New Delhi: At a time when a raging debate about student politics is on in the country in wake of the ongoing JNU row, students of Jamia Millia Islamia are still fighting for their demand for reinstating the students' union, scrapped nine years ago.
Jamia students who have extended their support to JNU where six students have been booked for alleged sedition over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru, believe their solidarity comes from being "toothless" participants.
"We as Jamia students can only help others on individual basis but not collectively as students of a varsity. It is ironical that the varsity finds student politics to be an activity which interferes with academics. We continue to be toothless participants of any protest," a student said on condition of anonymity.
Another student said, "There are examples of students' union in DU and JNU. The entire country is talking about freedom of speech and here we are having a school headmaster approach where there is no scope for activism or raising any demand."
"There is a fear among students that whenever they speak, the administration acts against them. If there is a leader or elected representative, it will be easier for students to communicate their issues to the authorities," the student added.
Jamia students and alumni have written to the Vice-Chancellor and the University Grants Commission repeatedly since elections were "banned" in the university in 2006 after the students' union allegedly "started interfering with the administrative matters of the institution".
Challenging the university directive, three students had moved the Delhi High Court in 2011 and the matter is still pending.
While the university officials maintained that the poll process was banned as the students' union activities were "vitiating" the academic atmosphere on the campus, they refused to comment on the possibility of reviving campus politics saying the matter is sub-judice.
"We cannot decide on the matter on our own as the matter is sub-judice. Once the court gives a nod, further formalities and processes will be set in motion accordingly," a university official said.
The last time the university went to polls to elect a new students' body was in December, 2005. The university had dissolved the elected body within four months of the taking over charge in March, 2006.
All the elected officer-bearers had at that time launched a protest against the dissolution of the elected body but they had to withdraw the agitation.