We feel left out, say North-East students of JNU
Many students are saying that major students’ organisations didn’t come to support them when North East Student’s Forum (NESF) of JNU protested against “rampant racial profiling of students with Mongoloid features in the campus”.
“None of the major student groups, came to support us when we protested against subtle racism prevalent in this university. But now, with elections around the corner, they are coming to ask for our votes,” said Paljor Tamang, a research scholar in JNU. There are close to 700 North-Eastern students in JNU.
In early May, the students, led by North East Students’ Forum (NESF), protested when a “racist dossier” allegedly written by some faculty members appeared in public domain. The dossier read: “Over 300 Kashmiri and North-East separatist activists are staying illegally in the hostels of JNU. They are the main force behind organizing anti-India activities, protest demonstrations, talks and lectures by separatist leaders in the JNU campus.”
Moreover, last month two North-East students were reportedly abused and manhandled by security guards. After this incident, JNU’s North-East community protested and blocked the main gates of JNU for four hours on July 15.
“Sometimes we do feel that the student organisations are not very responsive to the problems and issues faced particularly by North-Eastern students in the campus. But I think that we should speak for ourselves and we have done that time and again, whether it was regarding racial dossier prepared by some faculty members or incidents of racial profiling of N-E students by JNU security guards,” said C Zonunmawia, a Phd student.
In this year’s election, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) and Students Front for Swaraj (SFS) has taken up the cause of the North-Eastern students seriously. “Deep-seated racial prejudice exists in JNU. This became all too evident in the racial dossier. We will stand for the students from North-East in JNU,” said Dilip Kumar, presidential candidate from SFS.
“BAPSA stands against the growing normalisation and institutionalisation of racial prejudices in JNU,” Sonpimple Punaram, presidential candidate of BAPSA said.