Published: 10th December 2019
In massive move, student bodies and unions across India join hands to 'Save Public Education'
The united students' front will announce their plans officially at 2.30 pm on December 10 at New Delhi's Press Club of India
Students' organisations from institutions across India are set to come together to oppose the constant "increase in the cost of higher education". The student bodies will announce a platform of organisations and university student unions to "intensify struggle in defence of public-funded education" — Save Public Education, they call it.
The fee hike and national education policy affect everyone, said former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union President and newly appointed National President of AISA, N Sai Balaji, "The JNU fee hike movement has given a voice for many students all over the country to speak for themselves. Everyone has been experiencing and getting impacted by the fee hike at some point in their educational career. This is happening at a time when the government has Rs 4 lakh crore in the last 5 years to give tax benefits to corporates and Rs 5.7 lakh crore worth bad loans waived. Aren't we students taxpayers? Don't we deserve quality accessible and affordable education?" asked Balaji.
But it is much bigger than just the JNU fee hike, said SFI General Secretary Mayukh Biswas, "We needed to unite. This is not just one university's isolated fight. To fight against the fascist forces we needed to join forces. It is not just about the JNU fee hike it is about this system. A budget cut of Rs 3000 crore has been announced for the school education in India, scholarships are not being awarded and fees are being increased simultaneously. They are trying to destroy our intellectual capabilities with these unconstitutional policies."
Though various organisations coming together have different ideologies, Mayukh assured that the students will fight for basic issues that have been plaguing the country. And they have a series of protests planned for the next couple of months. "We have a united march to the Parliament planned on December 17 followed by an all-India protest on December 23. We will call for a nationwide students' strike on January 8 as well," said Mayukh. "On January 26, we will form human chains and read out the Constitution of India to protest against Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian President, who is the guest of honour for this Republic Day. And not just students, environmentalists and activists will also join us on that day to protest against the Fascist Bolsonaro," he added.
"When everyone starts raising their voices in unison, it will be difficult to ignore us," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, who signed the statement along with 18 other students bodies and unions. "Collective movement is the need of the hour because only that is actually creating a pressure on the government," she added. Talking about why ABVP or any other right-leaning student body was not included, Jadavpur University's Arts Faculty Students' Union President Debraj Debnath said that student organisations like the ABVP might have been protesting against the fee hike in JNU but their actual motive is to destroy the education system in India. The united students' front will announce their plans officially at 2.30 pm on December 10 at New Delhi's Press Club of India.