Published: 12th June 2018
JNU student activist forced to shift hostel 18 days before PhD submission
When the student refused to leave the hostel room the warden brought 15 security guards to his room to force him to leave
Dileep Yadav has spent nine years as a student in Jawaharlal Nehru University and in the last one year, he has had to change his hostel three times. Now, when he has only 20 days left at JNU, he is being asked to shift again and this time when he refused, 15 security guards turned up at his room! But why is the administration so keen on asking a student to move hostels when he will be finishing his course in just a few days time?
The UGC gazette protest- How it began?
In January 2017, Yadav, then the convenor of the United OBC Forum, went on a hunger strike to protest against the implementation of the UGC Gazette. The admissions in JNU had always followed a 70:30 pattern for written test and viva marks calculation and the implementation of the UGC Gazette would have meant 100 percent weightage for viva, something that would work adversely for students from backward communities. Most students do well in the written exams but are not always able to speak well during interviews and even if they do, the interview format would expose them to possible caste discrimination from the interviewing panel.
Therefore, Yadav and several others had been vehemently protesting the move by the UGC and the JNU administration and despite several warnings and FIRs, Yadav had continued with his fast. The administration fined six students including Yadav during the protests and Yadav alone was transferred to another hostel. In the last one and half years, Yadav had been transferred several times since.
Speaking Up: Yadav is currently a member and was formerly the convenor of the United OBC Forum
Humongous fines and several notices later
Thirty-year-old Yadav has participated in several protests but for the UGC Gazette protest alone he was fined over and over again, "Till now I have paid Rs 55,000 in fines. At the end of every year, we have to clear our fines and every year they shift me because of the notices issued by the administration. But this time, it's the middle of the year and when I'm at the fag and crucial end of my PhD," Yadav said.
When Yadav refused to comply with the warden, 15 security guards allegedly turned up to force him to vacate the hostel,"Why would you need 15 people to get one single person to vacate a small room? Fortunately, many of my friends and supporters came out to support me so they couldn't do much and let me stay until further orders," he said. Yadav has written to the Vice-Chancellor but hasn't heard back yet and till then he doesn't plan to move.
"In 20 days I'll be out of here. I'll have to pack to vacate the hostel anyway, so why are they making it difficult for me by asking me to move to another hostel. In a few days time, I will have to start packing anyway. Issuing such orders when I should be working on my PhD is only causing me unnecessary mental trauma," the International Studies student explained."The place they are shifting me to is not even a single room, it's a dorm. How am I supposed to manage there when I have so much work to do?" he questioned.
Why would you need 15 people to get one single person to vacate a small room? Fortunately, many of my friends and supporters came out to support me so they couldn't do much and let me stay until further orders," Yadav said
When the fight was right, why the punishment?
The protests had resulted in the students getting their way, so why does he deserve to be punished, Yadav questioned. "Finally it was proved that we are in fact right in what we did. So when we're in the right, why is the administration still intent on giving me punishment after punishment?"
Yadav fears that this last minute harassment will deeply impact his PhD submission,"I'm glad I have the support of my friends that's why I managed to stay on but I just hope I'll be able to leave here without anymore harassment."