Tag Archives: #StandwithJNU

Hope, solidarity and struggle in JNU: Women of Sabarmati

WOMEN OF SABARMATI WRITE:

The outpouring of solidarity and generosity on the JNU campus, since the attack of 5th January 2020 has been overwhelming.

Hostels have organised guerilla dhabas at Sabarmati. They have sung revolutionary songs while making pans of maggi and distributing jhal muri and peanuts.

Men from the hostel that distributed peanuts, worried about the mess of the peanut shells at our hostel entrance, even offered to sweep up the place, brooms at the ready.

Three women in the women’s wing in Sabarmati threw all the women in the hostel a party two nights ago.

During and after the events of the 5th, neighbours have become friends.

Our teachers have been coming to meet us every day. Some have brought bags full of snacks. Some have organised trauma sessions for us. Some have just held us.

And tonight Brahmaputra hostel organised a Sadbhavna mela for the campus. Free snack stalls all around, dholak music to dance to and a large Lohri bonfire.

As some of us women from Sabarmati were walking back towards Ganga dhaba tonight, discussing how this is the first time our hostel has no Lohri celebrations, the men from Kaveri stopped us to offer popcorn from their Lohri celebrations.

JNU was home, is home, and will remain home.

Wall of resistance at Brahmaputra

Faculty Feminist Collective, JNU, condemns police violence on students

December 11, 2019

We, members of Faculty Feminist Collective, Jawaharlal Nehru University, condemn in the strongest terms the unprovoked police brutality on the peaceful protest marches of JNU students against the illegal adoption of a revised Hostel Manual by the JNU administration and the proposed steep rise in fees. Three times since November 11, 2019, the day of the JNU Convocation, the police have lathi-charged assembled and marching students. The first time, students were expressing a legitimate demand to meet the Vice Chancellor who now conducts all business outside the campus and has not met any member of the JNU community for some time now. On the second occasion it was a march to Parliament, to meet the elected representatives of this country; and the third time, to meet the President of India who is also the Visitor of JNU, to press upon them the urgency of the situation in which nearly half of the current students of JNU will not be able to come back next semester if the IHA Manual and the fee hike is not rolled back. Continue reading Faculty Feminist Collective, JNU, condemns police violence on students

Solidarity Statement by TISS Alumni with Students of JNU

We the undersigned, are alumni of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

We are appalled at the complete lack of sensitivity shown by the JNU administration and concerned government officials to the issues raised by the students on the recent proposal of irrational 999% hike in their fee structure. We also strongly condemn the inappropriate use of brute force by the police officials towards the peaceful protest of university students when they were demanding a roll back of this policy to keep higher education accessible for all, and to oppose imposing of regressive restrictions on the clothing and movement of students in the university.

Not just insensitive, the state has also used condemnable tactics to deal with the legitimate demands of the protesting students. Instead of using questionable means to stop students from peacefully protesting and approaching the policymakers, the government should have facilitated a dialogue with the students and paid heed to their demands. Continue reading Solidarity Statement by TISS Alumni with Students of JNU

Academic Community stands firmly with JNUSU President; 100+ academicians, activists, writers issue statement of solidarity

