Six powerful Students Movements of 2018

By Shivangi Saxena
Ever since independence struggle, the tradition sets Indian students coming out on the streets to show disagreement, grievances, and dissatisfaction against the authorities. Students put their lives on the line for their voices to be heard. Whether fighting for equality, an end to war, religious freedom, economic opportunity or political ideology, students have recognized there’s power in numbers. The year 2018 saw a number of cases all across universities where students came out on roads and streets to voice up their demands and to ask for justice- be it for themselves or fellow counterparts. Here is a compilation of student’s protests and events that not only brought change but also restyled the trend of dissent. 

#1  PINJRA TOD- Breaking the locks

A movement started for raising demands against biased hostel rules and curfew timings,  gained momentum in a trice.  Students from various colleges and Universities locked hands against the fascist forces and authority. The demands included- change in curfew timings, reservation for Pwd, SC/ST students, filling vacant hostel rooms and safe campus. The girls battled for ‘Death to Patriarchy’ via sloganeering, posters, plays, songs, and public gatherings. The movement was later joined by men, activists, and faculty. Started in Delhi  Pinjra Tod achieved success through the power of organized collective struggle and soon spread to Punjab University, Delhi University, Jamia Milia Islamia, TISS, Hyderabad to name a few. 

#2 Jamia Milia Islamia- roll back discriminatory demands

For women students of Jamia Millia Islamia, the year witnessed numerous unscrupulous moves by the Jamia administration, from attempts to roll back the extension of curfew timings to 10.30pm to insidiously introducing a massive fee hike in hostel fees, from massive delays in allocation of hostel seats to denial of hostel admissions. Hundred of girls gathered in Jamia premises to ask for the acceptance of their charter. Finally, the Jamia administration on 14th November issued a notice extending the last date of hostel fee payment to November 26th. 

#3 Parliament March- Justice for Najeeb

Its been two years since  JNU student Najeeb found missing from the campus. On 15th October capital’s parliament street was seen occupied with students, activists, and leaders from across the country raising voice against CBI and authorities which held inefficient in investigating the case. The march saw the presence of student leaders Shehla Rashid, Akbar Choudhary, Sai Balaji, and Umar Khalid.  March was also joined by Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohit Vemula who found dead in Hyderabad University along with Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees. 

#4 JNU #MeToo Movement

MeToo movement seen a widespread turmoil this year grabbing well- of and popular names under its arms. The movement launched in country’s most reputed university Jawaharlal Nehru University came as a shock. Female students registered complaints of sexual harassment, mental torture and alleged student activists, scholars, and professors under harassment charges. Many brave women came out telling their #Metoo stories while others supported them. The movement caught mass attention on social media. 

#5 Delhi School of Journalism- a college with no foundation 

DSJ established in 2017 was running in a two-room classroom in North Campus. The movement picked fire when the students of DSJ united for a collaborated cause- establishment of labs, infrastructure, and against privatization of institutions. Despite paying a heavy amount students are being delivered with least facilities by the college. It was later joined by activists and journalist that led the movement come into limelight. DSJ students not only fought for themselves but for all those students who are deprived of quality education at any level.

#6 YOUNG INDIA SPEAKS- way to change

Young India Speaks on 28th December launched National Platform of student youth unions, organizations and movement. The primitive demands of Young India National Coordination Committee include- Fill all vacant government jobs and end the regime of paper leaks and corruption in recruitment,  spend at least 10% of the budget on education, stop the policy of school closure, seat-cut, fund-cut, fee-hike and reservation-cut in higher education, end gender discriminatory rules, ensure girls hostel and effective Anti-Sexual Harassment Cells, fulfill constitutionally mandated reservation and Institute anti-discrimination cells in all campuses. The committee comprises of members from reputed institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University, IIT Madras among others. The YINCC will march on the streets of Delhi on coming 7th February to demand education, jobs, and dignity.