Published: 21st November 2019
Bruised, not beaten: JNU students to conduct bigger, bolder march to Parliament on Saturday
The MHRD appointed 'high power' committee that is supposed to visit the university on Friday, November 22, might also face a mass demonstration from the students
The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University have vowed to not back down from their demands and the JNU Students' Union has called for yet another march to the Parliament on Saturday, November 23. And this time it's a call to the 'concerned citizens' to join the students. This caps off a week that saw JNU's darkest, most violent, most dissenting days in the history of the 60-year-old institution.
The JNUSU called for the Citizens' March from Mandi House which is set to start at 11 am on Saturday. Their demands remain the same. They want the fees to be rolled back to what it was. They are also protesting against the fellowship cut, decrease in education budget etc in institutes like JNU IIT and DU among other universities and even schools in India. They are also protesting against the New Education Policy and wants affordable and equitable education for all. This, the students said was a call to save public education.
The MHRD appointed 'high power' committee that is supposed to visit the university on Friday, November 22, might also face a mass demonstration from the students. Though they have decided on a final course of action the JNUSU Vice-President Saket Moon confirmed that the students will hold demonstrations in the university when the committee members visit.
The Students' Union of the Jawaharlal Nehru University met the 'high power' committee appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development on November 20 to discuss the demands of the students and restore normalcy in the varsity. Even though the ministry claimed that the students have agreed to their appeal, the students said that there is no question of backing down from their demands unless the Vice-Chancellor or the administration takes cognisance of his actions and accepts their demands.
The JNU Students' Union President, Aishe Ghosh said that the students want their VC to address their concerns, "We will definitely ensure that normalcy is brought back on campus. But first, we need the VC to talk to us and we need assurance from the university or the MHRD that the hostel manual and fee hike will be taken back — a complete rollback."
After the meeting that lasted over three hours, the MHRD tweeted, "The Committee appealed to the students to restore normalcy on the campus immediately for which the students responded positively." The entire students' council met the newly appointed three-member committee constituting former UGC Chairman, Dr VS Chauhan, AICTE Chairman Dr Anil Sahasrabuddhe and UGC Secretary Dr Rajnish Jain.
Apeksha Priyadarshini, a member of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students' Organisation (BASO) at JNU said that the committee listened to all their demands patiently but there was no conclusion at the end of the meeting. "They listened to all our demands and also agreed with us that there needs to be a dialogue but they had no answer when we asked them why the VC and the Registrar denied appearing in front of an MHRD-appointed committee," she added. "The committee said that the Deans have had a meeting with them. But that's it. The VC and the Registrar did not appear," she added.