Delhi

Citizens lend support, march against JNU hostel fee hike

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JNU Students’ Union calls for November 27 to be observed as ‘national protest day’

Scores of people carried out a citizens’ march on Saturday to protest the proposed hike in hostel fee in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Members of the civil society, students from various universities, and members of students’ wings of several political parties marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar. Amid slogans demanding a complete rollback of the proposed hike, protesters said there is larger fight to resist privatisation of education and save public-funded institutions.

Former JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar claimed that several students “had their hands and legs broken [on Monday] after being hit by the police, but they have not lost their intent”.

He said that repeated references to the February 2016 incident is “only an attempt to mislead the public”. A controversy had erupted after some JNU students, including Mr. Kumar, had held an event on campus in 2016 against the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

“You may have heard about how JNU is a den of the tukde-tukde gang and that the students use drugs. But such references are only made to show JNU in a bad light. JNU cannot be recognised by one incident but should be judged on the basis of the years of contributions made by the alumna. Spending money on universities is considered a waste of money but it is not a waste when statues worth ₹3,000 crore are built,” said Mr. Kumar.

‘A fundamental right’

Delhi University student Mounica Sreesai said, “Education is a fundamental right and large sections of society will not be able to afford education if it becomes a commodity. Most policies being drafted seem to be against the basic principles. What is required is accessible education for all.”

The JNUSU has also appealed to students and the academic community across the country to observe a National Protest Day on November 27.

JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said, “JNU is a central university and students who come here to study are from every section and corner of the country. The fight is not limited to the boundaries of JNU any more. It has become a fight for all and we will take it forward.”

Activist Annie Raja said, “Why are they [the government] only talking about a fee hike and not an increase in the scholarships given to students? The V-C has refused to speak to the students over the years. This only shows that the government has a hidden agenda and they want to destroy the university for the ideological challenge put forth before them.”

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:44:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/citizens-lend-support-march-against-jnu-hostel-fee-hike/article30064631.ece

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