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DUSU Vice President, Abhi Dahiya, filed a complaint with the Delhi University Vice-chancellor on Friday, 5 July 2024, against the DUSU President Tushar Dedha alleging that, “he produced a false affidavit to contest elections.” However, Tushar Dedha has denied such allegations.

On Friday, 5 July 2024, DUSU (Delhi University Student Union) Vice President – Abhi Dahiya, filed a complaint against the DUSU President Tushar Dedha, with the Delhi University Vice-chancellor, alleging that the latter used “illegal means” to get admission to the University and produced a false affidavit to contest elections.

(Image Source: Abhi Dahiya via Instagram)

Incidentally, this is not the first time a DUSU President has been (allegedly) “exposed” for using illegal means to secure admission into the University. In 2018, the former ABVP-led DUSU President Ankiv Baisoya was involved in a similar incident. Following the NSUI presidential candidate Sunny Chillar’s challenge to Baisoya’s elections on the same grounds, the then-DUSU President resigned from his position and has been sacked by the ABVP. This occurred when his bachelor’s degree from Thiruvalluvar University in Tamil Nadu was found to be fraudulent. 

Abhi Dahiya, in conversation with DU Beat, spoke out about the issue:

“The current DUSU President, Tushar Dedha has used ‘illegal means’ to gain admission within Delhi University. As per the records, the DUSU President holds two examination marksheets of intermediate class (Standard 12)- one from CBSE in Arts examination and the other from Madyamik Siksha Parishad Uttar Pradesh in Science Stream. How is it possible for one person to pass from two boards at two different places with two different streams? We urge the University to take stringent action against him as he does not deserve to remain the President for another minute, let alone an entire year.”

In his official complaint filed to the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, the Vice President of Delhi University’s Student Union cites that:

“As per the record received, he (Tushar Dedha) has two examination certificate/marksheets of intermediate class (12th), one from CBSE in Arts stream having roll number 9130384 and the other from Madyamik Siksha Parishad Uttar Pradesh in Science stream having roll number 0322496 District/School code 06/1328 both passed in year 2016 as a regular student.That as per the rules of both CBSE and Uttar Pradesh Board. It is mandatory for the regular student to have 75% attendance to appear in the 12th board examination and also, he has not passed equivalent Examination from any other Board.  However, in case of Mr. Tushar Dedha, he holds two marksheets from two different Boards, both passed in year 2016 which is in total of Examination by-laws of CBSE and Madyamik Siksha Parishad Uttar Pradesh Board and therefore, both the mark-sheets are void.”

While speaking to DU Beat, Abhi Dahiya also notes that:

Such illegal means have fooled the students of the University who put a lot of faith in their elected candidates while voting and we are looking forward to the University administration to take appropriate measures post the complaint by NSUI.”

 

Image Credits: Abhi Dahiya on  X

The DU Beat team was unable to reach Tushar Dedha, but he took to his Instagram on 6 July, 2024, in response to the allegations:

 

“NSUI cannot digest the fact that a student hailing from a village, hailing from a backward class, not only contested elections for the post of DUSU President, but also won. My admission to the UG and PG programs at the university is fair, authentic and legal. They can approach any organisation for verification, and all their allegations would prove to be baseless. On the contrary, there are many student leaders of NSUI, against whom there have been allegations and ongoing investigation of fraudulent admissions and paper leaks. The fact that NSUI has remained silent on cases of 19 paper leaks in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, goes on to show their hypocrisy.”

 

Besides NSUI, several student political-parties of the left-bloc have taken their stance related to the issue.SFI Kamla Nagar Joint Secretary Aditi, spoke to DU Beat, reiterating SFI’s stance on the matter:

 

“The fact that this fraudulent action ‘escaped’ the eyes of the DU administration that is otherwise so strict about the document verification process, to the point that it puts the futures of so many common students at risk over issues in documents, does not seem like a mere coincidence. This issue also brings into question the authenticity of the educational qualifications of other DUSU office bearers and candidates. Students do not want frauds as their leaders. The DU administration should stop supporting the fraud of ABVP-led DUSU and penalise the goons who take admission using illegal measures to contest elections”

In a consolidatory stance, AISA (All India Students Association) took to its social media pages to question the ‘DU Admin and ABVP Nexus’ and alleged that: 

While DU Admin goes ahead with implementation of NEP through fee hikes, FYUP, SEC, VAC, seat cuts, fund cuts, graded autonomy and bulldozes social justice and gender justice, it lets its stooge ‘Akhil Bharatiya Violence Parishad loose on students resisting their exclusion and marginalization.”

