Protest: Students of St Stephens, DSE boycott classes

Protest: Students of St Stephens, DSE boycott classes

The campus is witnessing such protests for the first time in 30 years after the Mandal agitation. (DH photo)

Students of the elite St Stephens College and Delhi School of Economics (DSE) boycotted classes and participated in protests expressing solidarity with their counterparts who faced violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), workers on a general strike and anti-CAA-NRC protesters.

Chanting 'Azadi' slogans and holding banners like 'Students Against Fascism', the students of Stephens boycotted classes for the first time in 30 years while DSE students, which they described as “unprecedented and historic”, too left their classrooms for the protest.

Both the campuses have not seen strikes or boycott of classes and the move by the students was seen as an indication of intensification of the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) as well as the violence in JNU and police action in Jamia.

Students of Stephens had given a call for boycotting classes and organising a march two days ago.

After taking out the march in Stephens campus, the first time in 30 years after the Mandal agitation, the protesters assembled at the Andrews Court in the campus where students from various states spoke about their concerns.

In DSE, almost all students took out a march inside the campus which was followed by a brief meeting, which was addressed by some teachers also. From there, students marched to Delhi University Arts Faculty where a larger protest was organised.

Stephens alumni include External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor among others. DSE have Amitava Ghosh, Ramchandra Guha, Gita Gopinath and Prannoy Roy among others as alumni while the faculty included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, eminent sociologist M N Srinivas and well-known economist Jagdish Bhagwati.

"First time in thirty years, after Mandal agitations, students of St. Stephen's College went on strike, boycotting classes, supporting JAMIA-JNU, opposing CAA-NRC and in solidarity with the workers of the country. They marched around the college, chanted slogans of 'Azadi', recited poems and read out the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. The umbrellas gave it a lovely Hongkongish feel," Stephens Assistant Professor Ashley NP said.

Campuses across the country have erupted in protests in the past three weeks over contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens, police action in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University as well as the violence perpetrated by "masked goons" in Jawaharlal Nehru University.

In Delhi's ITO where striking workers took out a march, students from various universities too joined in solidarity raising slogans against the government.

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