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid on behalf of the signatories
We, the undersigned, are deeply shocked by the shameful attempts by JNU Administration to crush dissent in the University through imposition of arbitrary fines on student activists, denial of registration to students engaged in protests against the administration, including the elected President of the Students’ Union, Mohit Pandey. We stand in solidarity with the JNUSU President who has decided not to pay the arbitrarily imposed fine of 20,000. Many more Students’ Representatives and activists of JNU campus are facing 5-6 inquiries and false FIRs for raising students’ issues.
It is also shocking that a duly elected representatives of the students is being fined such massive amounts for merely raising students’ issues. Several other students have paid the fines, in order to be allowed to register, being forced to succumb under the threat of having their registration held up. Several students with pending inquires are not getting their degree- mark sheets and unable to continue their studies further. This amounts to imposition of a tax/fee on dissent, thereby creating a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the University. This is unacceptable in a University where knowledge creation is contingent upon freedom of ideas.
We call upon the JNU administration to display maturity and stop penalising alternative viewpoints. The current fine of Rs. 20,000 that the JNUSU President is being asked to pay for restoration of his studentship pertains to an instance of anti-administration protests led by the students’ union against the complicity of the JNU Administration in the disappearance of an M.Sc. Biotechnology student named Najeeb Ahmed following a mob assault on him by members of a students’ group affiliated to the ruling party – who were indicted for the assault by a report of the Proctor’s Office, but shielded by the higher ups in the administration, leading the then Proctor to resign from office.
So, the students guilty of leading the lynch mob against Najeeb Ahmed were given no punishment at all, whereas students protesting against his disappearance – who were demanding that the JNU Administration should file a police complaint in the matter – were fined Rs.  20,000 each! Ever since the JNU VC has been appointed by the present government, students not belonging to the ruling party student group have been systematically targeted and penalised for speaking out. There is no record of similar fines upon right-wing groups which routinely engage in vandalism on campus. This clearly amounts to blatant viewpoint discrimination and also serves as a green signal to lynch mobs on campus.
The JNU Administration is using an archaic statute in the book to ban protests at the Administration Block. However, JNU has always had a healthy culture of dissent and protest. Protests against the administration have always been held outside the administration block itself. That the protests disturb the working of the administration is the most dubious pretext for crushing dissent, as there have been historic student movements on JNU campus which have only made the University stronger, its academic traditions more robust and its intellectual environment more egalitarian.
We, therefore, demand that
1) the JNU administration must end its petty tactics of penalising dissent;
2) JNUSU President, Mohit Pandey, must be allowed to register for the next academic semester, unconditionally;
3) all fines against students being imposed for the mere act of protest must be revoked unconditionally;
4) JNU Administration must stop trying to deprive students of the right to protest at the Administration Block, and engage, instead in dialogue with the elected students’ body without bias against the ideology held by the student union representatives;
5) JNU Administration must punish the students who assaulted Najeeb Ahmed, resulting in his disappearance.
Sd/-
Prof. Anand Teltumbde, Senior Professor, Goa Institute of Management
Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Former Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Delhi; Member, Presidium, All India Forum for Right to Education
Dr. Rohan D’Souza, Associate Professor, Kyoto University, Japan
Prof. Chaman Lal, Retired Professor, JNU; Former President, JNUTA
Prof. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi
Jairus Banaji, Research Professor, SOAS, University of London
Prof. Laxman Gaddam, Professor of Commerce, Osmania University
Anwesha Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata
Arvind, Professor, IISER Mohali
Rana Partap Behal, Associate Professor (Retd.), Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi. Association of Indian Labour Historians.
Madhu Kushwaha, Professor, BHU
Brinda Bose, Associate Professor, JNU
Debaditya Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, Nivedita College, University of Calcutta
Dr. Rohini Hensman, Writer and Independent Scholar
Anand Mathew, Director, Prerana Kala Manch, Varanasi
Mary E John, Researcher, Centre for Women’s Development Studies
Padma Velaskar, Professor (Retd.), Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Ravi Kumar, Associate Professor, South Asian University
Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay, Assistant Professor, IISER Mohali
R. Nandakumar, Art Historian, IGNCA
Madhu Prasad, Associate Professor (Retd.), Zakir Hussain College, DU
K. Laxminarayana, Professor, Hyderabad Central University
Jean Chapman, Adjunct Professor, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
T K Arun, Editor, Opinion, The Economic Times
John Cherian, Journalist, Frontline
Teesta Setalvad, Journalist, Activist, Educationist; Citizens for Peace and Justice; Sabrang India
Ravindra Tomar, Senior Researcher, Parliament of Australia
Manorama Sharma, Retired Professor, NEHU
Dr. Sushmita Sengupta, Associate Professor, NEHU
Prof. K. Chakradhar Rao, Member, Presidium, All India Forum for Right To Education
Perumal Vijayan, Research Associate, University of Saskatchew
Sangeeta Chatterji, Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Mohd Mushtaq, Assistant Professor, Govt. Degree College, Baramulla, J&K
Hiren Gohain, Retired University Teacher
Nandini Rao, Social Activist, JNU Alumnus
Devyani Borkataki, Activist, Northeast Network
Kiran Shaheen, Director, Media Action Group
Wilfred Dcosta, Convenor, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Firoz Ahmed, Teacher, Lok Shikshak Manch
Manoj Chahal, Research Scholar, University of Delhi
Manuj Mukherjee, Ph.D. Scholar, Indian Institute of Science
Sanjay Palshikar, Professor, University of Hyderabad
Dr Navneet Sharma, Assistant Professor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh
Bhangya Bhukya, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad
Abani K Bhuyan, Professor, University of Hyderabad; President of the University of Hyderabad Teachers’ Association
Dr. G. Vijay, Assistant Professor, University of Hyderabad
Sohail Hashmi, Freelance Writer, Filmmaker, JNU Alumnus
Nikhil Kumar, Policy Analyst
Roger Alexander, Independent Journalist, Pink City Press Club
Saeed Haider, Associate Editor, Saudi Gazette
Rajesh, Activist, Lok Shikshak Manch
N.D. Jayaprakash, JNU Alumnus
Anjal Lele, Travel Consultant; former JNU Student
Dr. Vikas Bajpai, Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Indira C, Public Health Researcher; Consultant
Rashmi Kumari, Ph. D., Jawaharlal Nehru Univerity
Dr. C. Sadasiva, Associate Professor, Deptt. of Botany, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
Sajid, National Vice-President, Campus Front of India; Ph.D. Scholar, JNU
Shehla Rashid Shora, Research Scholar, JNU
Mohit P Gandhi, Ph.D. Scholar, CSMCH, JNU
Vasanthi Gupta, Academician; JNU Alumnus
Apurba K. Baruah, Retired Professor, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
K. Laxminarayana, Professor, University of Hyderabad
Dayaram Yadav, Former General Secretary
Dr. M. Gangadhar, Chief Editor, Adhyapaka Jwala; Democratic Teachers’ Federation, Telangana
Avinash Chandra Jha, former Associate Professor; former JNU student
Mohan Rao, Professor, JNU
Shashwati Goswami, Research Scholar, CSMCH, JNU
Joby Joseph, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad
Sumegha, student, JNU
Caroline C. Netto, Ph.D. Scholar, JNU
Ramesh Patnaik, Former General Secretary, JNUSU
Sri Raghunath Joshi, Professor (Retd.)
Thokchom Surjit Singh, Social Activist; All India forum for Right to Education
Ratan Kumar, Ph.D. Scholar, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
Susmit Isfaq, Student, NLU Assam; Students’ Federation of India
Roobala, Ressearch Scholar, Indian Institute of Science
Himangshu Baruah, student
D N Reddy, Professor of Economics (Retd.), University of Hyderabad
Akshay Pathak, General Secretary, AIRSO
K Venugopal, Chief Editor, Upadhyaya Dharshini
B Sudha, Retird Teacher, TPTF
M. Raghushankerreddy, State President, Democratic Teachers’ Federation; All India Forum for Right to Education
Aviroop Sengupta, Ph.D. Scholar, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
M. Balakumar, Headmaster; DTF
Arunank, State General Secretary, Democratic Students’ Union, Telangana
V. Raji Reddy, HM, Democratic Teachers’ Federation
Manjari Gupta, Post Doctoral Fellow, HRI
M. Somaiah, Teacher; State Vice-President, DTF
Vijay Kumar, Central Committee Member, CPI(ML) Red Star
Somasekharasarma, Retd. English Lecturer; AIFRTE
Kalyani Menon Sen, JNU Alumnus, (1977 batch)
T. Sobha Rani, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad
Shephali Frost, Writer, Poet, Musician
Srinivas Reddy A., Teacher, Democratic Teachers’ Federation
Bittu Karthik, Associate Professor, Ashoka University
Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist / Writer, Raqs Media Collective, Delhi
Madhu, State Secretary, Democratic Teachers’ Federation
Suraj Beri, Doctoral Candidate, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, JNU
Vijay Shankwe Choudhary, Producer/Director Films and Television, former JNU Student (1972-81 batch)
Shilpa Shital, Research Scholar, IIT Delhi
Partho Sarothi Ray, Assistant Professor, IISER Kolkata
Nupur, Research Scholar, JNU
Susie Tharu, Retired Professor, EFLU
Sarwat Ali, Associate Professor, IASE (Jamia Millia Islamia)
Dyuti, Researcher and Activist
P. S. Mukherjee, Founder Member, Friends of Latin America-India
D. M. Diwakar, Professor, A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences, Patna, Bihar
Muzaffar Ahmad Dar, Research Scholar, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
Aishik Gupta, Activist
Aijaz Ahmed, Lecturer, Shinas College of Technology, Ministry of Manpower, Oman
Vandana Mahajan, Independent Development Practitioner, Feminist Movement for Equality, Justice and Non-discrimination
Afzal Hussain, Masters Student, CAAS, JNU
Masood Ahmed Azhar, Research Scholar, JNU; NSUI
Harshad Tayade, Engineering Student, Pune University
Shivam, Student, University of Hyderabad
Dharti Putra, Student, BIT Sindri, Dhanbad, Jharkhand

JNU Teachers on allegations of motive behind car vandalism

STATEMENT FROM JNU TEACHERS

We, members of the JNU faculty, are deeply shocked at the kinds of allegations and speculations being made because a faculty member’s car was vandalised a couple of nights ago. Obviously the incident in which the windshield of the car was found shattered in the morning,  is worrisome, and cause for concern – yet this is not an isolated incident on an otherwise safe campus. In past months other faculty members living on campus have had similar experiences, where random acts of vandalism have occurred, in different parts of the university. However, no one, until now, has made either baseless allegations or blamed students’ groups, or levelled charges against any particular political ideology.

