O.P. Jindal Global University Students Suspended for Distributing Magazine in Campus, Students on Hunger Strike

O P Jindal Global University Students Hunger Strike

A group of students from O.P. Jindal Global University Sonipat, distributed a magazine called “Nazariya”, an English language magazine focused on issues of working class, farmers, students, and intellectuals within their campus and have been suspended for the same. On 28th July 2023, the students were told to remove their stall by the university administration. We were told that this was because the stall coincided with another event occurring on campus which would “confuse the students” about the two events. The other event was a welcoming event for incoming freshers while this was a magazine stall, both occurring in different areas of the campus. When the students questioned the logic behind this approach, they were heckled by campus security who snatched three copies of the magazine, claiming that the content was “objectionable” and that they will take the copies to “inspect its content.” The stall was then forcefully removed.

On 29th July 2023, the students once again set up the stall. This time, a large cohort of campus security surrounded the stall and confiscated all the magazines forcefully. They snatched all posters, the flex board and removed the stall set-up. The students were simultaneously emailed a suspension order by the Chief Proctor’s office which stated that, “the Chief Proctor’s Office has taken suo moto cognizance of the unruly/disorderly conduct with the intention of disrupting the integrity of the university campus. It has been brought to our attention that you have set up a stall within University premises (Adda) without the permission of any authority and are distributing politically sensitive materials and issuing calls to the larger student community to disrupt the day-to-day functioning of an educational institution despite you being asked to seize from continuining these activities.” The suspension order, laughably, also states, “the Chief Proctor tried to talk to you but you misbehaved with the Chief Proctor by raising your voice and cutting the phone on his face.” This form of assertion, which assumes that the students must talk in only a certain ‘acceptable’ manner with the Chief Proctor after he ordered the seizure of their belongings and curtailed their democratic right to freedom of thought and expression, cannot form any part of a formal suspension!

The students immediately declared a hunger strike and a sit-in protest on the spot, with Mukundan, a second year BA. LLB (Hons). student going on hunger strike. Ramnit Kaur, a third year BA. LLB (Hons). student and Val Varshri, a fifth year BA. LLB (Hons). student went on the sit-in protest alongside Mukundan. We question the nature of the university administration which has suspended these students for distributing a magazine that talks of agrarian crisis in India, caste and bonded labour as well the debt issue of farmers, claiming that such material is ‘politically sensitive.’ Similarly, the students had written a pamphlet which they shared with the magazine titled, “Why Students Must Be Political,” arguing that the inherent nature of education is political and therefore students must take part in movements of landless farmers and the working class. The pamphlet urged students to work in a collective spirit with farmers and workers. This was found objectionable by the university administration. As of the morning of 30th July, 2023, the hunger strike and sit-in protest is still on-going. Mukundan is yet to receive basic humanitarian care at the hands of the university administration which has not even sent a medical practitioner to check up on this student’s health. The fundamental right of students to freedom of thought and expression is curtailed by the administration in its attempt to suppress political thought and initiative from students. The students are repeatedly informally told that their demands are all accepted but until now, the university is yet to accept their demands in any formal manner. The students have made the following demands:

1. The suo moto suspension must be revoked unconditionally. Such a suspension was placed on the students with no formal procedure and only on the prejudices of the Chief Proctor’s office.

2. A formal negotiation process is initiated in which an alumni of the university, over whom this administration has no leverage, chosen freely by the students, negotiates with the university.

3. The seized magazines, flex board and posters are returned in entirety unconditionally.

4. The university issues a public apology for its actions and its curtailment of students’ democratic rights.

5. The private university must allow students to engage in political discourse freely on its residential campus without restraints of the administration deciding what is and isn’t “politically sensitive.”

by Nazariya Magazine, an anti-feudal anti-imperialist magazine.

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News