Tushar Dedha graduated in BA Programme from Satyawati College in 2019 and is currently pursuing his post-graduation in MA (Buddhism) from Delhi University. Adding to the uproar of student political leaders on social media, NSUI National President, Varun Choudhary shared a copy of the complaint and Tushar Dedha’s marksheet on X and alleged:

“DUSU President Tushar Dedha made a fake 12th mark sheet from UP Board and CBSE Board in 2016 and ABVP gave him a student union ticket in 2023. ABVP and SCAM party leaders are relying on fake mark sheets. The DU administration should immediately take strict action.”

While the debacle brews on, DU Registrar Vikas Gupta cited to The Indian Express that:

The issue has reached us and we will take a look into it on Monday.”

As per recent updates, the complaint demands that the results of DUSU Presidential elections be declared null and void and Dedha be sacked from his position. However, Dedha denied any wrongdoing and said he will file a defamation case.

Read Also: The Politicised Pareshani of DUSU 2023

Featured Image Credits: Arush Gautam for DU Beat

Gauri Garg 

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Priyanka Mukherjee 

[email protected]

Recent heavy rainfall in the capital on June 28 has exposed severe infrastructural issues, particularly at the Arts Faculty, where the reading room experienced significant water leakages and short circuits. Additionally, other esteemed educational institutes like IIT Delhi and AIIMS Delhi are also witnessing an equally miserable fate.

As Delhi University continues its yearly ritual of exorbitant fee hikes—110% in PhD courses and 40% in annual postgraduate courses—it is important to note that the condition in which DU students have to study remains deplorable. These problems clearly reflect the university’s incompetence and disregard for student safety.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) DU’s Instagram page, @sfiduspeaks, posted a reel highlighting the miserable state of one of India’s premier institutions. Captioned “Save Public Education! Save Delhi University! Fee Must Fall!”, the post called for immediate action from the university to address these infrastructural issues. SFI Vijay Nagar has also demanded urgent measures to fix these problems and ensure student safety, noting that the lack of basic amenities like air conditioning in classrooms becomes unbearable when temperatures in Delhi soar to 48 degrees Celsius. The third building, made with makeshift materials like tin roofs and asbestos-lined walls, exacerbates the heat issue, creating an uninhabitable learning environment.

Simran, from SFI DU, in a conversation with DU Beat, said, “Since there is no maintenance in these reading rooms at Arts Faculty, due to heavy rain, the ceiling started to leak and then a short circuit happened, and soon fire also occurred out of nowhere. The main problem is that despite increasing fees they are not improving infrastructure and maintenance at all.”

Additionally, a press release by SFI Delhi University, dated June 27, 2024, highlighted student protests against the fee hikes in postgraduate courses. Students criticized the apathetic Delhi University administration and the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) for their silence on the rising education costs. It showcased how fee hikes place a heavy financial burden on students, undermining the principles of publicly funded education and limiting opportunities. Despite the fee hikes in previous academic years, there has been no corresponding improvement in infrastructure. Students of the well-known Law Faculty often find their campus without even a single functioning water cooler, all while bearing Delhi’s scorching heat.

In addition to Delhi University, other premier institutes in Delhi have also been severely affected by the heavy rainfall. AIIMS Delhi experienced similar issues with severe water leakage on June 28, highlighting the widespread infrastructural problems across top educational institutions in the city.

At IIT Delhi, a viral video showed a pillar collapsing in the placement cell building following the heavy rainfall. This incident led to the disconnection of electricity in some areas for safety reasons. An official email from the Institute Engineer detailed the flooding on campus and stated that maintenance teams are working to restore services. The email requested cooperation from the campus community and apologized for the inconvenience.

These incidents at Delhi University, AIIMS Delhi, and IIT Delhi highlight the urgent need for infrastructural changes and better maintenance protocols, it’s indeed high time that these educational institutes make upgrades to ensure the safety and well-being of their student body, who have come from faraway places in the country to study in “premier institutes” in the capital. Despite significant fee hikes, these institutions have failed to invest adequately in their infrastructure, leading to dangerous and unacceptable learning conditions. As students and stakeholders wonder, “Where is our money going?”, they are now demanding accountability and immediate improvements to their educational environments.

Featured image credits: Devesh for DU Beat

Read Also: TISS Dismisses and Reinstates Staff Following Funding Assurance from TATA Education Trust

Kavya Vashisht

[email protected]

Delhi University’s postgraduate courses’ fees skyrocketed after a steady climb over the last few years, right after the 46% annual fee hike announced last year. The Student’s Federation of India (SFI) organised a protest at the Arts Faculty on June 27, 2024, against the inhuman hike in fees that has been implemented across courses from Bachelors through Doctorate programs. 

