Published: 06th December 2019
#FeesMustFall: Are all JNU students cool with boycotting exams in protest?
The JNU GBM had called for a complete boycott of examinations. We ask the students about their views
In the early hours of December 5, the Jawaharlal Nehru University students held a General Body Meeting where it was resolved that they would boycott all academic activities in the university. This includes the examinations that are scheduled to begin on December 12.
But are all students on board with the Students' Union's decision?
Raising concerns about this, the university registrar sent out a notice on Wednesday claiming that students are writing to the officials for assistance to complete their academic requirements without disruptions. "Thousands of students have seemingly been undergoing mental stress," reads the notice. "The Administration reiterates that the end semester examinations will be conducted as
per schedule so that the academic careers of thousands of students are saved," it says.
Here's what we found when we asked around. "We are in favour of the GBM's call for the boycotting the exams. The administration is trying to create an atmosphere of fear in the university," says Priyanka Bharti, an MA German student. "The fee hike rollback is an obvious necessity in this university. If the proposed hike is enacted, students from poor and marginalised classes will be unable to get themselves registered for the next semester," she says.
However, not every student in the university echoes Priyanka's stand. "I am in favour of the JNUSU's struggle and the fee hike must be completely rolled back. But, I can't support their call to boycott exams. This puts my future in jeopardy," says a final year MA student, on condition of anonymity. "In case I don't appear for the exam, I won't be able to get myself registered for the next semester. Also, I'm a final year student and I wouldn't get my degree on time, in case I don't write the exam," he says.
He adds, "My career is in limbo right now. The student leaders aren't letting me exercise my academic right. Most of my classmates oppose the GBM's decision." He also says that the GBM wasn't conducted in a democratic manner. "The meeting was held outdoors on a cold December night. This prevented a lot of students from attending it. How can 200 odd people make decisions on behalf of 8,200 students?" he asks.
Vijay Kumar, a PhD scholar also had something similar to say. "Let's say that the students do not write their examination this semester. There are chances that they wouldn't get registered for the next year," he says. "Will the JNUSU take the responsibility in that case?" he asks.
The members of the JNUSU say that they're in talks to convince the students to stand by the GBM's decision. "The students are confused, thanks to the continuous circulars by the administration. We are conducting continuous meetings to make sure that all students are on board," says JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh.
SIS Councillor Vishnu Prasad stood firm that the boycott of exams would not cause any harm to the students. "This is no compulsion, but we're appealing to the student community on moral ground. Almost 3,000 students are on board with us now. It will be illogically impossible for a university to expel so many students in a go," he says. "Our life and career are at stake and so, it is important for us to make this movement successful," he adds.