Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) says in a press release:
JNUSU’s struggle against commercialisation and fee hikes reached a crucial stage today. This morning, JNU students peacefully blocked the sale of the JNU prospectus at the JNU Ad Block counter to protest the sharp 67% increase in the price of the prospectus. Within hours, show cause notices were issued by the JNU administration, and without even waiting for responses for the “show cause” notices, massive rustications have been handed out.
JNUSU President Sandeep Singh rusticated and declared out of bounds with immediate effect for 2 years (4 semesters)
Shephalika Shekhar (JNUSU Vice-President) rusticated and declared out of bounds with immediate effect for one year (2 semesters)
Mobeen Alam (JNUSU Joint Secretary) rusticated and declared out of bounds with immediate effect for one year
Roshan Kishore rusticated and declared out of bounds with immediate effect for one year
Renu Singh rusticated and declared out of bounds with immediate effect for one year
From an administration which is hell-bent on selling out campus spaces, and destroying the socially inclusive character of JNU, this remains their only tool to fulfil their designs to destroy JNU’s character. Over the past three weeks, we have seen how the JNU administration has repeatedly tried to evade dialogue, vacillate on its own promises, and indulge in double-speak. While the massive student pressure forced them to backtrack on some issues, the administration has stubbornly done everything possible to stonewall all meaningful dialogue on the important issue of prospectus fee hike.
The administration has announced a farcical “prospectus fee waiver” for students from BPL families; it is indeed a shame that no less than the Vice Chancellor of a University like JNU has come up with such an eye-wash of a scheme as a face-saving exercise to put on a “pro-poor” image.
“The student movement will have to rise to this occasion. It is a battle to defend the democratic rights of each of us. It is a battle against crass commercialisation which the administration has unleashed to destroy the cherished character of JNU. It is a battle to defend the rights of the poor and the marginalized on this campus. It is a battle to defend the rights of all those who dream of pursuing accessible higher education. It is a battle against a draconian administration, which is neck-deep into massive wasteful expenses of public money, which has been caught flouting all democratic norms of decision-making to meet their destructive ends. This battle must be fought and won with all our strength, otherwise JNU will not remain JNU,” said Sandeep Singh, President JNUSU.