Amidst controversies about Delhi University’s alignment with the ruling party and its consequent reflection in the University’s alleged negligence towards a larger goal of education, its students among minorities and its relatively indiscreet partisanism, questions about the University’s financial framework have surfaced. Over the last two years, the University has experienced mammoth hikes in annual fees, including a 46% increase announced last year, a prodigious 1100% hike in PhD course fees and a further increase in the already high fees of Postgraduate courses. 

The English Department at both the PhD and M.A. levels has noticed a notoriously exorbitant hike, compared to other departments where the hike has not surpassed an amount of Rs. 2000. The PhD course has seen an increase to Rs. 23,968 from Rs. 1,932 last year, which was revised to Rs. 17,118 after protests. While Delhi University South Campus Director Shriprakash Singh opines that the fee has been “rationalised” and that they have not received any complaints from the students, DU faculty member and secretary of the Democratic Teachers Front, Abha Dev Habib, took to social media to express her strong disapproval of the mandate and that “the revision is not satisfactory.” Similarly, for the postgraduate courses in the English Department, the fees have been raised from an already hefty Rs. 15,000 in the academic year 2022-25 to Rs. 25,000 in the academic year 2024-26. 

In light of the brutal fee hikes and its grim ramifications for the majority of the student demographic at the varsity, the SFI unit of Delhi University called for a protest on the 27th of June at the Arts Faculty in the North Campus of the university, agitating against, what they term the “arbitrary and whimsical” hikes. It released a statement on Instagram condemning the silence and “the inaction of ABVP-led DUSU, for their lack of accountability and failure to address student concerns”. The slogan “fee must fall”, popularised during the protests against the fee hike at Jawaharlal Nehru University, reverberated in the captions of the Instagram post, with concerned and targeted students expressing solidarity with the sentiment of SFI. 

I’m a PhD scholar at Delhi University. I took my admission in October 2023. Where my seniors had to pay a thousand-four hundred, I had to pay twenty-four thousand”, a PhD scholar was recorded saying by the SFI organisers at the protest. Another lamented, “For my graduation, my fees were 13,000. When I speak to my juniors now, I discover that you will find no college with fees below the margin of 21,000.

While the University is torn apart under a regime characterised by a tumultuous power-politik and unaffordable fee structures throughout educational institutions that follow the NEP course framework, students continue to voice the injustice they face across various campuses of Delhi University.

 

Read also : JNUTA March Against Arbitrary Fee Hike

 

Featured Image Credits : SFI Delhi Instagram Page      

 

Aayudh Pramanik

[email protected]

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

[email protected]

 

 

With an overwhelming abundance of saffron flags and Jai Shree Ram chants across the North Campus of Delhi University, students have their opinions divided over the future of sanctity of educational spaces.

22nd of January, 2024 saw the North Campus of Delhi University wrapped in saffron. Saffron flags, streamers, sashes, ‘tilaks’ adorned every corner of the campus. Imprinted on them were the signs of ABVP, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student-wing of RSS, along with images of Lord Ram and slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Diyas spelled out as ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and a giant poster of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ marked the entrance to the Arts Faculty of Delhi University. Bhajan Mandali, LED-screens live screening the Ayodhya ceremony, community kitchens as well as a miniature structure of the Ram Mandir was established within the campus to emulate the celebrations at Ayodhya.

The Pran Pratistha Ceremony at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, Ayodhya was a truly historic moment, one that generations have waited for. We have been fortunate to witness it live with our eyes. The students of Delhi University, like the rest of the nation, were beyond themselves with joy on this occasion. The constant slogans of Jai Shree Ram during the screening held at North Campus, the hawans in various colleges, all tell us how emotional the student fraternity was about the event. Lakhs of diyas were lit across the North and South Campus, and the off-campus colleges, and the turnout for the same was completely spontaneous, especially that for more than 2.5 lakh diyas being lit at the North Campus, Chhatra Marg and the law faculty with students turning up in large numbers for them.

-Ashish Singh, State Executive Member of ABVP.

While the celebrations continued, the student community within Delhi University is divided on the connotations behind this saffron wave. Contrarily, the Faculty of Law saw the Tiranga wave on 23rd January.

“The students of the Faculty of Law conducted an event emphasising the ideas in our Preamble as well as the Indian Constitution. The event was in contrast to the politicisation of the Ram Mandir celebration by ABVP with communal slogans of ‘Kaashi Mathura Abhi Baaki Hai’ and writing ‘Hindu Rashtra’ with diyas. Like our nation, our campus is also a diverse space with students from different backgrounds enriching it and the Law Faculty event highlighted that the flag of no other ‘sangathan’ is above our Tiranga at the end of the day.”

-Hitesh Kumar, state executive member of SFI.

The three-day event conducted at the Faculty of Law since the 23rd of January saw preamble readings, marches, speeches by advocates emphasising the ideals engrained within the Preamble of the Constitution.

