I am a student of Bhaskracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi, and we have been protesting since the last three years for a Students’ Union in our college. It is shocking that we don’t have one even after being the part of India’s number one university.
Due to a very tense situation created by students in 2013, there was a referendum in our college for a Students’ Union, but the college authority put a condition of 75% voting in favour to pass the referendum. Only 67% students voted in the referendum, and it failed, while the rest of the student population was stopped from voting. As we all are aware, all referendums get passed on a 51% margin of voting. The students of BSc. (Honours) Food Tech were threatened so badly before the vote, that they had to back out.
But we didn’t let this destroy our spirit. We kept fighting. I re-started the movement post-January 2015, and got good support from students. I collected 400 college id cards as a sign of support for the Students’ Union. We put all this in front of the principal and he promised us that by August our demands will be met and also issued a statement during the college festival that we will have Union soon.
But, in June, our Principal changed and the new principal denied our demand for a Union. The new principal is the RSS head of Dwarka, and we also have Dr. Manu Kataria as a teacher in our college who is the State President of ABVP. All teachers in our college are either a post holder in ABVP or the RSS.
As the new Principal denied our demand, we organized another protest on 12th August. Before protesting, we tried to approach Delhi CM Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, as the college is 100% state-government funded. But we could never meet him and we only got to meet his Secretary who suggested that we approach CYSS (student wing of AAP). We went to CYSS and they promised to help us.
With the expectation of their support, we began our protest. Approximately 500 students were there in protest on that day. What happened next was completely unexpected. The college authorities with the help of police threatened the students, and played a major role in stopping the protest. They threatened students and arrested me. We had no media supporting us or covering the protest. The police dispersed the students and after that the college authority agreed to a referendum within a month. The ACP of Dwarka issued a statement in front of the students on the behalf of the college but they didn’t fulfil their promise.
Even CYSS didn’t join us or provide us any support as promised. The Police used this opportunity on behalf of the college to act like a controller instead of a law and order maintainer.
Due to lack of support our first protest was useless. After the protest, the college authority made a number of calls to many student’s homes and also to my house and threatened the students in the name of their internal marks. The college also formed a nominated union just to manipulate students, but we keep on demanding for a democratic resolution of this issue. But our voice was simply suppressed. So again we went for a protest on 24 September, 2015, and this time CYSS, NSUI, SFI, AISA and PDSU joined us in this protest. ABVP was not there as all the teachers in our college belong to ABVP and the RSS.
The protest started at 8am and ended at 2pm, but the college authority and police again used wrong methods to quell the protest. The result of this protest was that the local MLA Palam Bhawna Gaud promised students that from the next semester i.e, January, we will have a college union and by July there will be a referendum for DUSU. The same promise was made by the Governing Body of the college. But we don’t have anything in written till now, and it all seems like a false promise.
A month has passed, and we have nothing in the name of a union. I don’t think the college wants to encourage student politics or give the students a voice through a democratically elected Students’ Union. Every time we protest, the issue is just being stalled by the administration, to gain more time and do nothing about this. And it is unfortunate that our voices are not being heard. Do we have to fight for even our basic right on college campuses? When will my college students get justice?
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