A group of student activists and a few alumni of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences on Monday marched to the Ministry of Human Resource Development to show solidarity with the institute’s students who have been protesting since February 21 against the administration’s decision to withdraw financial aid to students from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class communities.
A group of student activists called Collective organised the march, and other organisations such as Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Pinjra Tod, the Democratic Students’ Union, the Students’ Federation of India and the All India Students’ Association, participated.
The students submitted a memorandum to Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, listing their demands.
Meanwhile, a few other students’ groups have also backed the TISS students’ protest. The Coordination of Science and Technology Institute Students’ Association, or Costisa, said TISS students had begun a strike since it was the last resort.
“In their statement, the students’ union of TISS stated that they have been trying to negotiate with the administration for months.”
The organisation claimed that the institute had been slowly moving towards privatisation for years. “The fees, after many-fold increases, has now reached Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 per semester,” Costisa said. “The institute has justified this outrageous fees by calling itself a premier institute. Exclusion of the majority from seeking and producing knowledge is now openly touted as the metric of eliteness. It is nothing but Brahmanism.”
The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Student Association has called for a protest in front of the Ministry of Social Justice at 3 pm on February 28.