Hyderabad: Students from across various institutes including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, University of Hyderabad, and TISS’s Mumbai, Guwahati and Tuljapur branches, have come out in support of the students of the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) Hyderabad branch and condemned the decision of the TISS management in closing the academic campus for an indefinite period.
TISS students in Hyderabad are protesting the payment of enhanced hostel fees at one go instead of in instalments as was the case before.
The Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association, in its letter of solidarity stated, “We extend our solidarity to TISS Hyderabad, which is facing a wave of student protests against the fee structure and other anti-student policies of the TISS Hyderabad Administration. After the protests last year against the stopping of Government of India-Post Matric Scholarships (GOI-PMS) for students from marginalised communities this is the second time students are forced to protest against the anti-student policies.”
Meetings are being held across the student community regarding the course of action to support the student community at TISS, Hyderabad.
The hashtag #injusTISS was created on the micro-blogging site Twitter, through which students across the country have expressed their support to the TISS Hyderabad students and demanded that the management reopen the campus as soon as possible and not waste an academic year.
In the tweets TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, the Telangana Chief Minister’s Office, and minister of social justice were also tagged to seek their intervention. People’s rights stalwarts Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, and Shankar Singh from the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information wrote an open letter to the TISS management on Tuesday in which they said they are “deeply disturbed and dismayed” by the administration’s decision to close down the academic campus, sine die.
“We are also quite concerned at the manner in which the administration has sought to “respond” to the peaceful protests of the students, which includes young Dalit, Adivasi and women students.”
It further said that “we stand in solidarity with the student community at this moment in their struggle to uphold ideals of social justice and their right to seek accessible, quality education with safety and dignity. It pains us to state that the approach of not engaging adequately and comprehensively with the student's demands and unilaterally shutting down the Hyderabad centre does not behove an institution of the nature and status of TISS”.
The letter said TISS should revoke the administrative order to close the Hyderabad centre and “take necessary steps to ensure that Dalit, Adivasi and other students from marginalised and bahujan backgrounds have access to hostels and other amenities”. It also demanded proper medical support for students who have been on hunger strike....