Thousands of Students From Across India March in Delhi Demanding Jobs, Better Educational Opportunities
More than 50 youth groups, student unions and organisations came together for the Young India Adhikar March.
New Delhi: Thousands of students from varsities across the country braved the winter chill and marched from the Red Fort to Parliament Street in Delhi on Thursday to demand better employment and educational opportunities.
More than 50 youth groups, student unions and organisations came together in December last year to form the Young India National Coordination Committee, under whose banner the Young India Adhikar March was held on Thursday.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said many young Indians have come to free the country from “this fascist government”.
“We know how students have been silenced ever since this government came to power. Today we are here to say in one voice that we won’t tolerate this anymore. I am so happy to see you coming together against this government and intolerance,” she told the gathering.
Former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar also took to the stage to express solidarity with the protesting students. Kumar’s one-liners revved the crowd with loud cheers and slogans.
“It seems Modi-ji has been in election mode right from the time he was elected. He speaks but has not been working. In the first year, Modi-ji was talking about cleaning Ganga and in the second year, he was talking about his own mother but when demonetisation came, he made his own mother stand in the queue. Then the issue was about ‘gai maata’,” he said.
Kumar said the government’s “anti-people policies” will be shattered.
Gujarat MLA and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani said there are only 100 days left for the election and this elections will ensure ‘ghar waapsi’ for the prime minister. “But we do not want to keep him in Gujarat,” he quipped.
All India Students Association (AISA) national president Sucheta De said students from all the universities who have been branded ‘anti-national’ have come here to place their demands.
Several issues were raised at the march including the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, bringing back the 200-point roster for faculty appointments and removal of hostel curfews for women.
“Fill all vacant government jobs and end the regime of paper leaks and corruption in recruitment. Spend at least 10 per cent of the budget on education. Stop the policy of school closure, seat-cut, fund-cut, fee-hike and reservation-cut in higher education,” the Young India charter released by the students’ groups said.
“End gender discriminatory rules, ensure girls’ hostel and effective anti-sexual harassment cells. End saffronisation of education. Ensure academic freedom and freedom of expression in campuses. Fulfil constitutionally-mandated reservation. Institute anti-discrimination cells in all campuses,” it added.