student protest


Being the largest democracy of the world, India gives liberty to its citizens to decide their political inclination. However, if one chooses to be apolitical, they must not turn a blind eye to what is morally right and what is wrong

It has been weeks since educational institutions all over the country decided to unite against the discriminatory tendencies of the ruling Government by organizing protests and marches at a variety of locations. The grounds that bind all of these protests and marches together are the fights against the exclusivity of Muslims, Hindu fascism and the marginalization of several communities. 

Students from numerous educational institutions have shown solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). Not a few years ago, most universities and colleges preferred to side with that political option which would save them from ‘troubles’, but over the years, students have widened their political views and are actively participating in protests and demonstrations because a collective voice is what we need to bring changes in this unjust system. 

In light of the tense political environment of our country, many social media personalities, actors, and stand up comedians had attended different protests in different cities to support the students of JNU and JMI. These countrywide protests saw the footfall of thousands of students. Moreover, some students claimed to have attended protests for the ‘fear of missing out’ or as some may call it, FOMO. 

There is no doubt about the fact that social media played a huge role in uniting all the students together, and since these media personalities have a large number of followers, majority of them being students, the political scenario has changed drastically over the years. These students are taking more interest in politics and are engaging in debates as well. There are still a few colleges who chose to remain apolitical. Students of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College (SGTB Khalsa) called the apolitical stance of their College cowardly and ignorant, as no official solidarity statement was released by the Students’ Union. 


Image credits- Mashable India

Suhani Malhotra

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Students of Ram Lal Anand College (RLAC) condemned guest speaker Balbir Punj regarding the statements made during his most recent address at the College’s seminar last Friday. 

The students of RLAC have released a statement condemning Balbir Punj and the stances he took as a guest speaker during a seminar held on 17th January 2020. Punj, an ex-MP from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was present at the seminar as a guest speaker. According to the released statement, when questioned regarding CAA and NRC, he could not address it.

In a seminar about CAA/NRC, minority institutions namely, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), St. Stephens, and Section 15 of the Constitution were attacked. At the beginning of the seminar, Punj allegedly refused to accept the existence of CAA and then proceeded to justify the act. According to the students, Punj reduced the student movement to ‘dog-whistle politics’, made communal arguments rather than exploring other aspects of the act, quoted Jinnah and made remarks about the minorities of other countries without addressing the problem of minorities in India. He did not address the active concerns of the students and addressed India as being made to originally be a religious and not a secular state. In the seminar, Punj also explained the notion of secularism, that he denies being a part of the Preamble, he goes on mentioning Article 29 and 30 of the Indian constitution which gives special and cultural rights to the minority communities which makes India a secular and pluralist country. Punj attacked the minority communities of Christians and Muslims, questioning the minority provisions being given to these communities under the guise of secularism.

“CAA/NRC/NPR cannot be understood in isolation. When Amit Shah himself explains the chronology of CAA and NRC, we should not forget this is an open attempt to reduce India’s minority to second class citizens. We should not forget that when our economy is facing the biggest slowdown in 10 years, high rates of unemployment, privatization of institutions, attack on universities to suppress dissent, increase in inflation etc CAA/NRC/NPR is a sword to divert attention from real issues.

While Mr Balbir Punj quoted Jinnah and mentioned Pakistan several times, we would like to quote Gandhi to you “I could not associate myself with the contention that India should drive out all its Muslim population to Pakistan as the Muslims of Pakistan were driving out all non-Muslims. Two wrongs cannot make one right”, 19 September 1947,” the statement read.

Balbir was also unable to answer any of the questions posed to him by the students present at the seminar. “Balbir Punj made all possible communal statements which are really dangerous for an educational institution. He attacked the idea of an inclusive India. He tried to mold data and history in all possible ways. The talk was a failure and the worst part was when I questioned him about citizenship of LGBTQ community as most of them are not in good terms with family so, obviously can’t produce documents and talked about situation of LGBTQ Community inside the campus, he smiled and responded in really shameful and insensitive way,” Deshdeep Dhankar, a student from RLAC who was present at the seminar, told DU Beat.

