DU’s flavour of the season: Protests, strikes, dharnas, demonstrations | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DU’s flavour of the season: Protests, strikes, dharnas, demonstrations

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2010 01:28 IST
Joyeeta Ghosh

Painting with vibrant colours and bold strokes, Vasundhara Jairath, a student of M Phil (Sociology), gives final touches to a poster listing the set of people who are going to take part in a hunger strike. Jairath, a member of the University Community for Democracy (UCD) has been on a relay hunger strike for the past seven days.

Once done, she shows it to her colleagues, who, too, are busy painting posters, some of which talk about erosion of democratic procedures in the university and some list their demands.

A group of students and teachers, UCD, is opposing the eviction of students from hostels, violation of labour laws and human rights due to the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

When the authorities did not pay heed to their requests, they resorted to hunger strike.

UCD has held film screenings and teachers have taken classes. Also, special talks by filmmakers are a regular feature.

Right next to them is a group of first year B Sc Mathematics students, whose concerns are more immediate.

They are among the 37 per cent students across all the colleges of the varsity who have failed and are now on a hunger strike, hoping the authorities will take note.

"We have gone to so many people, no one hears us. We have only one demand, promote us to second year. We have failed due to poor evaluation," said Arun Singh, a student of Shivaji College, busy putting up a handwritten poster.

On Tuesday, the Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA), too, held a dharna in front of the vice chancellor's office, protesting the implementation of the semester system.

The tussle between DUTA and university authorities has left students in a lurch, as teachers have refused to teach in semester mode.

In the past few months, the varsity has seen a spurt in protests and dharnas, as students and teachers are increasingly articulating their views through them.

"The university, as a community, was becoming non-responsive. One just didn't bother what happened to the other person. This also perhaps explains why we are faced with such a situation,” said Jairath.

“Why are the hostels of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) not being vacated? Because they wouldn't allow it. So, we felt the need to come together and raise our voices against what we feel is unjust and undemocratic," Jairath added.