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Students’ agitations: Protest for a purpose or publicity stunt?

Bhaskar News  

Bhopal: City colleges and the Barkatullah University (BU) campus are increasingly attracting student union protests and agitations, a feature that has hit the higher education hard.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) have led the most number of agitations in Bhopal colleges.

The ABVP has in the last six months led about 70 student protests while the NSUI has fronted 30. This amounts to nearly one agitation almost every second day in a semester, if both student bodies took part in 100 protests and rallies.

Sneak peak at protests and issues

- The ABVP protested when Congress workers in Raipur cut a cake depicting the tricolour to celebrate the 64th birthday of party chief Sonia Gandhi on December 9.

The imminent question: Should students protest against a political party?

- The ABVP supported BDS students who were demanding the regularisation of their examinations. The agitation was organised at Satpura Bhavan on the first day and at the BU campuses the next day.

The imminent question: Was the ABVP confused over the venue of the protest?

- The ABVP organised a two-day protest demanding that the para-medical students who had failed the examination be allowed to join the next semester.

The imminent question: How could the ABVP forget that no such rule for admission to the next semester exists?

What student bodies say

While it seems most of these protests are just meant to foment unrest in colleges and a way to emphasise the presence of student unions, the NSUI defends its agitations.

Speaking to Dainik Bhaskar, representatives of the NSUI said protests are necessitated by the inaction of the BU and other colleges on issues of students’ interest.

When questioned about the necessity to hold classes at ransom, the ABVP also diplomatically avoided a direct answer saying students do not protest without a cause.

Teachers’ take

Teachers at various colleges and the BU administration, however, have a different take on the entire issue.

BU Vice-chancellor Nisha Dube believes there is no need for such protests.

Dube said students are free to meet teachers and the university administration to discuss any problem they may have.

Criticising daily protests by students’ unions, she said even if students want to organise agitations they should notify college or the university administration before any such activity is undertaken in the campus.

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