This is the first time that such quick, and hasty conclusions have been drawn. Instead of investigating a matter of vandalism, this is being recast as some kind of political conspiracy and vendetta. This does not reflect the spirit of JNU – which has always been collegial despite its many differences. It is only since early 2016 that we are seeing this sense of reflective engagement fraying – which ought to be a cause of concern for us all.

We would also wish to state that the untimely loss of every life is, and should be, one of great sorrow. And it is particularly so in the cases of ordinary jawans, most of whom come from impoverished families and have few opportunities, especially to study, and to make a better life for themselves. Who knows – had their families had the wherewithal for educating their children – they too could have been university professors. The baseless allegations against JNU being levelled at the moment, purportedly in support of the killing of jawans in Sukma, neither respects their lives and immense challenges, nor does it show any concern for the university and its community.

At a time when the JNU community is facing grave challenges, and its excellent academic environment is at risk, it is the duty of the faculty to maintain calm. Instead, such baseless allegations are adding to a situation of anxiety and distress, especially for students who are in the midst of examinations, other than facing an uncertain future.  An attack on JNU at this moment not merely adds to existing conditions of worry, but is, in the last instance, an attack on public universities and the values they stand for. As B.R. Ambedkar famously said, “Education is something which ought to be brought within the reach of everyone… the policy therefore ought to be to make higher education as cheap to the lower classes as it can possibly be made.” JNU is one of those universities in India that has enabled students from socially and economically deprived backgrounds to achieve their dreams. No retroactive condolences will absolve us of the responsibility of killing those dreams and futures.   Continue reading JNU Teachers on allegations of motive behind car vandalism

Shut down JNU if not one way then another? JNUTA statement on UGC regulations

JNU administration has drastically cut intake into the university for the next academic session and perhaps for years to come, using the UGC ‘caps’ on research as a pretext. JNU Teachers’ Association demonstrates conclusively here through a survey of 46 Central Universities, that barring a handful which have definitively adopted them, most others are still operating with other Regulations based on the preceding 2009 version. And even the few universities that have adopted them, barring JNU, have implemented modifications by way of harmonisation with the statutes, objects, and past practices of the institutions.

JNU not being targeted using the UGC Regulations as a pretext? Right.

Over the past few weeks we have been told that the mandatory nature of the UGC Regulations require them to be implemented by universities immediately and in a chapter-and- verse fashion. JNUTA’s survey of 46 Central Universities however shows that barring a handful who have definitively adopted them, most others are still operating with other Regulations based on the preceding 2009 version. And for even the few universities that have adopted them, barring JNU, modifications in the way of harmonisation with the statutes, objects, and past practices of the institution have inevitably resulted.

Table 1 presents the facts of 46 Central Universities, the year of their founding, and the research programmes they take admission to. To determine whether they had adopted the 2016 UGC Regulations, we examined the Ordinances and notifications on the university website in order to detect its adoption. (The value label unclear is to mark the cases where no explicit information of either type was posted on the university’s website.)CENTRAL UNIVS WITH UGC 2016 Continue reading Shut down JNU if not one way then another? JNUTA statement on UGC regulations

Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal

Guest Post by JATIN GORAYA and PRADEEP NARWAL

ABVP ARE THE FOOT-SOLDIERS OF THIS FASCIST GOVERNMENT WHO ORCHESTRATED THE ATTACK ON JNU POST 9TH FEB LAST YEAR!

APPEAL TO EVERYONE TO REJECT AND ISOLATE THE KILLERS OF ROHITH AND THOSE WHO ORCHESTRATED THE #SHUTDOWNJNU CAMPAIGN!

As JNU is still recovering from the aftershocks of last year sangh parivar’s attack on our university post 9th of February we are again facing an unprecedented attack on our university – its democratic space, progressive admission policy, its inclusive character. The latter has been the heart and soul of JNU which the student movement has built over the last four decades. Last year’s attack was an attack on our right to dissent, to curb our democratic spaces and to implement the fascist Hindutva agenda on our universities. This year, in the name of “academic quality” and “excellence”, by reducing the seat intake & closing admission they want to ensure that none is able to access higher education in JNU.

We were members of ABVP previous to the events of Feb 9 last year, and we subsequently resigned because of our differences with this fascist, casteist, Brahmanical and patriarchal organisation. These differences, as we have earlier said, had been long standing ones. But after the orchestrated attack on JNU, we felt a limit had been crossed and we could no longer associate with ABVP. Continue reading Ex-ABVP Activists Reflect on How the ABVP Orchestrated 9th of February in JNU Last Year: Jatin Goraya and Pradeep Narwal

The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya

Guest Post by ANIRBAN BHATTACHARYA

A few days back, drawing from Oscar Wilde’s classic, Makarand Paranjape wrote a piece titled The importance of being Narendra Modi. He urged his readers to ensure a second term for Modi saying “If Narendra Modi gets a second term, he will certainly change India in a lasting and significant way.” That he is going to change India, and is doing so already is not that far from truth, but the question is which way is this change taking us. Given the track record of Modi Ji(o) so far, the change is surely going to be for the worse. But this piece is not on Modi Ji(o). This one is on the Makarand Paranjapes of the world. Yes, they are not one. They are in fact a particular breed not new in history, and they have a particular role. Specifically, we would evaluate this role of theirs in the light of a recent piece of his on the gherao of the JNU VC.