However, as ABVP flags overwhelmed both the campuses of Delhi University on the 22nd of January, the absence of alternate student parties’ inclusion in the celebration was alarming. Like the nation, the lack of opposition at a national event like the Ayodhya celebration led to a political showdown of saffron and ‘Jai Shree Ram’. In response to claims why the Faculty of Law event was not conducted on 22nd itself, a member of SFI says that:

We did not want to interrupt the ABVP event as the sentiments of general students would have been hurt. Anything beyond the Pran Pratistha event would have been marked as an act against a particular religion, which we are not. The Faculty of Law event was not a reactionary one. It’s the need of the time that we should remember and embrace the secular, democratic, socialist ideas enshrined in our constitution.

“We have all witnessed the saffronisation of buildings, universities and streets just before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and we have taken up a nationwide campaign, ‘Modi Sarkar Ke Dus Saal’ to gauge the real issues concerning the nation like unemployment and we conducted preamble readings across DU campuses at a prime time when the constitution of India is under blatant attack and the campus is being communalized.”

-Anjali, AISA DU Secretary.

While several perspectives crop up with respect to the University embracing ‘religious symbols’ on the 22nd of January, several questions remain to be answered by the student fraternity. Should university grounds be open to embracing religious connotations? Has religion become a politicised tool in the campus and the country today? Where do we draw the line between religion and culture today?

Public-funded educational spaces must not have such blatant display of religious ceremonies. If you take a walk around Arts Faculty, Ram Mandir and bhagwa flags take over the Indian flag and this can occur only if the administration is involved along with DUSU, which is dominated by ABVP. We have requested the Dean of Arts Faculty to take down the saffron flags at our campus to let our campus be a secular space.

-Aditi, SFI DU Convenor.

With the introduction of the National Educational Policy, subtle saffronisation of public education had taken it’s roots with Hindu Studies being introduced as a major, removal of Islamic thinkers from undergraduate syllabus as well as introducing subjects like Fit India, Horoscope Reading as skill-enhancement courses. However, the Pran Pratistha Ceremony of 22nd of January, let loose the gradually boiling saffronisation and unveiled it in the open.

Cultural ceremonies pertaining to the feats of Lord Ram, Bhajan Mandalis concerning Lord Ram and slogans of ‘Ram Mandir se Ram Rajya Tak’ were heard across North Campus with hundreds of devotees gathered round. While streaks of saffron crawled through our education space previously, 22nd of January marked a saffron-tsunami for DU. And the most alarming part lay in the lack of alternative voices within the campus. This brings along another important question, is our campus still a safe-space to provide alternate views? Or will only the way of the saffron community exist from now on?

While the Hindutva debate rages on, right-wing parties often claim the salience of being a Hindu as a geographical identity, much beyond the boundaries of religion and culture. Hindutva is seen as a force of unity, a reason of national pride.

Opposing the claims of ‘communalism’ propagated by ‘Hindu Rashtra’ written using Diyas within North Campus, a state-executive member of ABVP notes that:

In our understanding, Hindu Rashtra is not a symbol of communalism, it is a geographical concept. Even if this particular word was written, there is nothing wrong in it. It is the origin of various names our country is known by like India and Hindustan.

Another perspective that must be noted in the Ram Mandir celebration was the mass number of students who turned up. Colleges across DU noticed tides of students turning up to embrace the celebration, in various ethnic attires and saffron sashes, which depicts where the sentiments of the student fraternity are mostly inclined today.

While debates rage on if the Ayodhya celebration was used as a mass-politicised tool, the association of Ram Janmabhoomi with saffron-right wing flags rather than national flags paints an all together different picture. Ram Mandir celebrations have been localized only for right-believers, as the ABVP symbol conjugated with ‘Jai Shree Ram’ flags suggests. To what extent must religion go hand in hand with politics? To what extent must religion be allowed to enter secular educational spaces?

While controversies and discussions run around in this heated political climate, we need to gauge some important answers, is the Ram Mandir celebration a symbol of United India or of Hindutva Dominance? While the national as well as campus community remains divided upon the answer, Naya Bharat aka Naya DU is rapidly reshaping itself as per majority sentiments!

Read Also: Saffronisation of Cultural Expression

Featured Image Credits: Ankita Baidya For DU Beat

Priyanka Mukherjee

[email protected]

DU politics can be seldom described as “Chacha Vidhayak hain humare,” but no one is interested in addressing the people they are about to serve, or at least promise to serve.

Try describing Delhi University (DU), and you will realise that politics is inseparable from it. When we turn the pages of history, we see DU emerge as a political hub that we never knew existed. These pages of history stand as proof that the protest culture, which is still so ingrained in DU students, emerges from a time where all that mattered was the notion of freedom, and to live and breathe independently. However, in 2023, all of this can be described as “bigoted irony.”

