Appeal by the Striking Students of Delhi College of Art – Students of Delhi College of Art and Ambedkar University, Delhi

Guest Post by Students of Delhi College of Art, with a statement in solidarity by students of  Ambedkar University, Delhi (Department of Visual Arts)

[ This post compiles communications sent out by students of the College of Art, Delhi, their charter of demands (which include very basic and fundamental demands – and it is indeed a revelation that students have to resort to a strike to get this charter even noticed) and a letter in solidarity (see end of the post) with the College of Art students from Students of the Department of Visual Arts, Ambedkar University, Delhi. We are posting this to continue to bring to attention the condition of students of art, media and film in the country. Kafila has already posted articles on the conditions of the students of the Film & Television Institute of India. This post also needs to be seen in the context of the recent statement by the Minister of Culture, Government of India, about ‘cultural pollution’. Clearly, the rot is within institutions, and has not been caused, as the minister seems to think, by the ‘encroachment of Western culture’. We hope that this series of posts can contribute to a real debate about the state of art, culture and cultural institutions in India and the rest of South Asia. ]

Students of College of Art, New Delhi have been on strike for last thirteen days. The strike had to happen, when the individual voice of art students in the college was ignored and suppressed for years. This bundling up of dissent was inevitable.

The voice of the students is learning to fight for it’s rights. Students are trying to challenge the ideology of the institution itself. Students are doing their best to use the space that the college has to ensure that their artistic endeavors find fruition.

Gathering of Protesting Students of the Delhi College of Art

Students have been on strike from last 13 days, 10am to 5pm. We are using the space outside the college to make our voice heard. The agitation has had only a little impact on the authorities so far, but we are happy that a process  of questioning has been initiated.

Gathering Support for the Strike
Gathering Support for the Strike

We want maximum support from artists or people having interest in art. This rotting institution has to be made relevant and meaningful once again. We feel your support is of the utmost importance. We wish to learn all that which is not addressed in the college studios.



The Principal, College of Art, 20-22, Tilak Marg, New Delhi 110002
SUBJECT: Request for official circulars to be placed for all the solutions of the issues, as mentioned by the director of Tech. Education and Principal Sir.
Respected Sir,
This letter is with regard to the issue and demand of students of college of art as discussed with Director of Tech. Education- Mr. Rajkumar Solanki and Officiating Principal- Mr. S.N. Lahiri.
We are mentioning all the discussed points below, kindly provide us with an officially signed circular on college’s letter head for each resolved issue or provide us official reason for the process, as that will provide clarity to the students.
1. Circular that mentions immediate formation and call for Official Student Executive Association/ Student Welfare Association.
2.Call for nomination for three student representatives (2 Female, 1 Male) in Official Sexual Harrasment Committee of the college. Action against H.O.D accused for harassment within college premises, Mr. K.S. Pawar.
3. Circular that mentions the dates for “SAMHITA”- Workshop cum Seminar, which as discussed is to be commenced after 15 days of semester practicals and theory examinations in 2015.
4. Circular that mentions the dates for Educational Tour for 3rd and 4th year students, call for fees submission  for the tour and duration of the tour to be clearly stated as ‘not less than 15 days’ in session of 2014-15. If required formation of a formal committee for tour execution can be called for the same.
5. Circular that mentions date when the gallery for artwork of eminent artists, teachers and final year students of B.F.A. and M.F.A. will be updated and mantained.
6. Circular that mentions  changes in library timing (8AM to 8PM), and a date by which the upgradation and division of issuable and non-issuable books will be completed.
7. Circular that provides details of translators  (Name and Contact), so the deaf and mute students can contact them whenever they require.
8. Circular that clearly states dates of all the three rounds of Campus Placements for the final year students of B.F.A. and M.F.A. in current academic year. If needed a call for a relevant Student Body can be called.
9. Circular that calls for students representative for advisory body of the college which as per the discussion should have 3 nominated teachers, 3 or 4 eminent and contemporary Artists and atleast 3 students representatives with immediate effect.
10. Circular that clearly mentions formation of official sports committee, name of the incharge should be specified. Also a date by which all the implemented course of action will be informed.
11.Circular that mentions a date by which all the technical labs will be updated to its maximum capacity and official detail of the material purchased in the process and Subsidary Dept.
12. Circular that gives official steps  taken in direction to provide the students facilities and material (hardware, software, equipments etc.) As per the list provided by the students department wise.
13. Circular that specifies incharge of the First-Aid Medical facilities and information of the  nearest dispensaries till the time medical room is prepared for official medical help.
14. Circular that mentions names of members in inspection committee for hygiene and basic health and basic health of college students.

