It appears that some students in Jamia Millia Islamia are convinced that the right time has come for the administration to hold students union elections banned on the campus since 2006.
And as the university gets ready to form Students Council, some student activists are opposing it. They have posted a leaflet on the social media and also said it is being distributed on the campus.
Here is the content of leaflet: “Why we need a Students’ union?
“In 2006, our university administration bans Students Union, and turned their backs on us. Jamia students lost their space, of their rights and say. Don’t forget the turbulent times during the Batla House Encounter, and the feared students of Jamia who had no agency to address their grievances. And also remember, how administrations behaved and treated you during the IB raids.
“The unheard issues like, continuous fee hike, authoritarian attitude of teachers and clerks, worst health care facility, zero placement, teacher-students ratio, Police surveillance, and inadequate facilities in girls and boys hostel. We need to strengthen the student’s voice, and question of 17,000 student’s representation. We can’t isolate them from larger politics.
“Public Meeting at Union Hall Building, Opp. Central Canteen, 21st March, (Tuesday), 1 PM.
“Students Union: Now or Never…!!!
“On March 15th, the JMI Administration called a secretive meeting, which comprised of the CR’s only from some of the faculties and centers. Keeping in dark, all the 17,000 students of Jamia, the administration imposed the so called “Students’ Council”.
“The students denied being the pawns and stooges for the administration. The CR’s along with the other students, who got to know about the ‘confidential meeting’ boycotted it and walked out of the venue, Engineering Faculty Auditorium. They rejected the council, which purely serves the administrations interest, and limits every right sanctioned to the students.
“The increasing political awareness, along with their rights and duties among the Jamia students scared the administration to come up with the decision of a council. The administration apparently wants to promote
“academic standards” through this council, for which parameters are predefined by them, and will define as per their wish in times to come.
“The Constitution of the Council clearly reveals the administration’s shrewd intention to tame and infantilize students. Now the students have made it amply clear that they will settle for no less than a democratic Students body.
“We, the students of Jamia Millia Islamia, do not want an academia devoid of the real social and political issue of inequality, poverty, exclusion and discrimination for the students. The students stand against this trivializing of education which will produce a mere machine, rather to develop creative, inquisitive and critical minds.
“Having the stated objective of “academic development” the proposed council will function only as stooges at the mercy of the administration. The section 15(h) of the Constitution prohibits the use by the contestants for the post of executive body, of loud speaker and pasting the slogans, posters and what the administration called “defacement of public buildings”.
“It also warns that “engaging in any activity which is unbecoming of the students of Jamia Millia Islamia…” may lead to disqualification of the candidate. Such vague and undemocratic rules leave a lot of room for interpretation in whatever way the administration wants. It’s a deliberate attempt by the administration to snatch the democratic space of the students, which we created lately and the agency of the students, which is our right.
“Jamia, let’s wake up. It’s high time that we reminded ourselves about the very idea of Jamia Millia Islamia-which was proposed by the Parwana-e-Azaadi to boycott all educational institution supported or run by British regime. The very foundation of the university is paved by two movements; one was Khilafat Andolan and other was the Non-Cooperation Movement.
“In 1922, the students of JMI, and the teachers (freedom fighters) participated in the Satyagrah movement on the call of Mahatma Gandhi. And this vey university had stood against the colonization, and gave stiff resistance to it. Unfortunately, we all forgot those sacrifices and efforts. Today, Jamia Millia Islamia needs same fervor of resistance, against its authoritative administrators, who are no less than the colonisers.”
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the leaflet shared here are of the organisers