HCU: Disheartened with fest's cancellation, students' union protested near VC's residence

The members of the student union will be appealing to the Dean of Students Welfare and the Vice-Chancellor to gain their approval for the fest Sukoon 2024
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Representative Image(Source: EdexLive Desk)

Students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH), also known as the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), are left disappointed as the administration allegedly has given a 'no-go' to the Sukoon fest.

"Students always await the fest eagerly. It is a farewell ritual for the outgoing batch. It would be incorrect to call this fest an event organised solely for students as even the non-teaching staff and the faculty members come together for these three days. To cancel it at the last moment is not only disheartening but also fosters unnecessary disappointment," informed the Students' Union President, Ateeq Ahmad.

Date extended due to students' clash
According to Ateeq, Sukoon 2024, a three-day annual event, was supposed to be organised originally on April 27, 28 and 29, but a clash between two political factions of the students, namely, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Students' Federation of India (SFI) on April 17, acted as a deterrent for the fest.

Kripa, Secretary of the SFI wing of HCU said, "We did not want any more instances of unrest on the campus, especially with the exams approaching. Many need their results on time for admission purposes. The new date was decided considering this issue," she added.

The examinations were to commence on May 6 and continue till May 22,  as per the academic calendar.

Hence, the dates for the Sukoon Fest were decided for May 23, 24 and 25.

However, the administration on Friday, May 17, decided to announce the cancellation of the fest abruptly. As per Kripa, the members of the student union were given no reasons or clarifications.

Why were the dates deferred for the second time?
As per an official notification issued by the registrar today, May 18, the administration had issued an order not to organise the fest during the vacations, but during the upcoming academic session, so that the attendees do not find it inconvenient.

They further stated that considering the issues that can arise while conducting a fest, especially when the Model Code of Conduct for the elections is in force till June 4; being mindful of the police's orders; and understanding the problems that can arise hosting a fest during vacation period, the decision was taken.

To this, the HCU Students' Union President replied that the dates for the fest were decided after consulting students from various departments. He said, "A few of the departments had their examination on the days of the fest, and others would have already concluded their exams by the time of the fest. We spoke to several students and had unanimously arrived at the conclusion."

Moreover, Kripa adds that the Model Code of Conduct for elections does not apply to the students, but only to political parties and other groups. Additionally, the student union had agreed to the conditions laid out by the police.

Adding to this, Ateeq further said that police play no role in lending permission for the conduction of the fest given they are being held on the institution premises, and not at a public place.

A political game, says union president
Ateeq also alleges that some of the funds that the university should be providing for the fest are being embezzled for different purposes. Moreover, he informed EdexLive that the funds for the students' fest were never released.

"Students are levied an amount while taking admission under the name of the students union, yet, the administration is hesitant in releasing it. Why is that so? There must be some political ploy not to let the student union function at its will. The independence and decision-making stance of the union is being neutralised" claims Ateeq.

Ateeq further adds that the decisions regarding the fest are taken by the students' union sans the intrusion of the university.

Why cancel fest four days prior to the fest?
The SFI secretary further adds that most of the funds were already collected from the students, and preparations were underway. "We went ahead with the prep, despite not being provided funds from the administration. The police had given us conditional permission, and we agreed to it. The artists for the event and others were paid their advances, and now, the administration has decided to cancel the fest, it is unfair to just not a section of students, but to everyone," she told EdexLive.

The SFI Secretary, who was also a part of the protest, informed EdexLive that since the Vice-Chancellor (VC) refused to engage in a conversation, they decided to initiate one with him. "After repeated requests for the VC to appear, and his continual reluctance forced us to do sloganeering. We did not obstruct anybody's movements," she says.

She further alleges that the decision to protest by the VC's residence was a conscious decision made as the administrators are not in office on Saturdays.

She added that the students' union will be appealing to the Dean of Students Welfare and the VC to resume with the fest.

For the university's official statement on the same, click here

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