Alarmed at the proposed introduction of Hindi as a compulsory subject in the four-year undergraduate course and angered over the administration’s refusal to acknowledge their protest, a number of North-East students broke the gates leading to the Dean Students’ Welfare office in Delhi University’s North Campus and burnt papers explaining the structure of the four-year programme on Monday.
Coming together under the banner of “North-East Forum of International Solidarity”, the students gathered at the Arts Faculty building and held a public meeting before proceeding on a protest march. But when they approached the Dean’s office the gates were shut in their faces and they were refused entry by the security guards. A push-and-pull game ensued and the security men could not keep the angry students at bay.
However, they were prevented from entering the office by the security staff from the Proctor’s office, which is also situated in the same premises.
“Even after hours of sloganeering no one from the administration came to talk to us. This attitude displayed by the administration enraged the students who then broke the gate and rushed to the Dean’s office,” said Thanglunmang Khongsai, a protester.
Interestingly, a bus-load of Delhi Police’s Rapid Action Force reached the scene after the protest had fizzled out.
Under the structure of the new four-year course, for the first two years the students will be made to take compulsory “foundation courses,” one of which is Hindi or Mixture of Indian Languages. The problem for these North-East students is that there are very few colleges in Delhi University offering any of the languages from their region.