Student bodies up in arms

Student bodies up in arms

Student organisations have come out against the High Court’s order banning protests that disrupt the normal functioning of educational institutions. The organisations are contemplating a legal challenge against the order which ruled that strikes, rallies and gheraos that affect classes should not be held on school and college campuses.

In a statement, Students Federation of India State secretary K.M. Sachin Dev said the HC order tramples upon Constitutional rights. The ruling goes against Article 19 of the Constitution which guarantees the Right to Freedom of Speech and to assemble peacefully.

“It is the right of students to raise their voice when even their right to study is being threatened due to the stands taken by private managements and even the government. The ongoing protest in JNU is a case in point. The Arooja’s school in Ernakulam also witnessed a similar protest this week. Campus politics plays a key role in turning students into secular, social beings who are aware of their democratic rights. It is the politically aware students of the country who are now raising their voice against the anti-Constitutional stands taken by the government,” said the statement

The SFI pointed out the instances of private managements torturing students, like in the case of Jishnu Pranoy, on apolitical campuses.

Plea to govt., oppn.

Kerala Students Union State president K.M. Abhijith said the government and Opposition should legally challenge the order

“Our campuses are very much part of the ongoing struggle for democracy in the country. These students are adults, having voting rights. It is unfortunate if anyone thinks that their right to protest should be curbed. Disruptions of classes do not happen so often. We call for such strikes only in crucial situations. The High Court seems to have some misunderstanding regarding this. The KSU will move legally against the order,” said Mr. Abhijith.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) State joint secretary Manu Prasad said that a blanket ban on protests would not work in a democratic country.

“In the past too, we have taken the position that everyone should have a right to protest democratically. Similarly, those who do not want to take part in the protests should have a right to stay away from it. The danger of such orders is that the private managements will use it to impose a blanket ban on all protests, even though the order does not say so,” said Mr. Prasad.

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