Some would say that the piece was on the issue of Najeeb. But no, it wasn’t. Najeeb, a new student pursuing M.Sc in Bio-Tech living in Mahi-Mandavi hostel was publicly assaulted by identified ABVP goons in front of students as well as wardens on the night of 14th October. He was showered with dire consequences of which too there are multiple witnesses including again the hostel wardens. A vicious communal slur-campaign was set in motion by the sanghis writing “Muslims are terrorists” within the hostel premises. Amidst all of this and in the given context Najeeb “disappeared” on 15th October from his hostel. He had called his mother last, who, as it appears, had reached Anand Vihar and was on her way to meet her son in distress. But, by the time she was here, Najeeb went “missing” mysteriously and is yet to be found. After five days of entreating an unresponsive university administration to be proactive in creating conditions for Najee’s safe return, JNU students undertook an all night vigil on the 19th of October.

Continue reading The Importance of Being Makarand Paranjape: Anirban Bhattacharya

2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid.

Video and Photo Inputs from Naushad MK, Samim Asgor Ali and Amit Kumar

[ This post was written shortly after JNU students gathered in front of Vasant Vihar Police Station to articulate their concern and anger at the lax attitude taken so far by the Delhi Police and other concerned authorities in relation to the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed almost two weeks ago. In this text, (originally uploaded as a note on Facebook and then sent to us to be posted at Kafila) Shehla Rashid, thinks aloud about what has happened so far and looks ahead at the possible way forward for the students of JNU and their supporters to focus on making sure that Najeeb Ahmed, wherever he is, returns safe and sound to the JNU campus. We hope that it will be widely read, and discussed to evolve strategies for the evolving future of the campaign to give justice to Najeeb. Kafila]

Shehla Rashid and Others Being Confronted by Delhi Police at the Vasant Vihar Chakka Jam on Oc. 26, 2016

 

First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to all the students who joined the Chakka Jam at Vasant Vihar police station, where the ACP refused to even accept the paper with our demands and, instead, ordered a lathi-charge on us. Students marched as one and stayed together till the end, despite all differences, for one goal- justice for Najeeb, and his safe return to campus life. I salute this spirit of JNU students. Having said that, I must say that we need to do more. Students need to come out in even greater numbers, as the attack on us is of immense magnitude.

Continue reading 2 Weeks No #JusticeForNajeeb – A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s March and the Way Forward: Shehla Rashid

The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers

Ever since the present Modi government came to power, there appears to have been a clear set of orders issued from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters to its student organization, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to go on the rampage in university campuses all over India. From getting specific parts of syllabuses changed under threat of violence, disrupting events by other student organizations on campuses, to forcing university administrations to intervene to curb freedom of expression, to filing police complaints against dissenters, they seem to have been acting according to a well rehearsed script, subverting democratic processes on campuses. After its recent electoral defeats in JNU and Hyderabad Central University (HCU), however, the ABVP’s role seems to have acquired an even more virulent feature. The game plan appears to be to provoke violence wherever possible so that rather than any kind of debate, however contentious, on issues such as nationalism, minority rights and caste injustice, what we are increasingly likely to see are violent standoffs between student groups, which have to be controlled by the police. These are often represented in the media as brawls between students, as if there were no ideology or political content involved, just two groups of students “clashing.” But of course, in each case ABVP is involved, and in some kinds of reporting it can even be made to appear that ABVP was somehow the victim.

This is the moment at which teachers need to finally accept that ABVP is not just another student organization. We have tended to take the position in our universities that we must not condemn or directly address ABVP, since we must not directly involve ourselves in student politics. Teachers must talk to administration, be publicly critical of its lapses, take all measures necessary to display and enact our solidarity with students under attack by this regime. While students take their own decisions on modes of struggle and so on, teachers see our role as supportive but with a critical distance.

However, now we may need to start thinking of ways in which we  recognize the organization of the ABVP as a serious threat to Indian democracy. I don’t mean individual students, who would also be in our class-rooms, and with whom it may still be possible to continue a conversation, and whose examinations we will continue to grade with utmost probity. as we have always done.

But the ABVP as an organization has a specific role to play, as storm-troopers in the project of Hindu nationalism, and we cannot afford any longer not to face up to this fact frontally.

Continue reading The RSS war on thought and ABVP as foot soldiers

Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid

When politics decides your future, decide what your politics should be !

Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the 'Occupy UGC' Movement
Shehla Rashid (AISA), Vice President JNUSU, speaks at a student protest, during the ‘Occupy UGC’ Movement

The recent government constituted panel‘s (headed by former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramaniam) report on student politics is unconstitutional, highly regressive and politically motivated, and signals the upcoming onslaught of total commercialisation of education and imposition of Hindutva ideology in universities. The TSR Subramaniam Panel’s report is the logical follow up to the Birla Ambani report (which was submitted in 2000), following which student unions across the country were banned. The Birla Ambani report had lamented that student unions are not allowing commercialisation of education: we accept the charge and take pride in it! We believe that education should be a right of everyone, not a privilege of a handful of people.

Continue reading Resist the Modi Regime’s Assault on Students, Reject the Subramaniam Panel Report on Student Politics: Shehla Rashid

Open Letter to JNU VC from a JNU Professor: Rajat Datta

Guest Post by RAJAT DATTA

Dear Professor Jagadesh Kumar,

I read your long interview in the Pioneer of 6th June 2016 with great interest, particularly because of the way in which you’ve outlined your vision for JNU over the next five years. We’d been hearing a lot of whispers about your `vision’ all these months, and I’m happy that I’ve finally got to see it in print. Unfortunately, some of the issues you’ve raised have made me somewhat uncomfortable, and thus I feel constrained to write this open letter to you to share some of these concerns. Please don’t take it amiss, for what I have to say emerges from being a very senior faculty member of the university and from your assurance that you work in `consultation’ with senior faculty members.

My first area of unease is precisely this proclamation. I don’t recall a single instance where you tried to consult me, or any of the senior faculty members that I know (and believe me, I know most of them). You’ve not bothered to visit my Centre, the largest in the University in terms of the faculty and student numbers, to interact and `consult’ with us. If by `consultation’ you mean your meetings with Deans over policy issues, there is nothing new in what you’re doing. All Vice-Chancellors in JNU have done that, and more. Indeed, you have omitted Chairpersons entirely from these processes. If your consultation process is so pervasive, why did so many `senior’ and not so senior members of the JNU faculty sit on a relay hunger strike against your administration over eight days in May? I regret to say that the consultation process that you talk about so proudly is seen by many as a very closed coterie of people (whom you proudly refer to as your `team’). Is it because you haven’t been able to win the trust of the larger academic community of this university? On their own initiative, different groups of teachers have met you (when permitted to) and other members of your “team” when you have been unavailable to meet them, over various issues, and emerged from these meetings feeling that you do not listen to us. Continue reading Open Letter to JNU VC from a JNU Professor: Rajat Datta

Run Jaggu Run — The JNU VC Runs Away from the Academic Council Meeting

The 10th of May, the 13th Day of the Hunger Strike by JNU Students in protest against the HLEC Report was also the day scheduled for a meeting of the Academic Council of JNU. Students and faculty had resolved to stage a massive protest. Student and Faculty members of the Academic Council had also resolved to forcefully present issues related to the current crisis in the university at the AC Meeting. The events of the day are presented here through a series of videos and photographs uploaded by different people from JNU.