Specific Requirements for the material and infrastructure :
1. Professional lighting in all the studios of each department.
2. Updated Equipments – Projectors and Screens for the theory classes and presentations, Atleast 2 Photocopy Machines and Printing Shop/ Facility and other necessory equipments like Lasor Printers.
3. Furniture – Updation and proper maintainance of classroom and official furniture, also professional studios easels.
4. Technical table is required for all the departments.
5. All the basic things required for proper medical centre, i.e.  A bed for patients, qualified medical attendants, basic medicines.
6. Proper Maintainance of Building infrastructure continued redressal of wear and tear. i.e. windows, ceiling fans, general lights and fixtures, sanitary ware, drainage system.
7. Print- Making Specific requirements- Rollers, Printing Press Machines etching press and relevent material.
8. Atleast 40 latest version of computers with latest professional softwares according to the general average strength of one class and computers also required for other department offices.
9. Wi Fi facilities to be initiated as soon as possible.
10. A centralised lab for all departments should be initiated.
11. E- Library should be implemented as soon as possible.
We humbly request that kindly provide us circulars for all above mentioned points and take immediate appropriate action to save career and future of the students.
Looking for a positive reply,
Yours Sincerely,
Students Representatives
College of Art, Tilak Marg
C.C. To,                                                                                                                                                                     – Vice Chancellor, Delhi University- Mr. Dinesh Singh
-Dty. Chief Minister(NCT govt.)- Mr. Manish Sisodia
-Director of Tech. Education- Mr. Rajkumar Solanki

Letter of Solidarity for the Striking Students of Delhi College of Art from Students of the Visual Arts Deparement of Ambedkar University, Delhi

Dear all,

I write this letter in solidarity with Delhi’s college of art students on the behalf of visual arts department of Ambedkar University, Delhi.
within our batch, Five of us, before joining AUD, did our bachelors from College of art, Delhi in painting department and the experience wasn’t pleasant at all. We had to go through complete lack of guidance with no understanding of what we were doing. There is a serious absence from initiation from teachers to help us with our creative process. More importantly, there is absolutely NO awareness of contemporary art practice among the faculty and the age old curriculum does us no good doesn’t prepare us for future. Even within the current curriculum setting, the faculty makes no effort to help the student understand the implications of the traditional practice. They keep themselves busy with the internal rivalry among the teachers and waste time in managerial politics due to which students get to suffer. They fail to provide basic hygiene demands of cleaning the washrooms and unclogged basins. They would casually take out their personal grudge with the students by simply giving them low marks or would even fail them in certain scenarios, whether the student deserved it or not,  remained out of the question.

Taking these personal experiences of few of us of the institution and general concern regarding the future of students currently in it. We stand in support of on the ongoing protest. The faculty is inadequate, hence the demand for transparency of the academic achievements of faculty member is completely valid. The sexual harassment committee which seems to recently renewed under the light of current events, lacks a student representative from each department. The purpose of such committee stands futile if the accused is among the committee and there is no student representative to address the issue. Under such circumstances, the voice and issue of the victim can easily be silenced and ignored. There’s quite a good amount of money that is being asked from students at the time of fees submission which remains not clarified. No transparency with the usage of funds is another one of the major issues.

so we all are part of that movement, and not because that your students are suffering within that educational system, rather because we all are in the same position in some extent. And our real time is the witness of all suffering….. and we feel that it’s not about getting some facility from the authority, but more than that, we need a transparent process through in which we can understand and participate to make a decision.

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