Thursday, August 12, 2010

Call for solidarity with Hunger Strike by University Community against Commonwealth Games

The "University Community for Democracy" is initiating a relay hunger strike from 12th of Aug onwards between 9 a.m and 9 p.m at Arts Faculty, North Campus, Delhi University against:
  • Eviction of students and labouring poor of the city in the name of Commonwealth Games.
  • Violation of legally guaranteed labour standards in the University in particular and in the city in general.
  • Lack of rent control around the university which has resulted in the sky rocketing of rent rates making accommodation for common students unfordable.
  • Arbitrary decision making and shrinking of democratic space.
The University Community for Democracy has been challenging a number of decisions taken by both Delhi University and the government with regard to the commonwealth games for over a month now. The Forum is deeply concerned by the gross violations of rights that the city has witnessed in the name of the Games and condemns the irresponsible manner in which Delhi is being prepared for this mega- event. 

Delhi University, in the middle of a semester finds itself at the heart if the CWG frenzy and as members of the university community we have come together to voice our dissent. One of the issues taken up by UCD is the eviction of students from hostels and the unbridled rise of rent rates all around the university. This has made housing unaffordable not only for students but all those who have been residing in these areas all along. The decision to accept 20 crores and to evict students was absolutely undemocratic and no heed was paid to the plight of students. We demand that the university take responsibility for it students by providing alternative accommodation, regulating rents and also subsidizing hostel fees the following year. 

UCD has submitted a petition to the National Commission for Women as the university is turning a blind eye to all the women students who have been evicted and for whom safety is a real issue. There are many practical difficulties that these women students are being forced to endure while having to negotiate their way around in a city that records an alarming number of cases involving sexual violence on women every day. The Dean of colleges has said on record that that the university administration can do nothing in effect and that the University is not responsible for this decision. We fight this battle with the university (which includes the colleges) while being fully aware that what we are being subjected to in the University is a direct outcome of the same reckless logic by which the rest of the city is being re-made.

This hunger strike provides us the opportunity to come together in solidarity as students, teachers, activists, journalists and all those who have been disposed by the state in the name of national pride. Let us come together and ask What is this aggressive nationalism which is obsessed with making hollow political assertions of super-powerdom while neglecting the labouring lives of millions? Let us gather and demonstrate our collective strength by asserting our rights and resisting the repressive attempts made to silence the people of the city.

Everyday 5 people (teachers, students, researchers and activists) will be on hunger strike and rest would join in solidarity. Today's 5 people are:

# Dr. Saroj Giri (Associate Professor, Department of Pol. Sc, DU)
# Jai Singh (B.Sc Applied Science, 1st year, Hindu College)
# Praveen (B.Sc Applied Science, 1st year, Hindu College)
# Raj Rani (M.A, Department of History, DU)
# Akshat (Ex-Student, Department of English)

Contact us at, Find us on Facebook "Resist Forced Eviction of Students in the Name of Commonwealth Games", Phone: 9873374945, 9818407882, 9312806280


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