New Delhi, Sep 26 | Protest by students, youth and women organisations are continuing to condemn the use of police force by BHU authorities to silence the voice of female students who were protesting against the molestation of one of the students at the campus.
On the September 24, the National Student Union Of India (NSUI), the student body of the Congress, and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) organized protests.
JNUSU burnt the effigy of the Vice Chancellor of BHU and denounced the highhandedness of the UP government and city administration. JNUSU president, Geeta Kumari, urged women from every part of the country to come forward in support of the BHU girl students. JNU students also condemned the statements of BHU authorities where their own peacefully protesting female students were first beaten up and then labeled anti-national.
NSUI blamed the BJP and Modi government for their support to the policy of moral policing. They blamed BJP’s regressive approach of putting various restrictions on women, especially young girls, in their daily lives in general and academic institutions in particular. They said that the curfew raj imposed on the girls was a suppressive step and called it the BJP version of ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao’. All the protesters condemned the shaming of the students who reported the criminal acts of molestation and teasing.
Yesterday it was the turn of All India Students Association (AISA), All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO),All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS), All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Revolutionary Youth association (RYA) and others to come forward in solidarity with the protesting BHU students. Members of these groups marched on Jantar Mantar road holding placards with various interesting messages against BHU authorities, UP government and RSS, shouting slogans and singing to drum beats. The all-famous slogans of “azadi” of former JNUSU president, Kanhayia Kumar, and a trademark of leftist student organizations rent the air. It was noteworthy that some old ex-army personnel sitting on dharna and demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP) joined the young lot in the sloganeering. Among the known faces were Kavita Krishnan, Sehba Taban Farooqi, Shabnam Hashmi, Saba Dewan, Rahul Roy and Owais Sultan.
Many prominent civic society activists including Aruna Roy and Harsh Mandar wrote letters to the Prime Minister to bring an end to the oppression of BHU female students and demanding redressal of their genuine grievances about safety and security at the BHU campus.
Today on September 26, too, various protests are planned at Jantar Mantar, the most prominent one being a candle march by Youth for Swaraj, student wing of Swaraj India, the party lead by Yogendra Yadav.
Nawed Akhter is a film maker and political analyst based in Gurgaon.