While, Gulshan Kumar, President, Students’ Union, said, “On our request sir delivered and lecture for around an hour and every single student of our college heard him very patiently. We also took feedbacks from the students. But it’s sad to say that some of the students who were not even present wanted to disturb the lecture. When the students were allowed to ask questions few students who follow the left ideology tried to disturb the atmosphere of the auditoriumand tried to manipulate the students.”
He further added, the Union’s comment on the same, “RLASU condemns such kind of action. The poster and banners were also pasted on the wall by the passout students of the college and this is not at all acceptable. The union is for the the Student’s of RLA and we are always committed to work for them. But the students union will not at all entertain the interest of outsiders.”

The ex-MP had come to the institution for a talk in favour of the CAA and NRC. The students of RLAC have condemned the talk, and called it “shameful, a failure, and a blatant spread of lies.”


Feature Image Credit: Shiksha

Shreya Juyal

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The students of Ram Lal Anand College (RLA) had organised a public meeting on the 14th of January 2020 against CAA-NRC-NPR which was allegedly disrupted by members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

On the 14th of January 2020, concerned students of the College had organised a public meeting outside the RLA gate. The event witnessed Sucheta De and Jitendra Meena as speakers. Manik Gupta, a second year student of History Honours from the College, and a member of All India Students’ Association (AISA) states that they had ensured to follow all the formalities, including getting permission from the Delhi Police.

He further goes on to describe how ABVP tried to disrupt the meeting, He says “Around an hour or half an hour before the public meeting, the President of our college who is affiliated with ABVP, Gulshan Kumar, started going class to class and telling people that the public meeting did not have any permissions and telling students that aap sabhi ko pitwana chahte hai ( They want you to get beaten up) and tried to discredit the public meeting.”

Manik also states that there were further attempts to derail the public meeting after it had begun. He states that during the meeting “South Campus ka saara ABVP aagaya” (All the ABVP members of South Campus came) and they started shouting slogans such as “DU ko JNU nahi banne denge” (We won’t let DU become JNU), “we support CAA”, and “ Delhi Police Zindabad”. He also states that that some ABVP members started disrupting the meeting by asking stupid questions to the speakers.

The organizers eventually had to tell Jitendra Meena to go back due to concerns over his safety because of the atmosphere of fear which had been created by the ABVP. The Public Meeting however still went on, despite the efforts of ABVP, with a preamble reading and singing of the National Anthem. Manik also alleges that he was threatened later by ABVP goons who told him “ab parcha bata toh peet denge” (We will beat you if you distribute pamphlets).

Siddharth Yadav, the State Secretary of  ABVP was reached out for comments, but he refused for the same, citing that he did not have full knowledge of the situation and will update DU Beat later.

Gulshan Kumar,  President of RLA Students’ Union stated on Manik’s claim “ From the morning Manik campaigned in classes and said it is a public meeting by the students. But they invited the national president of AISA. So it was just to fulfill the political agenda and misguide the students. I went into the classes to clarify that students union and the college administration is not involved in such kind of meeting. The students union wrote a letter to the SHO of South campus to maintain the peace. But by making the public meeting a political meeting the meeting was itself disrupted. Manik said the students of RLA were in the meeting and outsiders of ABVP came and disturbed the meeting but I have video evidence that students of RLA were in favour of CAA and the so called public meeting of AISA president was witnessed by outsiders.” He goes on to say that as an elected representative he believes in peaceful protests but his first responsibility is the safety of students. He also shows a letter as proof sent by the SU to the SHO to maintain peace on campus.


Feature Image credits: India TV

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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In consequence to the incident that took place in the premises of the University of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), the students of the Institute on 13th January 2019 surrounded the Vice Chancellor (VC), Najma Akhtar’s office.

With a demand to launch an FIR in response to the recent violent clashes caused by the Delhi Police, students came together singing slogans and carrying posters around the VC’s residence and office. The protestors also demanded a delay in their examinations which Akhtar, after consultations with the Deans, Head of Departments, and other officials, accepted and announced the new schedule regarding the examinations to be declared later.