[ Video by Samim Asgor Ali, taken from his Youtube Channel ]

They tell the story of how students were generous with their tormentor, the VC, Jagadeesh Kumar, and how he ran away.

One day, his backers, Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh and even Narendra Modi, and all the goons in the RSS headquarters at Mahal, Nagpur and Jhandewalan, Delhi will have to run for cover in a similar fashion when faced with the ‘gift’ of the fruits of their actions.

Photo by Samim Asgor Ali
Photo by Samim Asgor Ali

The students gathered on hunger strike collected their meals from their hotel messes and placed them in front of the AC meeting venue as a ‘gift’ to the Vice Chancellor, JNU and the university administration. Continue reading Run Jaggu Run — The JNU VC Runs Away from the Academic Council Meeting

रोहित वेमुला हम तुम्हारे दिखाए हुए रास्ते पर चल रहे हैं: अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

अतिथि पोस्ट : अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

12232699_240984726266767_438392505759428328_o

भूख हड़ताल का बारहवां दिन (12th Days) चल रहा है. प्रशासन कितना दवाब में है कुछ भी कहा नही जा सकता है. हाँ, अगल बगल के हालात देख कर, बात-चीत सुन कर इतना तो जरुर समझ में आ रहा है कि कुछ तो “अन्दर” जरुर चल रहा है. अध्यापक संघ हमारे साथ खड़ा है. उन्होंने हमारे समर्थन में एक दिन का भूख हड़ताल भी किया और अब क्रमिक भूख हड़ताल पर है. हमसे हमारे शुभचिंतको द्वारा बार बार आग्रह किया जा रहा है कि हम भूख हड़ताल को छोड़े. हम जब इस भूख हड़ताल पर बैठ रहे थे तो हमारे सामने की स्थिति ने हमे चेता दिया था कि ये करो या मरो की स्थिति है. इसलिए हमने नारा/स्लोगन भी दिया कि ये भूख हड़ताल हमारी मांगो तक या फिर हमारी मौत तक. हमारी मांग बिलकुल स्पष्ट है कि हम अलोकतांत्रिक, जातिवादी उच्चस्तरीय जांच कमिटी को नहीं मानते है. इसलिए इसके आधार पर हम कुछ छात्र-छात्राओ पर जो आरोप व दंड लगाये गए है उनको ख़ारिज किया जाये और प्रशासन बदले की भावना से इन छात्र-छात्राओ पर कार्यवाही करना बंद करे और जे.एन.यू. के एडमिशन पालिसी को लेकर कुछ मांगे है. सजा क्या है? कुछ का विश्वविद्यालय से निष्कासन, कुछ का हॉस्टल-निष्कासन और कुछ लोगों पर भारी जुर्माने की राशि और कुछ लोगों के उपर यह सब कुछ. अब जब हम आन्दोलन में है तो यह साफ़ साफ़ देख पा रहे है कि यही तो हुआ था हैदराबाद के साथियों के साथ. एक एक चीज हू-ब-हू बिलकुल इसी तरह. इसी तरह से हॉस्टल से निकल कर सड़क पर रहने के लिए विवश किया गया था. इसी तरह तो कोशिश की गई थी रोहित और उसके साथियों को देश और दुनिया के सामने एंटी-नेशनल के तमगे से नवाज देने की. नतीजा क्या हुआ सबके सामने है.

इस भूख हड़ताल के दौरान लोग हमसे मिलने आ रहे है. कुछ लोगों ने जुर्माने की राशि को जुटाने का प्रस्ताव दिया, तो कुछ लोगों ने खुद ही जुर्माने की राशि देने का प्रस्ताव दिया. हम उनके प्रति अपना आभार प्रकट करते हैं. लेकिन क्या यह लड़ाई कुछ दंण्ड/जुर्माने के खिलाफ लड़ाई है? नहीं, यह लड़ाई देश बचने की लड़ाई है. बहुत ही सरल शब्दों में कहा जाये तो इस लड़ाई से यह तय होगा कि इस सत्ता/सरकार के रहते इस देश में विरोध की आवाजो/dissents के लिए कोई जगह होगी की नहीं. जे.एन.यू का प्रोग्रेसिव स्टूडेंट मूवमेंट अपने क्रांतिकारी कलेवर के साथ अपनी पहचान लिए खड़ा रहता है. यह क्रांतिकारी स्टूडेंट मूवमेंट यह तय तो करता ही है कि इस कैंपस  को इतना समावेसित/इंक्लूसिव बना कर रखा जाये कि समाज के सबसे निचले तबके के लिए भी यह विश्वविद्यालय का गेट खुला रहे लेकिन साथ ही साथ इस छात्र-आन्दोलन ने अन्दर और बाहर के मुद्दे का भी भेद मिटा दिया और देश के सामने एक वैकल्पिक राजनीति का मॉडल ले करके सामने आया.

