprastha College for Women

Feature Image Credits: Unknown

Hritwik Pratim Kalyan

[email protected]