Published: 26th October 2021
DU students' protest may exceed 48 hours, spread to libraries and departments if admin does not listen
Not just students but teachers too joined the protestors. The protest has garnered support from students on social media as well
The students of the University of Delhi who are on a hunger strike demanding the reopening of their campus said that if the administration does not meet them to discuss their demands, they will extend their hunger strike beyond the initial 48 hours announced.
The protest at the Arts Faculty has been initiated by several students' organisations including the All India Students' Association (AISA), the Collective, Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch, Disha, Pachhas, Democratic Students' Union and VCF. But the protesting students — 20 of them are on hunger strike — said that they will spread the protest to libraries, hostels, colleges and departments. "If the administration does not meet us today to discuss our demands then we will continue this protest beyond 48 hours and expand it into libraries, hostels, colleges and departments till our demands are met. Twenty students remain on hunger strike and their spirits are high to have an organised protest of this magnitude on campus after nearly two years," said Sourya Majumder, a student of Sociology at JNU and a member of the Collective.
Not just students, but teachers also joined the protestors. The protest has garnered support from students on social media as well. "History Department's Dr Vikas Gupta (National Secretariat Member, All India Forum for RTE) also addressed the gathering. He highlighted the bypassing of parliamentary procedures by which NEP 2020 was adopted as well as undemocratic means used at the DU Academic Council to bring back FYUP, Multiple Entry-Exit Choice (MEEC) and Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) during its August 24 meeting when campus remained shut," said another student from the protest site.
The students said that even after filing several petitions, delegations and protests, the DU Registrar Vikas Gupta had issued a notification on September 6 regarding 'phased reopening' of DU, it's been close to two months since then, "no steps have been taken for the return of students following safety precautions''. The few libraries, laboratories, and hostels that have opened have imposed ad hoc restrictions on students, said the students. "Several colleges across DU also saw continued fee hikes despite the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Meanwhile, anti-student policies such as FYUP, MEEC and ABC schemes as well as changes in the syllabus have been implemented by the administration during this period," said a protesting student.