Faizan Salik, a Student of JMI said “‘There was a sense of insecurity among students after the incidents that happened a month back, the students wanted the Vice Chancellor to encounter them and affirm them about their security, they further wanted a reschedule of examination as many departments felt that their schedule could have been along with others and not with gaps which would stop them to come together. “

The Vice Chancellor assured the students of the University following all the possible steps for the registration of the FIR, she further told that apart from writing letters to joint CP southern range and DCP crime for the registration of FIR the institution has also given a complaint to the SHO Jamia Nagar along with its photocopies sent to CP Delhi and DCP South East.

As per Ahmed Azeem, PRO media coordinator NHC has already started the enquiry and has visited the institution. Also, another team is scheduled to come to record the statements of the victim students to investigate the matters in detail. In further interaction with the students the VC said,”Delhi Police is not registering an FIR. They entered the campus without our permission and we have submitted our report with the government.” 

The entire interaction, though noisy proceeded with peace and satisfaction of the protesting students.


Feature Image Credits: The Jamia Review

Kriti Gupta 

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Despite intermittent rain and drizzle, student fraternity stood rock solid to give momentum to mass awareness programme regarding the much talked about dubitable act.

On Thursday, 16 January 2020, resistance against the contentious laws of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR) was conducted by ‘Gandhi Calling Organization’ in association with Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), at Arts Faculty, North Campus, University of Delhi (DU).

The mass movement witnessed some key figures such as social activist Medha Patkar, Tushar Gandhi, lawyer Karuna Nundy, Justice Kolse Patil, and Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani among others. The president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), Aishi Ghosh was also expected but she didn’t make it to the programme. 

A nukkad natak by the hausala group of school going students kick-started the event with the central message of ‘echoing the dissent in a democracy.’

Amidst the intermittent rains, the awareness programme got delayed by an hour and faced some difficulties in operation but the perseverance with which the protestors and the speakers stood, made the event a successful one.

‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ anchor, Medha Patkar spoke firmly about her differences from the Act and hinted towards having a source (whose identity shall remain undisclosed), about the fact that internal debates are happening inside the ruling party about NRC and there might be a silver lining to it.

Lawyer Karuna Nundy, who once worked with the victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, broke down the legal aspect of the Act and while talking about the loopholes, said, “the males, urban,  and savarnas will have a much greater chance of having documents contrary to the females, village dwellers, bahujan, aadivasi, etc.” She also talked about the correlation with what she said,” ‘Hindutva supremacist philosophy’ and ‘toxic masculinity and patriarchy.’ ” She concluded by reciting the preamble of the Constitution of India.

Tushar Gandhi outrightly called out the government for distortion of history and manipulation. He said, “we will never be enslaved again and must have our heads held high.”

Justice Kolse Patil stood in the drizzle whilst appreciating the youth mobilisation and talked about the importance of education and student movements.

Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani majorly emphasised about the role of women in the protests and saluted the ones in Shaheen Bagh who took to the streets for their rights. She also addressed the ethics of media and how it’s the “voice of the voiceless.” 

Speaker sessions were complemented by songs, from ‘dastak‘, slogans, rhymes, etc in between to keep the crowd engaged despite the drizzle and rain.

The programme was wrapped up by chants and slogans of Azadi, Inquilab, etc. Although the event was to be followed with a protest march at the end but it was cancelled as the rain caused a delay. Hence, affecting the time-bound permission sought prior to the event from the officials. Upon denied any relaxation in time, protesters raised both of their hands up as a gesture, in the air and chanted freedom slogans once again and thus concluded a successfully held peaceful protest.

The students who joined in on the protest talked to DU Beat and said that they felt ‘relatively safer’ in protesting inside the campus and are motivated by Bismil and Ashfaq to speak up and fight for what they believe is wrong. Some of them deemed the act as ‘unconstitutional’ and would continue to fight it till it’s not taken back.


