Published: 17th January 2023
Jamia Millia Islamia denies permission to Faiz Ahmad Faiz Study Circle for organising street play
To recall, the JMI administration had earlier dissolved the Jamia Teachers' Association (JTA) — Jamia's 58-year-old teachers’ body
Jamia Millia Islamia has allegedly denied permission to a theatre group — Jana Natya Manch (also known as JANAM) — to perform on campus. The performance was to be organised by Faiz Ahmed Faiz Study Circle, a study circle in the university, on January 12, 2023 at Safdar Hashmi Amphitheatre on campus.
Safdar Hashmi was, in fact, the founding member of JANAM in 1973. "We were told to ask for permission from the proctor. But the proctorial staff told us that it would be a little difficult to get permission for the event. Eventually, we were told that we cannot host this programme and we were not given any explanation for it either," said Sanam Husain, President of Students' Federation of India (SFI), JMI. She also informed that the same theatre group has performed inside the campus earlier as well.
"The fact that Safdar Hashi Amphitheatre is still off-limits to the students is also highly problematic. A university campus space is a fertile place for the growth and development of ideas and intellectuality of students. The public cultural spaces on campus are paramount for students to engage in healthy discussion, debate, and general socializing. Despite the campus reopening long ago, many such spaces are still closed," SFI Jamia said in a statement, while showing solidarity with the Faiz Ahmed Faiz Study Circle.
This is not the first time an event is being denied permission inside the campus. Sanam informed that Delhi University's Dastak was not allowed to perform their Nukkad Natak inside JMI. Dastak is a campus-based student artists forum and they were performing across different universities in Delhi. She said. "Proctor informed the students that only Jamia students can hold events inside the campus. As a result, Dastak had to do their play in a market in Okhla but the purpose of the play was lost," Sanam said.
To recall, the JMI administration had earlier dissolved the Jamia Teachers' Association (JTA) — Jamia's 58-year-old teachers’ body. Students had then informed EdexLive that the JTA often spoke against the administration on relevant issues and extended their support when need be.
Meanwhile, SFI said in their statement, "The administration's move to restrict students from entering such spaces directly attacks our democratic rights."
EdexLive has reached out for an official comment and the copy with be updated as and when we hear from them