NEW DELHI: Those opposing the four-year undergraduate degree programme of Delhi University are now rallying support from all quarters. The Save DU Campaign, which took the protest off campus and among the public, now has the backing of Aruna Roy, Prashant Bhushan andSitaram Yechury among others. On Thursday, they spoke at the public meeting organized by the dissenters at Arts Faculty in North Campus.
Member, National Advisory Council, Aruna Roy, said that the issue of DU is “(her) issue, too”. “If the constitution guarantees us sovereignty, no institution in India has any business changing anything without consultation. Any law or reform that impacts the public can’t be passed without consulting the public,” said Roy. She also assured teachers and students gathered that she will “take the issue as far as possible through the NAC” and that her organization, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana, is behind the protesters. She added that these reforms can’t be passed without considering the “impact on the country” and that if FYUP is implemented, “there’ll be pressure on other universities”.
Prashant Bhushan, representing the Aam Aadmi Party, said that the change being implemented is not minor but a “fundamental” one. “You have to think about the pros and cons and for that you have the UGCAct. To introduce even a new course, you have to take the opinion and permission of UGC and you have to take this six months before introducing the course,” he said.
CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said he will take up the issue in parliament and, if that does not work, he will send a delegation to the Prime Minister. He also said that a certain section of the government may feel the issue is the university’s internal matter but if it is not following the rules, it becomes a legal issue.
Sudha Sundarraman of AIDWA said she believed that the new programme with result in increased dropout rates among girls.
The meeting was attended by Amarjeet Kaur (CPI), P K Mazumdar (RSP and member, HRD standing committee), Pratap Samal (SUCI-Communist) and Tapan Sen (CITU, Rajya Sabha member). P A Sangma and Agatha Sangma couldn’t make it, neither could Mani Shankar Aiyar.