SOLIDARITY messages and protests are pouring in from students and citizens all over India and the world, and are bringing together various struggles against privatisation of schooling and higher education. Here are samples of some of them.
Students Attacked in West Bengal
BJP goons brutally attacked AISA activists protesting against crackdown on JNU Students in Bali, West Bengal. AISA leaders Swarnendu Mitra and Subhadeep along with several other comrades were severely injured.
Earlier, on 14 November, AISA units at many centres in all the states held out protest demonstrations in solidarity with the movement in JNU. They demanded to address all the issues raised by JNU students which genuine reflect the concerns of student community in whole country against the highly regressive changes by the Modi government. The students in all the places also raised their demand to immediately withdraw the Draft New Education Policy.
AIPWA held solidarity protests in Patna and Kolkata, pointing out that the JNU students’ movement is also a movement for the right of women students to go to University.
CPIML MLA demonstrated in the Bihar Assembly in support of JNU students.
RYA held protests all over India in support of JNU students.
On 23 November, a massive citizens march was held in Delhi in which students, teachers and others from Delhi and neighbouring states poured out in support of the issues raised by JNU students.
Students of Central University of Rajasthan
We express our complete support and solidarity to protesting students of JNU. We as part of a public funded educational institution are equally facing the crisis created as a result of massive privatization and commodification of higher education. There is an urgent need to create a large scale pan India movement against Privatization of Education and for rejection New Education Policy. Therefore, as a token of solidarity we want to assure JNU Students Union and protesting students that we will stood by them in every fight anti student, anti education moves and policies. Also we will be participating in the Citizens March called by JNUSU on 23rd November from Mandi House to Parliament.
AIIMS Students Union
The AIIMS students’ union has not only extended solidarity to JNU students but has also announced its intention to resist the Modi Government’s plans to hike fees of medical students as well as patient user charges at the AIIMS. “Under no circumstances shall we allow the government to destroy the education and healthcare system of India. After striking down the autonomy of apex institutes, the government is moving to make education inaccessible to the common man,” - said Mukul Kumar, president of the Student’s Union of AIIMS-Delhi.
Gujarat College Ahmedabad
Student activists of AIDSO, of Gujarat College Ahmedabad collected signatures on a huge banner in support of JNU students.
Udaipur Citizens and Parents
Udaipur citizens held a march in solidarity with the JNU students movement, organised in the main by the Udaipur parents movement against fee hikes in private schools.
IIT Delhi Research Scholars’ Statement
Students of this country play a major role in nation-building and their voices must be heard with an unfettered spirit of rationality and tolerance. It is necessary to involve and hear them at the appropriate institute forums before any academic and/or administrative decisions are made. While we respect the autonomous status of these institutes, we worry about the growing authoritarianism and oppression on student communities.
We express our solidarity to students from all universities who are fighting against the unjustifiable fee hikes. We condemn the brutal police action on students, researchers, and teachers who are fighting for affordable education. Education must not be made a commodity, and for students of this country to avail quality education, they must be given grants and not loans. We see the ongoing fee hikes as a ‘trend’ and request the concerned to immediately interfere and put an end to this.
We hereby reject IIT Council’s recommendation to increase the MTech tution fee and stop the monthly stipend. IIT Council’s decision will open a channel for fee hike across the country, and any steps to implement this without student consultation will call for severe student protests. We request MHRD to reject the IIT Council’s proposal regarding the MTech fee hike.
We are extremely saddened to hear about the shocking stories of suicides in IIT campuses. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends who have lost their dear ones.
We hope that the demands of protesting students at IIT Madras are heard, and proper actions are taken against individuals found guilty. IITs should revisit their counselling programmes, and appropriate measures must be taken at all institutes immediately. An academic probe at the institute level must be initiated in case of an unforeseen incident.
IIT Delhi Research Scholars pledge our support to the student community in distress and will stand by their side to make our universities a better place.
IIT Bombay students protested saying “We stand against privatization of education. We condemn police action against JNU students.”
Support From Pakistan and Bangladesh
The Progressive Students Collective (Pakistan), and Bangladeshi Students Union released statements in support of the Fees Must Fall movement in JNU and India, pointing out that students in their countries are waging such movements also.