Students from JNU, DU march against ABVP

Students from JNU, DU march against ABVP

NSUI students hold one-day hunger strike

Students from JNU, DU march against ABVP

Hundreds of students and teachers from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University took out a protest march on Tuesday against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja joined the march, organised by left-backed student unions including All India Students Association (AISA).

“The protest is essentially against stifling of voices on the campuses across the country including the Delhi University. We want to reclaim the space to discuss and dissent,” AISA’s leader in DU, Kanwalpreet Kaur, told reporters.

The march was organised by AISA and other unions after many of their members were beaten up by students associated with BJP-affiliated ABVP outside Ramjas College last week.

ABVP was opposed to invitation extended to Umar Khalid, a JNU student charged with sedition last year, to speak at a seminar at the college.

“They cannot win this (ideological war) with their intellectual skill and want to replace it with violence. Our nationalism is ‘we are Indian’ not ‘who is a Hindu?’ Yechury said, addressing the participants.

Raja described the protest as “a collective fight to defend our constitutional rights”. He said the left parties will raise the issue of the ABVP attack on Delhi University students in Parliament.

Gurmehar Kaur, a Delhi University student who created a political storm on Monday with her social media campaign against ABVP, did not take part in the protest march.

 But she appealed to her followers on Facebook and Twitter to join it. “Please go in huge numbers for the march. Best of luck! To anyone questioning my courage and bravery, I have shown enough… All my friends. Our lovely faculty! how I wish I was there,” she said in a series of tweets.

Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI), meanwhile, held a one-day hunger strike outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University, both against the ABVP and the left-backed student unions in connection with the Ramjas College clash. NSUI called for peace.