Yesterday students from various Universities and colleges, marched from UGC to MoHRD. They have been staging protest in front of UGC on the issue of Non-NET fellowships. Neither UGC Chairperson nor Minister Ms. Smriti Irani considered their demands worth any attention. In the meanwhile, weather changed. Nights are getting colder everyday. But not the will of the students. The unrest was heating up. Ignoring their voice served as a good conductor of the heat. And students from other universities, other town and cities started joining the protest. They were beaten by Police but batons made their determination stronger. They kept singing songs, of hope, of struggle, kept reciting the poetry, of love, of peace. They continued discussing the moves which came to confuse them and divide them, but they did not leave each others’ hands. They stood firm. And today they marched towards MoHRD. The same Minister who was hardly sitting 2-3 Kms away in her office and had been ignoring to the protesting students, came out of her office and met students in open, showing her regards towards DEMOCRACY and CONCERNS towards future of the students. She threw some reassurances which were too old to swallow. Students leaders pointed out this fact she did not come out of her office on her won but she had to come looking at the strength of the students. It was disgusting to see the big number of armed Police personnel deployed for the unarmed placards holding young students. They first tried to threaten the students by showing them the number and might of the KHAKI but when they understood that these students will not stop by any barricading, then Madam came out to talk to the students, showing that she is ready to talk to the students. It must be mentioned here that just two days back, the Panchjanya or Organiser, the mouthpiece of the RSS (of which BJP is a political wing and Ms. Irani is the minister of the BJP government), alleged the JNU students to be involved in anti national activities. The BJP claims that they are the real patriots and these students who raise their voice in support of displaced people, in support of Irom Sharmila, in support of Chhattisgarhi women who were raped and molested, in support of the tribals getting displaced in Odisha, in support of writers freedom, be it Pansare, Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Murugan or others, these students are all anti nationals because they refuse to gulp the garbage presented to the people as the facts either by the anti people government or by sold media. So today, these so called branded “anti-national” student came on streets of Delhi openly, put their demands straight and Minister Ms. Smriti Irani showed great MODESTY to come out and talk to these ANTI NATIONALS in open.
Photos: Amrita Pathak, Vineet Tiwari, Kumar Sundaram