College students across the city learnt a different kind of lesson on Tuesday - that of peaceful protests. Anna Hazare’s early morning detention led to a large exodus of students from the classrooms and the North Campus by noon. Even those classes that did take place saw just a handful of students in attendance.
Campus roads, usually abuzz with students at noon, were deserted. However, huge traffic jams were seen on roads leading from colleges to Chhatrasal Stadium.
“Whatever happened today is offensive not only to Anna but to all those who were there supporting him. It’s a blot on our fundamental rights,” said Dhruv Khurana, a BCom (honours) student at Hindu College , who joined protests outside the stadium.
Anti-government sentiment was strong among all students who waved placards and shouted slogans. And it was not just students from the Delhi University who were there. As many as 300 students from the Indraprastha University also courted arrest. Protests were also seen on the Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University campuses.
At IIT, students held a candlelight march in Hazare’s support, though not many classes were disrupted. School students were also seen at the forefront of the agitation. Parents of students at Springdales School, Pusa Road, received an SMS from the principal, Ameeta Wattal, that said, “Dear Parents, many students are agitated about Anna Hazare’s arrest. The time has come for us to reflect.”
The SMS did not ask students to support or denounce Hazare’s act. “Students are very agitated. All we want is that students should be aware and a healthy dialogue is initiated. All these discussions cannot happen in the school and that’s why we asked parents to initiate a discussion at home,” Wattal said.
Other schools are also planning to discuss the issue and the laws related to it in morning assemblies on Wednesday.