By Mudita Girotra
New Delhi, (IANS): It’s been more than a week since clashes erupted outside Delhi University’s Ramjas College post the forceful suspension of an event to be addressed by JNU student Umar Khalid, but the situation in the varsity’s north campus still remains unruly and disruptive.
Since the February 22 disturbances, there have been continuous protests by different student wings on the grounds of their respective political ideologies.
In fact, a protest march on Tuesday saw thousands of students coming together to demand peace and their right to expression in their colleges and in the university.
The high-on-vibe DU north campus always boasts of a great atmosphere, giving students the glitter of their college life.
Anybody familiar with its appeal feels distressed at the huge police force deployed around the campus for crowd control during the marches.
“It feels panicky with the police roaming all around the campus. Because the February 22 episode was so disturbing, you don’t know when you might get beaten up,” Akrity Raina, a first year student from Hindu College, told IANS.
“This issue cannot be resolved by giving it a left v/s right perspective. You have to deal with it from the aspect of the regular students here to normalise the atmosphere in the university,” she added.
“They are unnecessarily politicising the issue,” Khushboo Upreti from the same college noted.
Upreti said that she feels insecure with “barricades everywhere and shops getting closed every so often”.
“The atmosphere is very bad. This is very new to the DU campus,” she said.
Students with no political inclination are certainly finding it harder and more inconvenient than others to adjust to the commotion and turmoil. Most of them feel that the issue is being unnecessarily stretched and can only be resolved if both the parties decide to enter into a dialogue.
For Khalsa College student Jasmeet Singh, “coming to college has become so inconvenient” as he doesn’t participate in any of the protests. “I come to college for my studies and to hang out with my friends,” Singh told IANS.
“These protests will anyway not resolve anything,” Singh maintained.
For Ramjas College student Nikhil Saini, “the matter could’ve been easily sorted. They have dragged it for their own political motives”.
Students and professors feel that the spirit and colour of north campus has been lost in the darkness of protests.
Many of them complain that academics are getting affected with the rescheduling of classes and the deferment of internal tests.
According to Miranda House professor Nitish Kashyap, the disruption in the campus is going to affect the academic life as it attracts the masses. “You cannot keep the university immune from it,” he said.
“If academics takes a spiral downward, it will badly affect the students,” he added.
Hansraj College student Kriti Priya, recalling the February 22 disturbances, told IANS: “We were not allowed to move out of our hostels. There was so much of terror. Many of our friends were robbed of their wallets and phones. There is fear that something of the same kind might happen again.”
“The issue is being exaggerated. All these protests are unnecessary. The atmosphere in campus these days is not student-friendly. Classes are suspended because of safety issues,” said Hansraj College student Tanushree.
Ramjas College professors said that the number of students coming to class has gone down.
“There are too many protests happening in the university post the February 22 clashes. It is affecting the studies. Thirty per cent of the students don’t come to class due to the fear of violence, Praveen Kumar, a mathematics professor at the college, told IANS.
Masters student Tazeen Ali felt that with the similar kind of sloganeering happening everyday, the police have got bored.
“Look at their faces! There is nothing new happening for them. I don’t feel like I am coming to campus. The number of policemen and women tells us how grave the situation is,” she said.
“My friends were groped by ABVP workers on the day of clashes. It’s still unsafe to wander around the campus,” said a Miranda House student who didn’t want to be named.
Law Faculty student Pranav Shukla had the last word.
“Enough is enough,” Shukla asserted while speaking to IANS.