बीते दिनों इस स्टूडेंट-मूवमेंट के साथ साथ पूरे जे.एन.यू को निशाने पर लिया गया और इसे एक संस्थान के रूप में देश-विरोधी ठहरा देने का प्रयास हुआ. आखिर देश है क्या? आखिर हम देशभक्ति माने किसे? अभी कुछ दिनों पहले हम देश की विभिन्न जगहों पर कैम्पेन में थे. उन सभाओ व परिचर्चाओ के दौरान भी देशभक्ति चर्चा का एक गर्म विषय रहा. उन सवालों को करने वाले लोग ही कई बार इन सवालो का जवाब दे देते. वो भारत का नक्शा दिखा कर के और भारत की सीमाओं को दिखाते हुए बोलते इन सीमाओं के भीतर जो कुछ भी है देश है. इसका मतलब पेड़-पौधे, रेलगाड़ी, प्लेटफार्म, पहाड़, जंगल, कारखाने, यहाँ के लोग, खनिज-संपदा, नदियाँ, तालाब, इत्यादि सब कुछ देश है. इस दौरान मुझे अपवादिक रूप से भी कोई ऐसा व्यक्ति नहीं मिला जिसने देश की इस परिभाषा से असहमति जताई. देश के लिए प्रतीक बने, संविधान बना, कानून बने और जैसे-जैसे यह देश बदलता जाता है, आगे बढ़ता जाता है, उसी के आधार पर प्रतीक से ले करके कानून तक सब चीज़ों में परिवर्तन होता जाता  है. देश के लिए प्रतीक होते हैं, प्रतीकों का कोई देश नहीं होता है. देश लगातार चलने वाली एक प्रक्रिया का हिस्सा है. देश रोज़ बनता है और हमेशा नये ढंग में हमारे सामने आता रहता है, जिसे इस देश का गरीब, किसान, मजदूर और बाकी मेहनतकश लोग बनाते है. अब लड़ाई इस बात की है कि यह देश किसका है? और इसका मालिक कौन होगा? इस देश की संपत्ति, संसाधनों पर हक किसका होगा? यही गरीब, मजदूर, किसान और मेहनतकश लोग जो रोज़ इस देश को बनाते है, जब अपने हक के लिए खडे होते है तो इस देश की सत्ता/सरकार चंद पूंजीपतियों के साथ क्यूँ खड़ी हो जाती है? और इस देश को बनाने वालों के हक में जब जे.एन.यू. जैसे संस्थान आवाज़ उठाते हैं तो उसे देशद्रोही करार देने की कोशिश क्यों होती है?

जिस समय जे.एन.यू. का मसला ही पूरे देश में चर्चा का विषय बना रहा उस समय जे.एन.यू. प्रशासन व इस देश की सत्ता ने बड़ी चालाकी से अपने मंसूबों को पूरा करने में इस समय का इस्तेमाल किया. यह सर्वविदित है कि  जे.एन.यू. अपनी एडमिशन पालिसी  के कारण ही अपना एक इनक्लूसिव/समावेशिक कैरेक्टर बना पाया है. लगभग 24 साल से चली आ रही इस पालिसी को प्रशासन ने बदल दिया और स्टूडेंट कम्युनिटी को कुछ खबर तक नहीं हुई. दूसरा, ओबीसी के मिनिमम एलिजिबिलिटी कट ऑफ, जिसको चार साल (4 years) के लम्बे संघर्ष के बाद सुप्रीम कोर्ट तक जा करके इस जे.एन.यू. प्रशासन के खिलाफ जीत कर लाया गया था और इसे सिर्फ जे.एन.यू. नही पूरे देश के संस्थानों के लिए अनिवार्य किया गया था, उसको ख़त्म कर दिया गया और किसी को कानो-कान खबर नहीं हुई. इसी तर्ज पर दूसरी तरफ सत्ता में बैठे लोगों ने इस समय का फायदा विजय माल्या को इस देश के बाहर भेजने के लिए इस्तेमाल किया. ये सत्ता/सरकार की बहुत ही पुरानी तरकीब रही है कि अगर देश की कुछ रियल समस्याएँ हैं तो उसकी तरफ से ध्यान भटकाने के लिए कुछ ऐसा करो कि इस देश के लोगों का ध्यान उधर जाए ही ना. इस सरकार के 2 साल बीत जाने के बाद इनके पास ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं है जो इस देश के लोगों के सामने गिना सके कि हमने क्या किया. ये चुनाव पर चुनाव हारते जा रहे हैं. तब इन्होने इस देश के लोगों का ध्यान उनकी विफलता से हटाने के लिए जे.एन.यू. “काण्ड” को गढ़ा. इस साजिश को साफ़ साफ़ समझा जा सकता है कि जब जे.एन.यू. का आन्दोलन चल रहा था उस समय भाजपा अध्यक्ष ने घोषणा की कि वह इस मामले को लेकर के यू.पी. के घर-घर में जाएंगे. यूपी के घर घर ही क्यूँ? क्यूंकि वहाँ चुनाव आने वाले हैं. धूमिल ने सत्ता/सरकार के इसी साजिश की ओर इशारा करते हुए हमे सावधान किया और लिखा कि

चंद चालाक लोगों ने

जिनकी नरभक्षी जीभ ने

पसीने का स्वाद चख लिया है,

बहस के लिए भूख की जगह भाषा को रख दिया है….

अगर धूमिल की इसी बात को और आगे बढाते हुए कहा जाए तो आज भूख की जगह प्रतीकों/सिम्बल्स/नारों को रखने की कोशिश चल रही है. यानि हमारे जीवन की रियल समस्याओ से ध्यान हटा देने की हर बार की तरह एक कोशिश, एक साजिश .

जे.एन.यू. में जब ये आन्दोलन चल रहा है तब इस आन्दोलन को लेकर तरह तरह की शंकाए/भय, जो कि बहुत  हद तक जायज़ भी है, ज़ाहिर किये जा रहे हैं. हमको यह कहा जा रहा है की इस प्रशासन से हमें कोई उम्मीद नहीं रखनी चाहिए. हम इस बात से पूरी तरह सहमत हैं कि हमें इस प्रशासन से कोई उम्मीद नहीं रखनी चाहिए. तब इस स्थिति में हमें क्या करना चाहिए? हमारे सामने क्या रास्ता है? हमारे ऊपर जो दंडात्मक कार्यवाहियां हुई है, उनको मान लेना चाहिये? हमारा यह साफ़ साफ़ मानना है कि ये दंडात्मक कार्यवाहियां हमारे उपर एक विचारधारात्मक कार्यवाही (ideological punishment) है. भले ही यह कार्यवाही कुछ छात्र-छात्राओं पर की गयी है लेकिन इसका निशाना पूरा जे.एन.यू. ही है. इसका कारण स्पष्ट है कि जे.एन.यू. साम्प्रदायिकता व साम्राज्यवाद विरोधी होने के कारण हमेशा से सत्ता के निशाने पर रहा है. यहाँ पर समाज के हर तबके की आवाज़ के लिए एक जगह है और इतना ही काफी है आरएसएस के लिए कि वह जे.एन.यू. विरोधी हो. जेएनयू के छात्र आन्दोलन की विशेषता है कि यह कैम्पस के मुद्दों को उठाने के साथ साथ देश दुनिया में चल रही प्रत्येक चीज़ पर सजग रहता है, और ज़रूरत पड़ने पर हस्तक्षेप भी करता है और इसी का परिणाम है कि इस सरकार के सत्ता में आने से पहले और बाद में हमेशा से जब भी इन्होने इस देश के लोगों के खिलाफ कदम उठाएं हैं तब-तब इन्हें यहाँ के छात्रों के आन्दोलन/विरोध का सामना करना पडा है.

