By Amrita Singh:
Campus spaces were in a plethora of news in 2016. Students from all over the country united and took stands on various issues, and some campus issues themselves became matters of national interest. Campus Watch emerged as a platform where people could highlight these issues, share their experiences, debate and even voice their dissent.
As 2016 comes to an end, we give you a recap of our best, most impactful stories of the year that struck a chord. They used a personal lens to capture a problem, national issue or even a sentiment. These reflected the spirit of Campus Watch – they shattered what was embedded, evoked what seemed dead and some stories even shook the system.
A Note For Those Who Think Caste Is No Longer An Issue In ‘This Generation’ (Think Again)
“Institutionalized discrimination is a reality that we all know about but choose not to acknowledge.”
Penned by Students of Indian Law Institute, the article was written in light of the tragic suicide of Rohith Vemula. It highlighted the general aversion of talking about caste based issues and the need for talking about the same.
“First They Came After The Muslims In Dadri, Now The Students In JNU”
“Nobody who lives in JNU is a stranger to this, but it’s different this time. The students union president, Kanhaiya Kumar, has been arrested and charged with sedition. The hashtag #ShutDownJNU is trending online. People are calling us all “terrorist sympathisers.”
Shambhavi Saxena, then student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote about the aftermath of the much talked about February 9 incident and what that meant for our country.
“This is the story of JNU that you won’t see at prime time on Newshour.”
A YKA exclusive, the story provided clarifications regarding what happened in JNU and what the University actually stands for.
“To walk around college every day and know that everything around that place is wrong, and to realise that raising your voice is a far bigger crime is pretty much how most of us feel in college.”
Students of Christ University initiated a silent protest against the University’s stringent and conservative rules. Many students took to Campus Watch, YKA to express their frustration with the same and narrated negative as well as some positive experiences in the University.
4 Days, 100 Haiku Entries: How Calicut Medical College Students Smashed Menstrual Taboos
“Every time I feel unsure of myself, I clutch the Haiku book close to my heart, and remind myself of all the difference that a single act of courage can make.”
Sreya Salim narrated how a micro tale competition started a major conversation on menstrual taboos in Calicut Medical College.
In Photos: What Is Life Like For Foreign Students At Delhi University?
“Overall, coming to a new place itself is just new and interesting, even if it’s going to be bad or good, it doesn’t matter because you’ll find out that life is just not about the place and country you were born and raised in.”
Some foreign students shared their experiences of what it is like to live in Delhi with Roshni Khatri.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) had issued a circular asking all law schools to implement a dress code of white shirt and black trousers for all students. The final implementation was up to the colleges. The article has opinions of various students on the same.
“I want to leave with the hope that they wouldn’t succumb to the designs of the fascist scouts and that the student-teacher unity of my campus will continue to stand against all such attacks.”
An outgoing student, Kawalpreet Kaur, shared her observations and frustrations of studying in Delhi University for three years.
“Today, when I look back into the first year of my college, I do not feel unattractive anymore. I still weigh the same, but I do not feel the same anymore.”
Shivanshi Khanna, a student of LSR, talked about how her college helped in making her body positive.
“Whenever I recall my unemployed days, I shiver in tension.”
Nafees Ahmad, a graduate of Deshbandhu College, talks about a difficult phase in his life when he was struggling to get through government jobs.
These narratives prove that so much has happened in Indian campuses in 2016 and there’s so much that needs to be done in 2017. Campuses are constantly evolving to be more liberal and inclusive. We at Campus Watch hope that this spirit grows and promise to bring forth more powerful stories in the coming year!