North-East Forum For International Solidarity – PR – Agitating North-East students turn violent due to callous approach of DU authorities

2020

PRESS RELEASE

                                                                                                                                                                        01.04.2013

Agitating North-East students turn violent due to callous approach of DU authorities.

The protesters block Ramjas Chowk and break the gate of Proctor’s Office during the agitation against imposition of compulsory language.

The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) has been running a campaign to oppose the imposition of Hindi/MILs (Modern Indian Languages) on the students of ‘north-east’ from the next academic session. The compulsory language course is part of the foundational course of the four year undergraduate program. NEFIS along with individuals and other organizations like MASAD has already held two protests, the first on 22nd March when a memorandum was submitted, and the second on 25th of March when we again approached the Delhi University (DU) authorities to seek a response from them. Since no response was forthcoming, today NEFIS again organized a massive demonstration in the University which blocked Ramjas Chowk and then also broke the barricade outside Dean/Proctor Office. This being an issue that concerns all the students from the North-East and from other marginalized communities of our country; NEFIS took the initiative to organize a joint protest of students from all these different communities, especially those from the North-East.

Agitating North-East students turn violent due to callous approach of DU authorities.  The protesters block Ramjas Chowk and break the gate of Proctor’s Office during the agitation against imposition of compulsory language.
Agitating North-East students turn violent due to callous approach of DU authorities.
The protesters block Ramjas Chowk and break the gate of Proctor’s Office during the agitation against imposition of compulsory language.

We gathered at 2:00pm at the Vivekanand Statue, Faculty of Arts, Delhi University and held a public meeting. Speakers from various different communities of the North-East spoke to the gathering and condemned the chauvinist tendency of the University administration. This was followed by sloganeering and a procession which was taken out throughout the campus. The procession of enraged students blocked the Ramjas Chowk for nearly half an hour before proceeding towards the Proctor’s Office. On reaching the main gate of the Dean Students’ Welfare/Proctor’s Office, the students found that it had been barricaded by the University’s private security and the local police. Even after hours of sloganeering nobody from the administration came to talk to us. This cavalier attitude displayed by the administration enraged the crowd which then broke the gate and rushed to the Dean’s office. Rather than understanding the anxiety of the students, the authorities instructed their private security to manhandle the students, including women students. Some men students were even boxed by the security guards. Shockingly, sexist abuses were hurled at the students as they approached the Proctor Office after crossing the barricade.

The enraged students went onto burn a copy of the proposed syllabus that is going to be introduced in the next academic session. This was followed by a public meeting in which it was collectively decided that we would stage our next protest at the HRD ministry; the date for which would be decided in the next meeting.

In the coming academic year, Delhi University’s administration is going to introduce a new syllabus according to which it would become compulsory for students of all courses to do a foundational course during the first year of their graduation. In this foundation course they would be required to opt for a language which would either be Hindi or one of the Modern Indian languages (MILs). It is our opinion that the compulsory imposition of Hindi and other MILs would cause immense hardships for the students who belong to communities that speak neither Hindi nor one of the MILs.  There would be problems even for the communities that speak MILs like Manipuri, Assamese etc. because the infrastructure and faculty strength for these languages is too small to be able to cover the whole of university.  This step amounts to nothing less than cultural chauvinism on part of the university administration directed against the communities from the North-East because most of them are not adept in any of the languages of the mainland India. The new syllabus, if it is allowed to come into force, would put the students of the North-East under serious disadvantage vis-à-vis students of rest of the country. This gross neglect of the special needs of the students of the North-East is not a new thing. It is our observation that in the framing of university polices the interests of the students from the North-East is always neglected. It is for this reason that we made this fresh instance of bias an occasion for us to rise above community lines and put forward a united protest to safeguard our common interests.

Yours Sincerely

Chinglen Khumukcham and Thanglunmang Khongsai.

NEFIS (North-East Forum for International Solidarity)

For details-7838983871

* The press release is being sent by North-East Forum For International Solidarity , Contact info nefis.delhi{at}gmail.com

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