अब इन सारी चीज़ों को ध्यान में रखकर देखें तो हमें क्या करना चाहिए? नए कुलपति/वाईस-चांसलर साहब की नियुक्ति हुई है, वो अपने संघ के एजेंडे पर बेशर्मी और पूरी इमानदारी के साथ काम कर रहे है. उनको जे.एन.यू. के कैरेक्टर को ख़त्म करना है. ऐसे समय में छात्र-आन्दोलन की ज़िम्मेदारी क्या होगी? क्या हम लोग इस देश के छात्र-आन्दोलन के प्रति जवाबदेह नहीं है जबकि आज एक ऐतिहासिक जवाबदेही हमारे कंधो पर है. जे.एन.यू. के छात्र-आन्दोलन को इस देश में एक सम्मानजनक स्थान हासिल है. कई लोग तो इसे भारतीय छात्र-आन्दोलन का लाइट हाउस तक भी कह देते हैं. यह सही बात है कि हम जब किसी आन्दोलन में होते हैं तो हम यह तय करते है  कि इस आन्दोलन से हमें कम से कम क्या निकाल कर लाना है. लेकिन इस आन्दोलन में क्या कुछ कम-ज्यादा/ मिनिमम-मैक्सिमम जैसा कुछ भी है? यह तो पूरे जे.एन.यू. को बचाने की लड़ाई है. यह देश के लोकतंत्र को बचाने की लड़ाई है. यह आन्दोलन सिर्फ आये हुए संकट को टाल देने के लिए नहीं है, बल्कि आने वाली पीढ़ियों के प्रति जवाबदेही के लिए भी है. अगर इस आन्दोलन को लेकर सोचने का नज़रिया होगा तो यह बिलकुल नहीं होगा कि इस आन्दोलन से कैसे निकला जाए, बल्कि यह होगा कि इस आन्दोलन में कैसे और धंसा जाए और इसे और कैसे धारदार बनाया जाये. अगर “उन्होंने” कुछ तय कर लिया है तो हमें भी कुछ तय करना होगा. हम किसी मुगालते या भावुकता में भूख हड़ताल में नहीं बैठे हैं बल्कि पूरी तरह से सोची समझी गयी राजनीतिक प्रतिबद्धता के साथ हम इस आन्दोलन में गए हैं. हम भी नहीं जानते है कि हमारी लड़ाई का अंजाम क्या होगा. आज हम अपनी लड़ाई को रोहित वेमुला की लड़ाई से अलग करके नहीं देखते हैं. रोहित ने हमें संदेश दिया कि अगर बर्बाद ही होना है तो लड़ते हुए बर्बाद हो. रोहित हम तुम्हारे दिखाए हुए रास्ते पर चल रहे हैं.

अनन्त प्रकाश नारायण

(लेखक जे.एन.यू. के सेंटर फॉर द स्टडी ऑफ़ लॉ एंड गवर्नेंस के शोध-छात्र हैं और जे.एन.यू. छात्र संघ के पूर्व उपाध्यक्ष हैं.)

JNU Hunger Strike Day 12 : Game On – Students 1, Media, Authorities 0

The JNU Students’ Hunger Strike Enters Day 12. Ketone counts go up, Weight goes down, Morale stays miles high. Media fatigue shows that crusading news anchors are no match to hunger striking students when it comes to stamina, and, may we say, courage. The university authorities, the JNU VC and his gang, the government, the RSS-ABVP, remain what they are – losers.

(Images taken, with thanks, from the ‘We are JNU‘ Facebook Page, and the ‘Mothers Stand with JNU‘ Facebook Page.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MEANWHILE, RADIOSILENCE CONTINUES (BESIDES RAVISH KUMAR’S SHOW) ON MAINSTREAM MEDIA

13177661_10153973732855546_8091436192653453340_n

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mothers’ Manifesto: Mothers Stand With JNU

Guest Post by ‘Mothers Stand With JNU‘ 

[On Mothers’ Day, 8th May 2106, which was also the 11th Day of the Indefinite Hunger Strike by JNU students in protest against the vindictive measures taken against them by the university authorities, a group that has named itself ‘Mothers Stand With JNU’ joined the protest in solidarity. This is the ‘manifesto’ that they released on the occasion.]

13096182_963393620396364_2922119042104761582_n

Continue reading Mothers’ Manifesto: Mothers Stand With JNU

Appeal to JNU Alumni Friends and Delhi Citizens – Join the JNU Students on 10th Day of the Indefinite Hunger Strike: Sucheta De

Guest Post by Sucheta De

 

The JNU students have decided not to bow down. They have decided not to become just another brick in the wall. The JNU authorities have punished them with rustication, hostel eviction and steep fines for ‘raising objectionable slogans’, ‘taking part in unauthorised procession’ and ‘addressing the crowd’. Unable to frame charges, but desperate to act, RSS run VC has clearly started an ideological war on the students. And that is why, JNU students are saying we shall not accept your farman.

It is not difficult for them to collect the amount of money to be paid as fine. Workers, teachers, citizens have offered to collect money so that their studentship continues. Our comrades who faced media trial, lynch mob psyche came out from Tihar with stronger resolve to continue the struggle for justice and equality. They promised the nation that voice of the unheard will continue to be echoed through their slogans. One year of rustication and hostel eviction is nothing compared to what they have already faced. JNU students have not strated the idefinite hunger strike only to get punishments revoked. This struggle is to let the rulers know that their orders shall be resisted till the end.

'Appeal' from JNU Registrar not to involve and invite 'outsiders' for protests in the University. The 'appeal' contains a veiled threat that this might provoke 'other groups' to invite 'other outsiders'.
‘Appeal’ from JNU Registrar not to involve and invite ‘outsiders’ for protests in the University. The ‘appeal’ contains a veiled threat that this might provoke ‘other groups’ to invite ‘other outsiders’.

Several of us have been JNU students. Several of us who have been trained to think that central universities are not for us, actually made it to JNU, came to the national capital and experienced that another world is possible. Families in the lowest income groups sent their children to JNU. We women who for the first time were treated as equal human being by fellow students and teachers, became part of the struggle for liberty of workers, women, dalits and the marginalised. We denied to be reduced to our immediate identities here in JNU, we became much larger. Other comrades have fought tough battles in other universities and in several parts of the country. We met on the streets for Kashmir, for Manorama Devi, For Khairlanji, for Narmada Valley, for FTII/HCU/DU/ Jamia. And today when ManuSmrti Irani’s ministry wants to teach the JNU students a lesson for daring to raise voice against oppression, let us all again flood the streets to defend the idea of JNU.

