Representatives from South Asian community expressed their solidarity with the struggles of the students and faculties of various Indian universities to keep maintain the freedoms enshrined in the constitution in a meeting held in Birmingham, UK. The well attended meeting organised by the South Asian Alliance (SAA) started with listening to Joji a student activist with ‘Dalit Camera’ from the University of Kolkata who spoke through skype.
“The struggles of the students should be seen in the background of the various struggles of the people in different parts of India against the oppressive rule of the Modi regime,” Joji said.
“The RSS/BJP tries to give everything a moral colour like linking the JNU struggle with the number of condoms found in the campus and when this is done it finds a ready acceptance among morally conscious middle classes,” he added.
“The problem started when the students occupied UGC headquarters in New Delhi in response to government’s decision to cut fellowship to Phd students,” said Dr. Navtej Purewal of the SOAS University London. Dr. Navetej had visited the JNU campus recently and found the campus full of political graffiti. “In India these fellowship is the only way for the socially and economically backward to fulfil their academic aspirations. Hence the martyrdom of Rohit Vermula a dalit.”
“This cancellation itself is part of the various steps being taken to open up the higher education sector to foreign capital as per the agreement with the WTO,” she added.
“The slogan of ‘make in India’ is nothing but the selling of Indian labour cheaply to the MNCs,” said Mr. Sartej Dosanj of the Indian Workers Association. He said he felt very happy that after a very long time ‘Inqilab Zindabad is heard from the Indian Campus. For him the students like Kanhya are beacons of hope for the struggles of the people of India.
Reminding the experience of Emergency
Thampi Jose of UUKMA (Union of UK Malayale associations) also spoke against the oppression of students.
“Modi’s victory is fake one, that is why he is imposing fake cases on the people to survive,” Thampi said.
“Some 150,000 garment workers vast majority of them women came on to the streets and blocked the streets of Bangluru recently to protest a change in withdrawing their Provident Fund. They were not led by any trade unions or leaders something that shows people are willing to protest, “ said Thomas Sebastian of the South Asian Alliance.
“Capitalism is suffering from terminal illness and cannot survive without adding more and more burden of accumulation on to the people. Hence the need to increase oppression on the people while pretending that these are necessary to promote traditional morality and nationalism,” he added. Thomas Sebastian