Published: 19th December 2018
From poetry to flooding PMO with postcards, how IISc scholars are protesting for a stipend hike
The IISc scholars and students are set to launch a protest at the campus on December 21, demanding a hike in the research stipend
On the evening of December 14, a few poetry and literature enthusiasts from the Indian Insitute of Science (IISc) gathered at the Institute's Choksi Hall. The Art and Literature Club of IISc meets every month, where they make room for the students to present their original and favourite poems respectively. Their December meet, however, was different from the other sessions. These students decided to stand in solidarity with their colleagues who've been protesting for a hike in their fellowship stipend and used poetry as a medium to spread the message.
It is no news that the research scholars across IITs and IISc have been raising their voice for a stipend hike. They're also protesting on the campus on Friday. While the Junior Research Fellows are pushing for a change of stipend from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, the Senior Research Fellows want the amount to be raised from Rs 28,000 to Rs 56,000. But what sets the students of IISc apart in this scenario are the methods that they've been adapting to put their point across.
As if this form of artistic protest wasn't enough, a few days ago, around 500 scholars from the institute mailed scores of postcards to the Prime Minister's Office. There was no uniform text. Students were free to write whatever they wanted. Despite this, the underlying message was the same — give us a hike in the stipend.
Even for the protest on December 21, the researchers and students of the institute are forming a human chain from the main gate to Janata Bazaar. "We will be protesting for our demands in our campus by forming a human chain," wrote the IISc Student Council members on their Facebook Page. "We have to put our message across. But we are firm that it will be done in a silent and non-violent way," says Gaurav Solra, General Secretary, IISc Student Council.