BHU on the boil: From JNU to Ramjas, six times unrest rocked campuses
Several Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students were injured when the police allegedly used force to remove protesters from outside V-C’s residence and one of the campus gates.india Updated: Sep 24, 2017 16:41 IST
Colleges are places of learning, discussion, debate and also a barometer of political climate.
Several Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students, many of them girls, were injured on Saturday night when the police allegedly used force to remove protesters from outside V-C’s residence and one of the campus gates.
The students were protesting since three days against alleged molestation of a university girl and the failure of the administration to act against the attackers.
Several universities and colleges have seen unrest in the recent past for various reasons, including “anti-national” slogans and the suicide of a Dalit scholar.
A list of some of the university and college campuses rocked by student protests :
Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad
Rohith Vemula, a PhD student , hanged himself in a hostel room on the campus in 2016 after alleged caste-based discrimination, triggering protests in the university and campuses across India.
Vemula and four other Dalit students were suspended by the university’s following a clash with an ABVP leader. The five were protesting against the decision when Vemula committed suicide.
In a December 18, 2015 letter to vice-chancellor Appa Rao, Vemula said, “Give us poison or long ropes to hang ourselves” . In his suicide note, he blamed no one but himself to have been born in such a society.
Protests over the suicide spread to other cities as opposition parties mounted pressure on the Modi government to sack Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya for allegedly driving the scholar to end his life.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
The Jawaharlal Nehru University found itself at the centre of a row in February 2016 over an event organised to commemorate Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
A group of students organised a cultural evening to express “solidarity with struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self determination”. The event was held despite university authorities cancelling the permission for it. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) complained to the vice-chancellor and student groups clashed on the campus. An inquiry was ordered as the controversy snowballed into a political slugfest, with opposition parties accusing the government of suppressing dissent.
It was alleged that several students shouted “anti-India ” slogans and sedition cases were slapped against JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others.
Ramjas College, New Delhi
On February 22 this year, Ramjas students led by AISA carried out a protest march against the cancellation of a seminar in which JNU student leader Umar Khalid, who along with Kanhaiya Kumar was charged with sedition, was slated to speak.
Protesters were demanding action against the ABVP members who allegedly heckled and threw stones at students gathered for the seminar. Several students, journalists and a Delhi University associate professor, Prasanta Chakravarty, were injured in the clash.
Jadavpur University, Kolkata
The south Kolkata campus turned into a battleground in 2016 following clashes between Jadavpur University students and ABVP supporters over the screening of the film Buddha in a Traffic Jam.
Local BJP leader dubbed the varsity a hub of “anti-national elements” after the incident. There were reports of female students being molested during the commotion over the screening of the movie.
The left-leaning Jadavpur University had hit the headlines earlier in the year as well after rallies were taken out in support of JNU’s Kanhaiya Kumar and other students.
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
Tension gripped the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus in March following a clash between two groups of students .
Police sources said some BSc students were assaulted by another group and a student, Mohit, sustained serious head injuries .
Claiming that only students of a particular religion were being harassed, ABVP functionaries staged a sit-in in front of the SSP’s office, demanding action against the accused.
The AMU Students Union (AMUSU) termed the clash as a “petty confrontation” between two groups of students and staged a peace march to protest the “uncalled for interference” by those looking to communalise the issue.
Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
FTII students held protests for 139 days from June to October 2015, one of the longest strikes in the premier film institute’s history, and abandoned classes against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, a television actor-turned-politician, as the chairman.
Students launched an indefinite strike on June 12 as they questioned Chauhan’s ability to lead the institute . Police stormed the institute after striking students “gheraoed” FTII director Prashant Pathrabe in August.
Chauhan’s tenure ended on March 3 this year.
First Published: Sep 24, 2017 16:41 IST