Students, teachers to march against govt's policies

Students, teachers to march against govt's policies

Thousands of students from different parts of the country are set to hit Delhi streets on Monday to highlight “the failures” of the Modi government in education sector and “saffronisation” of university campuses during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime since 2014.

On Tuesday, thousands of teachers, parents, academicians and other eminent persons from different parts of the country will take out a long march to Parliament under the aegis of a Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME) to register their protest against the Modi government's education policies and “hounding” of students and teachers on “anti-national and sedition charges.”

Eminent historian Romila Thapar, noted author Githa Hariharan, Carnatic music vocalist and author T M Krishna and various other eminent persons have extended their support to the two mega protest rallies, jointly organised by various students, teachers and parents organisations including the Left-backed Students Federation of India and the All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisation (AIFUCTO).

The 'Delhi chalo' march has been organised to unite students, teachers, academia and intellectuals ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to ensure that “a free and affordable education and dignified employment” becomes the “main” election agenda, according to a joint statement issued by five students organisations including SFI, All India Student Federation (AISF) and All India Democratic Student Organisation (AIDSO).

“Students and teachers are constantly being hounded with charges of being 'anti-national and seditious.' Indeed, the purpose of education, and its process of questioning and debate is being sabotaged. Knowledge itself – the quest for knowledge and its growth – is the victim, along with the future of India which resides in the youth of the country,” Romila Thapar and other eminent writers and poets said in a joint statement.

Students from different parts of the country have been at the forefront of protesting against “a regime and ideology” that have eroded institutions of learning and research by starving them of funds, subverting reason and crushing dissent, they also underlined.

“The Indian Writers Forum supports the students demands and expresses solidarity with their march to save education, democracy, and India we want to live and learn in.” they added.

Students demand a nationwide fully state-funded and free common education system from kindergarten to post graduate level, allocation of at least 6% of the GDP and 10% of the central budget on education, enactment of a law to guarantee employment, implementation of reservations and “a halt to the communalisation of education.”

“The anger is bursting out across the nation. It is imperative for the students and youth of the nation to raise our voice and register our demands. As the Lok Sabha elections are near, it is necessary to unite and keep student-youth agendas at the heart of the national politics. We need to expose the Modi government’s false promises,” students organisations said in a joint statement.