NEW DELHI: While scores of students from JNU and other institutions gathered around Central Park at Connaught Place and took out a march against the “attack on education”, there was a parallel protest by a small group against the “derogatory” sloganeering about PM Narendra Modi.
Those who joined the protest called by Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union and teachers’ association here, were students of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), University of Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia and members of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and All India Youth Federation (AIYF) and Students’ Federation of India, (SFI) among others.
Carrying placards, saying: ‘There is nothing more anti-national than a government not funding education’; ‘(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi didn’t go to university, doesn’t mean even I shouldn’t’; ‘Oppose new education policy’; and ‘Fees must fall’, the students formed a human chain around Central Park.
“A majority of students from the deprived sections of society, are not even a part of the formal education system. Instead of starting more universities like JNU to bring them into the system. The current government is ruining the existing institution that does not only cater to one section,” said Bhim, a member of the KYS.
AIIMS students’ union president Mukul Kumar said that there were talks in their campus about a probable fee hike, so, he too stood in solidarity with JNUSU.
“We are here to highlight that education is a right and not a commodity that can be used for profit-making. Second, there are talks at AIIMS about a fee hike. We are opposing that as well,” Kumar said.
While they raised slogans against the central government, a small group of people staged a 15-minute parallel march, screaming the slogan — ‘Jai Sri Ram’. “We are a group of UPSC aspirants. We are protesting against the derogatory slogans being raised against our PM,” said Puneet Upmanyu, who claimed to have no association with any political or religious group.