Published: 08th November 2019
JNU students will not accept degree at convocation if demands are not met
The students stressed that they will not boycott the convocation but simply not participate. They will go in but refuse to accept the degree as their next manner of protest
The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, who have been protesting for the past 11 days against the Draft Hostel Manual, have demanded that the Acting Dean of Students, Dr Vandana Mishra should address the students assembled at the School of International Studies on the matter and reject the manual, failing which they will not participate in the convocation. Dr Mishra was in the building to conduct an examination, said sources.
The students stressed that they will not boycott the convocation but simply not participate. "We will go in and sit at the venue but will not take the degree because it does not make sense to receive a degree from an institution that is destroying our institution," said Aishe Ghosh, JNU Students' Union President. "But she is not ready to have a dialogue. Other teachers have come to us and spoken to us but she has not yet addressed the gathering here," she added.
The students have presented Dr Mishra with three demands — they want her to release an official notification stating that the IHA meeting held on October 28 stands cancelled and reject the Draft Hostel Manual, take back all the circulars brought against students by the administration and that a fresh IHA meeting along with the JNUSU and Hostel Presidents be held to prepare a new draft. "We will study, we will struggle. No backing out," said Aishe.
"Even after so many days of protesting, we still haven't made any progress in terms of initiating a dialogue with the VC or the administration. They haven't responded to our demands at all. What can we do? We will continue our protests until something fruitful comes out of this. We are yet to decide on what we plan to do next," says Saket Moon, Vice-President of the JNUSU.
Earlier on Monday, CRPF jawans were spotted on campus near the Birsa Munda Marg. The former JNUSU president N Sai Balaji put out a tweet followed by several others asking why there were special forces on campus. In response to the students' ultimatum, the registrar, on Sunday night, had sent across a note of "caution" to students, warning them against protesting at the Administration Block as it had been prohibited by a Delhi High Court order. "Several pamphlets have come to the notice of the administration calling for Satyagraha and Marches and calling for students to assemble or pass through legally prohibited areas of the campus. This is to caution those who are planning to take part that this will be clear contempt of the decision of the Delhi High Court," read the Registrar's notice. He also added that "peaceful protests" could be conducted at the Sabarmati Lawn as per JNU's rules.
The administration could not be reached to comment on the issue.