Featured Image Credits: Umaima Khanam for DU Beat

Umaima Khanam 

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Students of Hansraj College came together to protest against CAA-NRC and demanded an inquiry into the incident involving the assault of a fellow student.

The students had given a call for dressing up in black, reading the preamble and singing the National Anthem to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on 15th January 2020.

On 13th January 2020, students had tried staging a gathering and reading the preamble along with Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago speech, but the administration had intervened and dispersed the students who had gathered at Lovers’ Point in Hansraj College. Interestingly, no such active intervention took place when a pro-CAA demonstration took place in the college ground on the same day.

Because of this outbreak, the students decided to collect in the college cafeteria, albeit not collectively. At 12:50 p.m. on a signal by a student, everyone rose and sang the National Anthem and read the Preamble in unison. This way, the students of Hansraj were able to register their dissent in a democratic and peaceful manner despite efforts by the Administration to quell it.

Amidst everything, a third-year student was assaulted by a College Faculty member on 13th January, regarding which the students have filed a complaint with the Principal. The Principal informed the students that a disciplinary committee has been formed to look into the matter and requested the students to wait for two days.

The students held a meeting and decided to take the matter up to the Delhi Police and higher authorities in the University Administration should the college further delay action, while resolving to continue fighting against the recent regime.


Feature Image Credits : DU Beat Archives

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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On 31st July, over 100 students of Delhi School of Journalism (DSJ) staged a protest outside the Vice Chancellor lounge. The students were protesting against the frivolous action and discriminatory treatment of Prakash Ranjan, who is one of the Journalism students in his third-year.

The students who participated in the protest expressed their solidarity with him and raised many key contentious issues. Ranjan was framed in a fake Unfair Means (UFM) case. He is not the first student to be framed in such a manner and the same has happened previously also, reads the WhatsApp text message that was circulated.

It was alleged that he tried to manhandle and abuse the teacher during an examination. However, as per the message, it was a simple argument which turned into a serious UFM case. The complaint filed by Ranjan against the concerned teacher has also been ignored.

Prakash Ranjan said, “I was simply asking for a pen around 8:45 a.m. when the exam had not even started. It was at this time that I got picked on by the teacher who made some derogatory remarks.”

According to Suman Shekhar, one of the classmates of Prakash, the teacher was downright obnoxious and derogatory. When they approached him, he abused and mocked them and said, “Agar voh yahan sey chooth gaya, tab bhi mein usko tangwa dunga.” (Even if he is relieved in this case, still I will teach him a lesson).
To Mohammed Ali, who is another classmate, he was not only derogatory but also communal and was quoted to have said, “Ali tumhari bhi bali hogi.” (Ali, even you will be sacrificed).

There is a delay in the enquiry of Ranjan’s complaint letter. Due to this, his attendance is not being recorded and his result has been withheld. If the enquiry is delayed further he won’t be able to approach the courts for a fair trial and his case will be dismissed as immature.
However, Ranjan has filed a Right To Information complaint to get the copy of his case and is adamant to go to court even if the decision turns out to be against his favour. He further said, “I am falsely implicated in this case by Manishvini Yogi as I am an activist. A simple act of asking for a pen has been turned into a grave UFM case which can have severe consequences but I am not deterred as I will seek proper legal actions.”

According to the sources, several other students have alleged that they were targeted in the fourth exam and also being singled out due to their participation in the protest. They were allegedly failed in internals despite submitting all their assignments. It was also noted that a student who received a zero in his  Media and Culture Studies internal assessment was reporting a fake caste allegation made by another faculty member on the teacher, who has resigned due to unfair appointments.

Last year, students protested against the lack of basic amenities in DSJ. They went on a hunger strike and were able to procure basic infrastructure and facilities. Some students also got a hostel seat and everyone can now avail a bus pass.

The students further demand a centralised evaluation and external invigilation during examinations to ensure complete fairness.


Feature Image Credits: Delhi School of Journalism


Antriksha Pathania
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