NEW DELHI: A number of students have approached the Jamia Millia Islamia administration opposing protests and hunger strikes by their fellow students for the reinstatement of the students union. They fear that politics on campus would lead to larger problems like violence and disruptions in studies. “After the elections in 2006, the work in the university was affected for a long time because of the union. The university was shut down for two days,” a research scholar at the varsity said. A professor, who did not wish to be identified, said a group of students had three days ago written a letter against the reinstatement of the students union.
“The students allege that the elected representatives indulge in bullying, flout norms and affect studies,” he said. The professor said not all universities have unions like the one in JNU, “where students talk about real issues”. In absence of a students union, students can approach leaders of Subject Associations in all departments, he said.
“Besides, the Dean of Students Welfare also handles issues of students in an effective way. What is the purpose of having a union if a mechanism for grievance redressal is already there,” asked another student. The vice-chancellor had recently constituted a five- member committee to talk to the protesting students.Supporters of the union said a genuine union would not indulge in violence.
“Opposing the union is undemocratic… People have a preconceived notion that elected representatives indulge in hooliganism… It all depends on what kind of a union is elected,” said a representative of Dayar-i-Shauq Students Charter.