New Delhi: Almost a year after clashes between student wings at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University also turned into a battlefield when clashes erupted between students of Ramjas College and members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Shehla Rashid, Former Vice-President, JNU Students’ Union speaks to Anuradha SenGupta on Off Centre this week where she talks about various topics from violent altercations at college campuses and ‘Occupy UGC’ movement to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor and the BJP politics.
While talking about the attack on JNU & Ramjas students by the ABVP, Shehla says that ABVP is being patronised by the government and adds that in the Ramjas incident, they saw ABVP violently attacking students in presence of police and the police did nothing to stop or to detain them.
Speaking about the BJP, Shehla says, “I am counting on the BJP to make horrible mistakes as they do. They want to get the maximum amount of damage done in the minimum amount of time. We thought in these 2 years they would stick to constitutional values, but they have not. They are doing a different kind of identity politics. Their agenda is building the Ram Mandir; they are catering to the Hindu vote. They are close to having a majority in the Rajya Sabha and will try to fiddle with the constitution. They will start diluting the constitutional values in some way. BJP is playing a dual game. How do Muslim women trust the government to raise their issues, when these are the people under whose supervision Muslim women were raped? They want to trigger a divide among the Muslim community along gender lines.”
While talking about the UGC notification of May 5, 2016, and the viva-voce issue she says, “People from SC/ST backgrounds, who are weak in English, are discriminated against in viva. We have data that shows SC/ST students score better in written than in viva. The 5th May notification makes the written exam a qualifying exam, thereby making the viva exam weightage effectively 100%.”
When asked about the standoff with the Vice Chancellor at JNU, Shehla says that the current Vice Chancellor doesn’t believe in talking to them (the students). She further adds that the issue can be resolved by having an honest discussion but the VC imposed the notification without any discussion. She concluded with the view that no matter how hard the students’ position is, the VC has to talk to them.
Catch the promo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCmAh6tr_FA
CNN-News18’s Off Centre will be aired on Saturday at 8:00 PM with repeats on Sunday at 12:30 PM and 9:30 PM.