And as we take a sip of tea, here we are, days away from experiencing the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections, which are back after a hiatus of three years. While all the organisations are busy preparing for it, however nobody is actually dwelling on the reason behind these elections.

Being one of the greatest democracies in the world, “democratic politics” plays an instrumental role in shaping our nation. While mainstream politics may be at the core of this country, DUSU breathes at the core of this mainstream alignment. If we try to draw parallels between the two, the story may turn out to be much more similar than what we comprehend. The result of both political scenarios is the same: the common man and the common students are the ones who suffer.

Political campaigns and rallies are an important part of the “election culture,” but in a varsity that is as dynamic as DU, it becomes quintessential to address the solutions to the problems that are eroding its structure. When men climbed the walls of Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) and Miranda House, or when a ceiling fan fell on a student of Lakshmibai College, the contesting student organisations did voice the students’ concerns, but only a few did, and those few completely took away the focus from the students to themselves.

Arguments may be presented that when any political outfit addresses a problem, it may get politicised, but when the parties and organisations clearly act in a way that adds to their advantage, I think we lose the main reason for even having elections and choosing the candidate that should have “represented students.”

So, when everyone around is so focused on the elections and the candidates, the question about the students is completely neglected. DU’s political atmosphere includes everything except for the concerns of the students. With or without the elections, most of the students of the varsity feel that it does not matter who comes to power, as they will be neglected either way.

Vijeyta Panjwani, a student of Miranda House, expressed that while organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) pick up on student concerns, others like the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) or Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) tends to be missing in action. However, the entire matter often gets politicised, and the focus shifts away from the core problem and the students.

The ones who stood up for Students

When things did not go as planned at IPCW’s annual fest Shruti 2023, a few student organisations did take up the issue and protested for it. The students at the college went through a traumatic experience. When asked about the entire thing, they do recognise the efforts that were put in by the political outfits, but at the same time, they felt that soon the matter became something that was only concerned with the politics and not what the men did with the students of the college or how some students were locked up or were asked to leave their own college while outsiders were still in.

However, the contesting candidates have a different tale to tell. While the students may feel neglected, according to these candidates, that might not be accurate, and as one of them expressed, “We are humans too. We can’t take up each and every problem, but try to take up as many as possible,” for which I can give them a little credit. Nevertheless, when we take a look at the broader picture, not everything meets the eye.

Aditi Tyagi, a SFI state committee member who is contesting for the general secretary’s position, explained that each issue that emerges in the campus space is political. According to her, the organisations work as a bridge to get the media focused on student issues, and in the process, it might look like that issue has been politicised. She believes that without these outfits, student issues might never come up. Aditya, a member of AISA who is contesting for the secretary’s position, on the other hand, said, “Issues did not get politicised earlier. Now they get as a result of the idea to dominate each issue under the current organisation that is in power.”

One side of the politics is all up to take up the student concerns, and though it comes at the cost of politization, the other side dictates a tale that is no less than blatant hypocrisy.

Will they Stand with the Students?

One does not have to dig into the past to see what went wrong when we take a look at organisations like ABVP and NSUI. The campus space has been engulfed with sloganeering, pamphlet throwing, and, of course, the endless SUVs and huge banners, and “coincidentally,” they all belong to just two of the outfits: ABVP and NSUI.

NSUI is a name that does not resonate with a lot of students on campus since, according to the latter, they were nowhere to be seen over the months. However, the organisation has claimed that they have always stood up for the students, especially women-centric issues, though they could not point out any specific incident other than the gruesome act that took place in Manipur. The question about the students of DU still hangs dry for them.

Hitesh Gulia, a NSUI member who is contesting for the president’s position, has a vision to resolve the issues of fee hikes and women’s safety and wants to start a global youth festival. When asked about their absence in comparison to other organisations, Gulia pointed out that they are the first ones who pick up any issue that arises in the campus, but he could not particularly pin-point anything concrete except for the OBE protest, which happened earlier last year.

If we take a look at the campaigning of the ABVP, firecrackers were burned in Shayam Lal College and Deshbandhu College, fights broke out in Ram Lal Anand College, Ramunujan College’s gate was broken, and male candidates broke into Miranda House; this may not be too appealing to earn the votes of the students. However, the organisation claims to function in the most democratic way and has assured that they were always and would be with the students, though they have also claimed with sheer confidence that no matter what, they would again come back to power.

While other organisations did express their “concerns” about how the ones in power do not resonate with students, intimidate them, and do not look like one of them, the ones in power stood by their seemingly “strong moral grounds.” Speaking with Ankita Biswas, who is a part of ABVP but whose nomination did not get clearance, she stated that the organisation works for the students around the year, irrespective of the fact that the students may feel otherwise.

