After achieving “the solitary goal of restoring non-NET fellowship,” the ABVP claimed that the demands of the Occupy UGC protest were a “non-issue” and aimed “to promote Left ideology.” It also warned
After achieving “the solitary goal of restoring non-NET fellowship,” the ABVP claimed that the demands of the Occupy UGC protest were a “non-issue” and aimed “to promote Left ideology.” It also warned that if the Union human resources development ministry’s committee, mandated to expand and increase the benefit, submits an anti-students report in December, it will resume the protest.
“After meeting ABVP leaders, Smriti Irani (the minister for human resources development) said she would not discontinue the fellowship. That was the main demand, and we have achieved it. I do not know why these students (from left-wing groups) are still protesting,” ABVP’s Delhi state secretary Saket Bahuguna told this newspaper, adding that the committee needed time for deliberations on expansion and enhancement of the fellowship, which could not be decided on the streets.
Students started demonstrating in front of University Grants Commission’s headquarters on October 21 after it scrapped the fellowship for non-NET students. Dozens of university students are up in arms against the mandate of the review committee and demanding its dissolution.
“Left-wing students are now protesting for the sake of protest and are not genuine,” ABVP’s Delhi president Manu Kataria said.
On the other hand, voicing solidarity with the Occupy UGC stir, the Congress-affiliated NSUI said that the agitation was against saffornisation and privatisation of education. “All students groups are participating in the protests minus ABVP. The NSUI has been registering its anger on non-NET fellowship across various universities. You have to look at the nationwide picture. Don’t limit yourself to only Delhi where JNUSU is leading the agitation,” said NSUI vice-president Bharat Kumar.
Countering the ABVP’s “allegations,” Left groups contended that their fight was against “Brahminism,” which was served under the garb of merit and economic criteria given to the review committee.
All-India Students Association claimed that the ABVP was not allowed to participate in the sit-in due to its “hooliganism.”
“On the intervening night of 22-23 October, drunk ABVP students hurled abuses at us and pelted stones. Since then, we have asked them not to join the protest,” an Aisa leader told this newspaper.
Mr Bahuguna rejected the “allegations” and blamed Left students for “provocation.”
“When we reached the UGC headquarters, they started chanting anti-national slogans. This infuriated our cadres and led to an altercation.”