Jamia Teachers Association president shares dais with protesting students
OT, October 18, 2012 14:25 IST
Okhla Times Reporter/New Delhi
All India Students’ Association (AISA) today organized a convention Save Jamia at Urdu Ghar, demanding campus democracy in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), roll-back of the massive fee hike, and justice for Hamidur Rehman who has been refused admission in university simply for asking for student union elections.
While addressing the students gathered on the spot, Sandeep Singh, national president of AISA, said: “Today, in JMI, public places are under the constant surveillance of CCTV cameras; private security ‘bulls’ patrol the grounds to prevent public gatherings, pasting of posters, or distribution of leaflets; even asking a question can be a crime; where fear is the tool to ensure compliance.”
Several intellectuals, faculty members from Delhi University, JMI and JNU spoke out against this undemocratic regime of fee hikes and scuttling of democratic rights in Jamia, according to press release issued by AISA.
Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha expressed deep concern over the situation in JMI.
“The situation in Jamia, the victimization of Hamidur Rehman, is not an exception. We are seeing Vice Chancellors across the country telling students, don’t be curious, don’t be inquisitive, just worry about your careers, maintain the status quo. VCs feel they can get away with anything, with arbitrary use of power. Only pro-establishment students and student organizations are allowed”, he said.
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Dr. Akhlaque Ahmed and Dr. Maninder Thakur, faculty members from JNU spoke of the prevailing crisis in Jamia and the situation of fear amongst students and teachers.
Sitab Ali Chowdhary, advocate in the High Court and the lawyer fighting Hamidur Rehman’s case talked of how he came to file the ongoing case.
Javed Naqvi, noted journalist and activist talked of how in the past the student movement had succeeded in toppling over undemocratic and authoritarian Vice Chancellors. “One has to see the links between authoritarianism of the university authorities and the policies of globalization and privatization of higher education,” he added.
CAPTION: Speakers at the convention Save Jamia at Urdu Ghar (Photo by AISA)
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