Wednesday, 19 October 2011

To: UGC, MHRD, Vice Chancellor of JMI, Students, Civil Society

Dear friends
You must be aware that administration of Jamia Millia Islamia has not restored students union since last six years. After the successful people’s movement in the Middle East and in India as well, we have realized that students’ union is very important and fundamental right of students’ community who are being considered as consumer on one side and as future leaders on the other. But violation of students’ rights has become rampant in each university and arbitrary decision and punishments have been imposed on them time to time along with diluting spirit of social justice in their each and every policy and decisions. This very undemocratic nature of our campuses is defeating democracy, accountability and transparency.

Forum for Students Democracy has recently written a letter to the vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia asking him to restore democracy and citing the fact that minority students have been deprived of their democratic space in their own universities be it Jamia, AMU or other colleges of minority status. Minority students in these institutions and general students’ in all universities without students’’ union have been left behind in the political process and hence a systematic depoliticization is engineered by our administration and governments.

The forum has come out to challenge the status quo and to ensure restoring students democracy through students’ union in all over country staring from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Violation of our basic right to form students union in our colleges and universities, does not only isolate students community in India’s vibrant democratic space but also restrict their opportunities to prove their ability and skills to contribute to the nation building process. Apart from that, student community is treated like beggars and dependent workers for their small needs and regular complains by university administration and authorities. Be it the issue of hostel accommodation, fellowship, mess issues, hygiene, and disbursal of
student funds, and government schemes for students. This must not be acceptable for our wise leadership of the university. Despite the fact that Jamia has been collecting Student Union’s fund from students, but union election are not allowed.

I agree that some earlier experiments in forming student association have not yielded very positive result. But you will agree too that ‘Democrisation’ is a continuous and evolving process. If there were any fault, that needs to be corrected, but not by dismantling ‘Students Union’ altogether. It is my humble suggestion to the
university administration that as a minority institution, our students must not be deprived of democratic space and exercise. They must not be rendered politically backward. Recent revolutions in the Arab World and anti-corruption uprising in India have proved that the youth have a constructive role to play in the society, best contribution for their country and it is just a matter of allowing them space and facilitate their political participation.

I am here to request you through endorsing online petition in large number to support and rally behind the struggle for students democracy and mobilize other friends. We expect lot of discussions, debates and reactions and may be actions from administration for voicing dissent.
We have to fight for the cause jointly and unitedly and resist anti students policies of Jamia administration to ensure that students are given their rights in fullest in Jamia Millia Islamia.

Afroz Alam Sahil Centre for Comparative Religion Studies
Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi
OMAIR ANAS School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi

David Lawrence Lal School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Syed Muhammed Raghib School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi

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