When asked about the recent incident in Miranda House where ABVP members scaled up the gates, including herself, she explained, “Our supporters get enthusiastic, and in that moment, they might do such things. As for Miranda House, the administration made us stand out for over 1.5 hours and did not allow us to carry out our campaign, which is a part of this democratic process.” Ashish Kumar Singh, another ABVP member, further explained that, as per the directions of the organisation, they are allowed to take just three cars for three candidates in colleges for campaigning. When asked about it, Biswas remarked, “What is wrong with it?” Well, it is safe to say that ABVP’s supporters are a little too zealous, which “might have” caused a little too much trouble for the common students.

No matter which ideology an organisation is inclined towards, all of them have one thing in common, and that is their assertion that they are with the students and they will be with the students, irrespective of these elections. Students have, however, lost their confidence in this democratic practice, and as for me, I still had a few questions left, but all I got from the karyakarta (s) was, “Muddhe muddhe pe depend karta hai, ab mai kya hi karu?

Read Also: Under the Shadow of DUSU Elections: A Stage for Sexual Harassment and Caste-based Politics

Featured Image Credits: Ankita Baidya for DU Beat

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

 

While the University Officials work on finalizing the dates, student leaders have started preparing for their election campaigns.

The student elections at Delhi University are scheduled to take place in September. The Delhi University Students Union is the representative body that stands for the majority of colleges and faculties’  students. Aside from this, elections are also  held each year for the students union at every college. The Delhi University Students Union is elected directly by the university’s and its member colleges’  students. Every year, the elections are typically held in August or September. Occurring every four years, it was last held in 2019, and was halted as a result of the Corona virus pandemic and its effects on the academic calendar.

Officials from the university stated earlier in July that election preparations will begin as soon as the university finished the admissions process for the upcoming session. Although the date has not yet been confirmed, DU registrar Vikas Gupta stated that it would be announced shortly and that one may anticipate it to happen in the final week of September.

Vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh, who will oversee the election process, named office bearers and members for the central council of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) for the academic year 2023–2024, according to a University announcement dated August 1. The VC also appointed college principals and heads of institutions to serve as office holders and council members in their respective colleges. The chief election officer, Professor Chandra Shekhar, has stated that the employing of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be done during the entire election process, which is expected to last between 10 and 12 days. In 2019, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gained three seats, while the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) gained one. Akshat Dahiya of the ABVP served as President, Pradeep Tanwar as Vice President, Ashish Lamba as Secretary, and Shivangi Karwal as Joint Secretary for the 2019–20 term.

Elections will be held for all four of these positions once again this year. All around the University, especially in the North Campus, preparations are being made for the same. While student leaders are planning, students are actively responding. The current president of the ABVP, Akshat Dahiya, states that they are getting ready to nominate their student leaders and will also begin disseminating information about the election procedure for students. Additionally, other organisations like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) are prepared to start their election campaigns. The previous president of SFI says that they will focus on issues that are specific to students, such as accommodation and other problems that students have on a daily basis, whereas ABVP will centre their election campaign on the four-year undergraduate programme, FYUP. In the meantime, the elections for the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) have been set for September 27. The election calendar states that teacher nominations must be submitted by September 1. At the north campus of DU, the Arts Building complex and Satyakam Bhawan will serve as the locations for the voting.

On August 12, a number of teachers’ organizations, including the Democratic Teachers’ Front, merged to form the Democratic United Teachers’ Alliance. Among them were the Democratic Teachers’ Front, the Academic for Action and Development Teachers Association, and the Indian National Teachers’ Congress, which is a branch of the Congress. They declared Aditya Narayan Misra as a potential candidate for the position of DUTA president.

The University of Delhi student elections are unique and prominent, adding to the capital’s already politically charged climate. These elections hold value for the future of the University and also reflect student sentiments.

Read Also : https://dubeat.com/2023/07/12/dusu-launches-one-day-dusu-presidents-scheme/
Image Credits : Telegraph India

Priya Agrawal

 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]

 

With the attention being drawn to the public protests, a lot is being said and done inside the IPCW campus. Following these protests on the 28th and 29th of March, the IPCW administration along with the members of the student body held a closed-door meeting in the IQAC room of the college. Read along as DU Beat investigates the contents of this meeting and the spat between the IPCW administration and its Student Body through the verbatim of one of their students.

On 28th March, Monday, IPCW college’s fest was invaded by unidentified men leading to chaos. On 29th March, Tuesday, IPCW college saw protests including students and members from the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students Association (AISA). These protests were met with heavy police deployment and detainment – something that was missing on the day students were clamouring to get away from the men harassing them.

