Students to organise 'Dilli Chalo' march on Feb 18

Last Updated 16 January 2019, 16:42 IST

With a call for "more paatshaalas and not gaushalas", Left students organisations will organise a 'Dilli Chalo' Parliament march on February 18, which they said will be a warning to the Narendra Modi government to change its policies.

The next day, they will also join a protest action in the national capital that will see the participation of teachers and non-teaching staff.

The February 18 march is a joint action by SFI, AISF, AIDSO, AISB and PSU. The February 19 protest is organised by Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME).

These protests form part of a series of actions taken by the Opposition parties against the ruling BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier this month, Opposition trade unions conducted a two-day national strike while last year there were a series of protest actions, especially by farmers and trade unions. Youth organisations also held a protest in November last year against unemployment scene.

"Enough is enough. We don't need more 'gaushalas' (cow shelters) but what we need is more 'paatshalas' (schools and colleges)... If the government is not going to change, we will change the government." SFI General Secretary Mayukh Biswas told reporters.

AISF General Secretary Vicky Maheshwari said the students were upset with the government, which has failed to address the concerns of youth. "Students have been one of the worst affected sections in the country under the NDA regime," he said.

In a joint statement, the organisations said the policies of centralisation, commercialisation and communalisation of education have reached to an "unparallel level" under the Modi regime.

"The funds for public institutions have been cut drastically over the years. The premier public funded institutions such as JNU have even stopped subscribing important academic journals by citing the scarcity of fund," it said.

Referring to the Delhi Police chargesheet against students' leaders accusing them of sedition, it said, "with election is at the doorstep, the drama of labelling 'anti-national' have been restarted after a small gap. The latest episode of charge sheet against JNU students, on a clearly fabricated case, long three years after the politically motivated case was registered shows they have nothing else to show the world, but lies built on lies."

The organisations' demands include establishing a nation-wide fully state-funded and free common education system from kindergarten to post-graduation, increase government spending to at least 6% of the GDP and 10% of the central budget on education, enact National Employment Guarantee scheme in the name of Bhagat Singh, stop communalisation of education and implementing existing reservations properly and ensure social justice in govt as well as private institutions.

(Published 16 January 2019, 15:10 IST)

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