Around 2,000 members of Student Federation of India (SFI) gathered at Mandi House in Delhi and marched towards Jantar Mantar against Rashtriya Swayamsewal Sangh (RSS) and its student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Friday.
The communist student group condemned the ABVP for allegedly attacking free speech in universities and triggering violence and RSS for influencing the National Education Policy.
As SFI students from Delhi, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Kerala, Telengana, and Haryana staged a sit in Jantar Mantar, traffic on several roads around the venue slowed down.
The SFI protest comes a day after ABVP carried out a march in Delhi University’s North Campus for “saving DU from anti-nationals”. Another Left organisation — All India Students Association — has planned a protest at Mandi House on Saturday.
This is part of a series of protests organised after a seminar in Ramjas College was cancelled following ABVP’s objection to inviting controversial JNU student Umar Khalid. AISA’s protest on the following day led to clashes between student groups. Two ABVP members were later arrested by Delhi Police.
SFI students protesting at Jantar Mantar on Friday were joined by CPI general secretary Sitaram Yechury at Jantar Mantar.
Prasant Mukherjee, president of Delhi state SFI unit said, “As per new education policy draft, various colleges are being forced to become autonomous because of the agenda of privatisation and commercialisation. In Delhi, six colleges are on the verge of becoming autonomous.To hide this in the draft policy and its negative points, the RSS and AVBP are manufacturing incidents.”
He said the group will bring together other like-minded sections to raise the pitch against saffronisation of education. “We will forge the unity of all progressive and democratic sections and wherever required we will challenge the government and will fight the on slaughter of education system and social injustice,” he added further.
The SFI has planned related events and activities in other university. One such even will take place in Delhi University on Saturday.