On Friday, March 31, following the events on the 28th and 29th, and the brutal detainment of students by Delhi Police, the agitated students of Indraprastha College for Women raised the twin demands of a public apology and a resignation letter from the principal, Poonam Kumria.

Amidst these protests, a student of IPCW, who wishes to remain anonymous, told DU Beat all about the spat between the student body and the college administration. They said, “because it was a holiday, on the 30th, occasion of Ram Navami, there was a meeting in the IQAC room of the college with the committee comprising professors, the principal, and the student’s union.” Within the closed doors, the Principal claimed that it was no one’s fault. However, based on her alleged political affiliations and saffron strokes on the logos and decorations, along with inviting Navika Kumar for the inaugural ceremony, her position was questionable.

“After reviewing the CCTV footage, it seemed as if the mob had been planted.” According to the source, there were three signs: first, a particular man raised his camera before the stampede began, which implied he knew it was going to happen. Second, a day before the fest, on the 27th, there was a group of men from a political party who were not allowed to enter because they didn’t register, and their reply was “dekh lunga tumhe kal” (I will see to you tomorrow). Third, someone had done something to the camera because it blacked out. “There was a particular point where we wanted to see what had happened and someone had, I don’t know, hit the camera, and there was a major lapse because of it”, said the IPCW student.

“The moment you try to speak to her about what happened on the night, down on the morning of the 28th, she gets a little hyper-aggressive. And we didn’t want to do that to her. Because you understand we are a group of 19-20-year-old women sitting among you know, 40-50-year-old people.” The meeting continued, and after a while, the union along with the principal exited the room to issue a statement. 

Now the principal gave a statement that was very contradictory to what was discussed in the room. She was like, in spite of the stampede, it was the Student Union’s decision to go forward with the fest. Even on the day of the first protest, she said it was the student union’s mismanagement that the stampede occurred. In the meeting, when it was happening behind closed doors, she blamed it on the Delhi Police. And outside, because she knows people are recording it, she blamed it on the Student’s Union. She knows if she blames it on the Delhi Police outside, it will backfire on her.”

The principal claimed that she had written letters to the police, the ambulance, and the fire brigade to provide security. However, an IPS officer while answering the students amidst the protest, revealed that they had never received any such letters from the college demanding security. 

Authorities denied receiving letters from the college demanding security.

By evening, there was a lot of movement of the police, both inside and outside the campus since Section 144 was imposed right outside the campus. The principal refused to come out of the room because of all the sloganeering. Soon enough, “the principal comes out of the room with a force of about 40-50 police officers assuring her safety. There were water tankers and barricades outside to ensure her exit. Not a single police officer was present on the 28th, but for this single individual, there was such a big force.”

The students, around 500 to 800 in number, had now formed a human chain right outside the main gate to prevent the principal from exiting the premises and to hold her accountable for everything that had transpired over the past few days. Between the blame game, and the police helping the principal to escape, “another stampede occurred…the two girls right in front of me fell and got injured. Naturally, the police also fell. Now to clear the way, some of these officers knocked some of the girls in the rib with their elbows, and others kicked the girls to get them out of the way. The Delhi Police, just a while ago in the college had remarked, “You can be safe with us, we’ll protect you…”” revealed the source.

A human chain formed in an attempt to stop the principal from leaving.

The principal sanctioned a 10-day leave for the entire Student’s Union right after they demanded she release an official statement on the account of the student body pressuring the union. “The union asked her to do this and to this she replies- It’s okay, tum log underground chale jaao aur 10 din ka leave lelo (you people go underground and take a leave of 10 days), I’ll handle everything…We felt she was doing this because the moment we left for our homes, she could put the entire blame on the union” stated the IPCW student. “They kept saying kuch nahi hua hai kuch nahi hua (nothing has happened) to console us. It all happened at the gates of IP college, which is ALSO a part of it…how can they say kuch nahi hua hai?” 

Upon being asked to comment and elaborate on the saffron hues that one can find IPCW’s walls painted in, the student continued, “The walls are being painted by the MCD, they want to paint the history, flora, and fauna of IP on these walls. Inside the campus though, there are logos and everything that she (the principal) has saffronised, and I don’t know why has she done that. There was a logo-making competition a few months ago, and I remember no one submitted this particular logo that ended up being used. And when everything got into the news, she changed the logo back to the older one, and never even informed the Union to switch to the older logo taaki voh fass jaayein (so that they get trapped)…”

The issue is why are we being recorded all the time? Every time there is a protest, we are being recorded by the staff, and there are even drones present. She can spend on an entire drone when the stampede is going on or when she’s being rescued from the college, but she could not apply for security which is free of cost when it comes from Delhi Police. Why?”

