Published: 13th October 2020
#UnlockBHU: Students call for Twitter storm on Oct 14 demanding opening of hostels, libraries on campus
Students of BHU have submitted a memorandum to the VC requesting him to open all the hostels, libraries and classes on a daily basis
After a large number of students protested against the non-running of hostels, libraries and classes at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) on Monday, they have now planned a Twitter storm to be virtually conducted on October 14 in order to trend the hashtag '#Unlock_BHU'. The Twitter protest is scheduled for 4 to 6 pm on Wednesday. The students want hostels and libraries to open immediately, though the government has not yet permitted it in entirety.
Sumit Yadav, member of Bhagat Singh Chhatra Morcha and student at BHU tells Edex, "Everything is open across the country, but the hostel, the library is not opening on campus. We even have a temple inside the campus which has been opened to the public and people regularly come to visit. We spoke to the Registrar yesterday during our protest at the Central Office and nothing substantial was conveyed to us. Thus, we decided to start this Twitter trend as a form of virtual protest on October 14 between 4 to 6 pm. Following this, we will try to speak to the administration again on October 15 seeking answers to the demands we have put forward for unlocking the BHU campus."
A scene from the protest on October 12
Students are also agitated as liquor shops, malls, rail, air travel, business establishments and industrial areas have all gradually opened up across the country following government guidelines, however, academic institutions haven't. "Shouldn't opening universities and educational institutes or at least the hostels and libraries be the priority of the government right now? We are having online classes, semester exams dates have been announced but we are not being able to access the library. How will we get the study material? The BHU administration said that we can issue a few books but can't open the hostels due to safety protocols and government guidelines. Most of us students come from economically weaker backgrounds and do not have access to the internet back in our hometowns. It would be beneficial if the hostel and the library were opened, we could attend online classes adequately. We also demanded classes be restarted again keeping in the mind safety of students and teachers," Sumit added.
Earlier on Monday, the students sat on a dharna demanding that the varsity resume activities. "The BHU administration has been conducting entrance exams and all the non-academic activities are going on in the university smoothly. Only the students are being taken away from their reading. Students feel that their future is being played with by creating mental pressure on them," adds Sumit. After the protest on Monday, a memorandum was also handed over to Rakesh Bhatnagar, Vice-Chancellor, BHU to open all the hostels, libraries and classes.
Neither the Ministry of Home Affairs nor the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have given the green signal for institutions to resume operations en masse and are still cautiously reopening schools and colleges in a staggered manner.