Hundreds of students from colleges all over Delhi gathered with their poems, songs and colourful banners on 4 August to register their protest against growing violence in DU. The cultural procession was organized in the backdrop of murderous attacks and lynchings of Dalits and minorities of our country in the name of ‘cow protection’ or other such pretexts and also the increasing instances of violence in campuses. These incidents of campus violence have become a regular affair in Delhi University too with growing incidents of teachers and students being attacked by the ABVP.
More than 300 students took part in the procession which started from Arts faculty and moved to different colleges of North Campus and voiced their and anger against series of incidents of physical violence and intimidation with teachers and students that has unsettled the academic environment of university. Disruptions of movie screenings, seminars have become regular thing in colleges, whose most brutal manifestation was seen last semester when pelted stones were pelted by ABVP goons at an event at Ramjas College organized by the Literary Society of the college in February. Recently, an SRCC Professor was beaten up badly for not increasing the marks of a student belonging to the ABVP. The atmosphere of academic freedom and excellence is under a most serious attack.
Aameen Amitoj, a student of Khalsa college who recited his poetry said that “I am here because we all imagine universities to be safe spaces where there would be an atmosphere of debate and discussion but unfortunately that space is shrinking and it becomes responsibility of the students who are studying to stand with each other and save it.”
Kawalpreet Kaur, President DU AISA said, “The poetry procession was organised in order to give a statement that the students will not submit to the violence but will fight in order to save their freedom of expression. We believe that these incidents of violence in campuses are attempts to intimidate the students and destroy higher education of this country by disallowing critical thinking of any kind. The ABVP which is the student wing of the RSS/BJP sees all free thinking with animosity and thus every student, researcher, teacher whose does honest academic work is a suspect. We will not let the space for debate and dissent shrink. We will not give up our poems and songs, we will not let them police our culture.”