 

AISA, SFI, etc… we don’t wanna be a part of all this. We want to be a part of it as IPCW students and protest that way. AISA becomes a part of everything. Going inside the campus is a bigger fight. Imagine principal ke aankhon ke saamne unke students jinko voh family bolti hain crush hue hain amidst the stampede (Imagine the students she calls family were crushed in front of her eyes in the stampede), and she didn’t even look back to see…”

With the IPCW administration still choosing to stay silent on the matter, this student elaborated furthermore, “The Administrative Officer, Mr. Dinesh Sundriyal. He laughed off everything. There was a stampede going on, and we could see him far off, the man who denied us security, he was standing there talking, making conversations, and laughing. (On Friday), we got very angry and when we tried calling him out, he just laughed it out again. I don’t know…men being entitled all the time, they don’t take us seriously.”

Students continue to fight to reclaim their safe spaces and seek accountability from the authorities.

Poonam Kumria, the principal of IPCW has essentially passed the entire blame on the Delhi police and the Student’s Union despite both entities claiming that they were never asked to provide security or take a decision regarding the continuity of the fest, respectively. What Delhi Police has been active in, is dragging peaceful protesters into buses, kicking away students and indulging in other acts of police brutality. Measures are being taken, but the direction remains unclear, and with accountability still not finding its place in the matter, IPCW students continue to fight the administration. 

Read Also: Delhi Police Detains Student Protestors at IPCW.

Image Credits: Anshika for DU Beat, @manya3gaur (Instagram Handle)

On April 3, 2023, the students of Gargi College, led by SFI, organised a protest to demand the restriction-free organisation of their annual college fest, Reverie, along with standing in solidarity with protesting IPCW students.

On Monday, April 3 2023, a rumour that the Gargi College’s administration’s planned to cancel its annual fest, Reverie, was met with protests led by SFI Gargi. This event followed the stampede and cases of harassment that took place at the annual fest of Indraprastha College for Women on March 28, 2023.

The fest was tentatively scheduled for April 10–12, 2023. Such rumours particularly caught wind when, on March 31, 2023, “Reverie Reveal” did not go as planned, as the college’s Student Council failed to disclose the theme for the upcoming fest as they were expected to. The protestors assembled in front of the admin office for hours. However, nobody from the admin office came to address them, instead asking two students to enter the office but leave their phones behind – something they refused to comply with.

The protestors questioned the administration’s move of imposing restrictions on a women’s college fest because of what transpired at IPCW, rather than increasing security as necessary. They questioned the “highly regressive” idea of asking students to leave early in a metropolitan city like Delhi, simply because they are women. They demanded the right to organise a college fest without the imposition of such unreasonable restrictions, just like other co-ed colleges of the University.

However, it was revealed that rather than the fest being cancelled, additional guidelines and restrictions had been put in place by the administration to allegedly curb crowding and the chances of mishaps. These included wrapping up the event by 5 PM, removing the element of a star night or concert, and limiting the fest to society competitions and events. A student, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared that the student council were informed of these changes on the evening of 30th March, Thursday.

Our original itinerary had a band performance, stand-up comedy, and Qawwali night till 7-8 in the evening. But on the 31st they told us that it will be till 5, with no band, no stand-up comedian, only sufi night, because apparently that would not attract boys. Basically, nothing that can generate mass crowd because apparently coronavirus is spreading – only after 5 PM – and because of the IPCW incident. These were the two reasons they gave us.” – an anonymous student

In opposition to these restrictions as well as in solidarity with protesting IPCW students, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Gargi College, decided to lead a protest demanding “a proper fest without restrictions while ensuring safety of the students,” as said in an SFI press release dated April 3, 2023. The protest began around 12:30 PM with a handful of students in the Arts Quad area of the college, but over time allegedly grew to amass a crowd of over 500.

SFI Gargi led a protest on 3 April, 2023 in solidarity with the students of IPCW and against the Gargi administration restricting the students by cancelling Reverie’23. We were joined by a huge mass of students as well as the college societies. We’ll continue to fight for the rights of the students inside and outside our college campus.” – Aahana, SFI South Area President and Anurakti, SFI College Secretary in a joint statement

A meeting was held with the members of the Student Council, heads of various societies, unions, etc., and other students, where the Student Council of Gargi College allegedly stepped down from the organising committee as the event was not going as they had planned. Several societies have also reportedly decided to boycott the fest unless it is organised as per the original itinerary.

This edition of Reverie would be the first to take place after the unfortunate incidents of harassment and abuse that took place in the last edition of the fest, organised in February 2020. A continuation of the protest on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, seems to be planned until student demands are met. SFI’s press release additionally mentions a memorandum that will be submitted on the same day in this regard.

Read also: Overcrowding and Harassment at Reverie’20, Gargi College

Feature Image credits: Devangi for DU Beat

Sanika Singh
[email protected]