Since 27th  May, JNU students have started their indefinite hunger strike. In this scorching heat, none of are comrades in hunger strike are doing fine bodily. But they are high in spirit and resolve. The VC has sent them letter expressing his concern that the hunger strike is unlawful and it will have implication on their career.

Their hunger strike will reach its 10th Day on the 7th of May. JNU alumni students have called for relay hunger strike in solidarity with JNU students on the 7th May from 10am in the morning. This is an appeal to all old friends, class mates, hostel friends and comrades to join the relay hunger strike on the 7th. Also in the evening the JNUSU has called for a Human Chain from Ganga Dhaba at 5pm. Let us hold hands and fight back. Fight back for all students in the counry. Fight back so that every one can reach universities. Fight back so that the possibility of a better world is kept alive. Come friends, let us hold hands with JNU comrades on the 10th Day of their Indefinite hunger strike.

Sucheta De was a student in JNU from 2005 – 2014. She was president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) in 2012. She is the current president of the All India Students Association.

17 Faces of Hunger for Justice – Day 6 of the Indefinite Hunger Strike at JNU: ‘We Are JNU’

Guest Post by ‘We Are JNU

At the end of the 6th day of the Indefinite Hunger Strike by JNU Students, the ‘We Are JNU‘ Facebook Page uploaded a gallery of portraits of the 17 students on Hunger Strike, together with details of their medical conditions. We are sharing this post on Kafila in solidarity

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Workers and Students Unite on May Day in JNU: Aswathi Nair & Umar Khalid

Guest Post by Aswathi Nair and Umar Khalid (With Photographs and Videos by K. Fayaz Ahmed, Azhar Amim, Samim Asgor Ali, Reyazul Haque and Agnitra Ghosh)

Exactly nine years back, in 2007, ten students were rusticated (again) in the month of May for their “crime” of agitating along with workers to ensure the legally mandatory minimum wages for the workers here in JNU. It was the peak of summer, the time of holidays, and the administration (like this time, like every time) thought that they could break the unity of the workers and students with crackdown timed to coincide with what was thought to be the ‘weakest’ time for mobilization on campus. The administration’s plans did not bear fruit then, they will not work now either.

Workers and Students Unite in JNU on May 1, 2016, International Labour Day
Workers and Students Unite in JNU on May 1, 2016, International Labour Day

We are in that strange time again. The summer of 2016 has witnessed a May Day wherein the workers in JNU not only took out their own rally, but also rallied with us students sitting on the 4th Day of their Indefinite Hunger Strike against administrative crackdown on our democratic spaces. Continue reading Workers and Students Unite on May Day in JNU: Aswathi Nair & Umar Khalid

Diary of a JNU Student on Hunger Strike: Pankhuri Zaheer

Guest Post by Pankhuri Zaheer

Water - A Gift for Hunger Strikers. Photo Courtesy, Azhar Amim
Water – A Gift for Hunger Strikers. Photo Courtesy, K. Fayaz Ahmed

“I wanted to bring you something but I didn’t know what to get you so I got you a bottle of water,” says a friend who would perhaps never identify herself as a student activist but since 9th February, like many like her, has been an integral part of the stand with JNU movement.

19 of us have decided to sit on an indefinite hunger strike till the time the farcical report of the High Level Enquiry is not rolled backed in its entirety. Today, April 30th, is the third day of our hunger strike.

Continue reading Diary of a JNU Student on Hunger Strike: Pankhuri Zaheer

Summer of Rage: JNU Students Begin Fast Unto Death against HLEC Report

13083178_1763261193905640_250606241251585686_n

Spring has given way to the beginning of a turbulent summer. April, is a cruel month. Temperatures have risen, and so has the level of rage in university campuses. The JNU University Authorities (and their masters – in the Ministry of Human Resources Development, the Prime Minister’s Office and the RSS Citadels in Mahal, Nagpur and Jhandewalan, Delhi) thought that they could break the resolve of the students by enacting a series of harsh measures against them just before exams begin and the university term ends in summer vacations.

Chintu Kumari, Anirban Bhattacharya and other students give the call to protest against the HLEC and call for a Hunger Strike. Photo, Courtesy, Azhar Amim
Chintu Kumari, Anirban Bhattacharya and other students give the call to protest against the HLEC and call for a Hunger Strike. Photo, Courtesy, Azhar Amim

13055719_10154616732485016_4978357478249045500_o

This is a time, they must have thought, when students will be busy with preparations, and the rising heat will discourage the kind of mass mobilizations that the campus has seen since February. Students in JNU resolved a few hours ago to prove them wrong, and decided to fight back . A massive gathering stood its ground at the Administrative Block, aptly re-christened, ‘Freedom Square’.

Rama Naga, Gen.Sec. JNUSU, (Centre) and JNU Students Calling for Indefinite Hunger Strike on April 27, 2016. Photo, Courtesy, Azhar Amim
Rama Naga, Gen.Sec. JNUSU, (Centre) and JNU Students Calling for Indefinite Hunger Strike on April 27, 2016. Photo, Courtesy, Azhar Amim

They have decided that a batch of students will sit on indefinite hunger strike – a ‘fast unto death’ – until the JNU authorities roll back the draconian measures listed in the HLEC Report.

The 20 students who will be sitting in indefinite hunger strike at JNU.

There’s no looking back now. Whatever happens from now on wards, will be seen as a consequence of the cruel, evil mindset of the current regime, which truly treats the lives of the young as dispensable ballast. Its time to prove them wrong. This is a call that goes out to all students and teachers, and sensible individuals, not just in JNU, not just in Universities and Colleges all across India and all the territories administered by the Indian republic, but to everyone reading this post anywhere in the world, to stand by the courageous students of JNU. It is our responsibility to see that the JNU Authorities see reason and back down. If anything untoward happens to any student, the university authorities, and the regime backing them, will be clearly culpable.

Here is Umar Khalid, speaking just before commencing his Hunger Strike

Here is Chintu, former Gen. Sec. JNUSU, speaking at the Mashaal Juloos, (Torchlight Procession) just before beginning the Hunger Strike.

Listen to Kanhaiya Kumar, President of the JNUSU – restating the reasons for the continuation of the movement.

Thanks to the ‘We are JNU Media Group’ and the AISA Youtube Channel, for the videos.