Published: 13th August 2021
We have to leave, no other option: Afghan students plead with JNU to help with Indian visa as Taliban gains ground
The JNU Students' Union said that many students from the new and continuing batches have reached out to them for assistance on an urgent basis
As the Taliban inch closer to the Afghan capital during the worst political turmoil Afghanistan has seen this decade, the students in the country who were set to start their higher education in the Indian capital are in a fix. Afghan students enrolled in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University said that they are keen to come to India and keep studying but that won't be possible without the JNU administration's permission.
But what they've been met with by the administration is silence: students we spoke with have claimed that the varsity has not responded to their email.
Going to India might mean leaving their families in strife. "But that's our only choice. What else can we do?" asked Bashir Seddiqui. Bashir and his wife Fatima Yusufi have got admission to the MA International Studies course but have not set foot in India. They haven't been able to access the online classes regularly and have struggled through frequent power cuts. "The Taliban are only 50 km away from Kabul," said Bashir.
The JNU administration has been accused of not responding to queries and issues raised by the students for ages. And it appears as if they have not acted differently when it came to responding to the foreign students either. "We need the JNU administration to specify that these students are enrolled and they would let us come to campus. Only then will the Indian Council for Cultural Relations contact the embassy in Kabul and help us get a visa," explained Bashir. "But there has been no correspondence with the university. I have written to the foreign office but I haven't received a reply yet. There's no power here, so we are missing out on online classes as well," he added.
Sharifa Khuram, also from Kabul said that her mails have also remained unanswered. "I have called and mailed them. But they have just ignored me," added the student pursuing her post graduation at JNU's Centre for the Study of Social Systems.
Sharifa is not the only one eagerly waiting for her visa. "My family is waiting for my visa as well. If I get it then I leave for India, and they will go to Tajikistan or Pakistan, either of the neighbouring states. If I don't then I move with them," she added.
The JNU Students' Union said that many students from the new and continuing batches have reached out to them for assistance on an urgent basis. "While other universities in Delhi have granted students in similar circumstances the requisite permissions for their student visa, the Jawaharlal Nehru University has not yet given any necessary support to its students from Afghanistan. The students in question have also written to the Dean of Students and other officials multiple times but have not yet received any reply at all. We must also bring to your attention that female students who are Afghani nationals will have to leave their education entirely if they are not provided the requisite documentation in time," said a letter from the JNUSU to the Vice-Chancellor. They have asked for the "necessary documentation and permissions for their visa, along with hostel accommodation" as soon as possible.
JNU is yet to respond to our query in this matter. The story will be updated when they respond.