“Fee Hike par HallaBol!”
“Vice Chancellor jaag jaao!”
“Vice Chancellor murdabaad”
These were the words, the voice of the rebellious students, which were heard in the Post Graduate Government College, Sector-11, echoing as one, on the second day of the protest against PU fee hike, on April 6th, 2017.
April 5th, marked the first day of this protest when the students from PGGCG-11 and PGGC-11 marched upon the Vice Chancellor’s office at Panjab University to demand justice, to get what they consider to be their right. But after reaching there, they never got the chance to meet the Vice Chancellor as the barricaded roads and the police blocked their path. Even the VC did not come to answer the questions that the students had for him.
Though the police cooperated well with the students, some students from both the colleges were arrested with the aim of bringing down the spirit of the other protesting students. But the students firmly stood upon their ground. It is also alleged that there was a lathi-charge by the police as well.
On April 6, 2017, the students continued their protest, this time in their respective colleges. The police was called in for a backup by the college authorities keeping in mind the intense situation. The main gates were closed at PGGC-11 after 9:30 A.M. and the entrance to the premises were blocked by the students that were protesting with their hate-filled slogans targeted towards the university administration. Despite all attempts to curb the protest, girls from PGGCG- 11 were also seen at their college gate with a very stoic attitude. The students have now resolved to continue the strike in the college due to the previous day’s mishap.
Prabhjot Kaur, a 3rd year student of PGGCG- 11 said, “We aim for an even larger crowd to join us. The thing is, everyone is against this fee hike but very few are displaying their resentment. None of the protesting students from different colleges intend to react violently but we won’t drop it until this decision is withdrawn.”
The DUI visited PGGCG-11 the previous day with vague excuses for the cold response from the authorities. This drastic increase in fee is problematic for the lower as well as the higher economic class students, hence concession to few students won’t help much. Last year as well, PU subjected the students to a 5% increase in tuition fee and 30% increase in examination fee and it now appears as if the authorities will continue to do so to relieve their debts in the coming years. The students made it clear that political support is not needed for this strike and they alone have the potential to stand up against the fee hike.
A protesting student in PGGC-11, Aditya Aggarwal (B.Com, 1st Year), when asked about the fierce situation, replied: “The main aim of these protests is that the voice of the students reaches the PU administration and that we also generate awareness amongst the still-larger mass of students who do not even know about this ongoing movement in detail.”
The principal did not come to acknowledge the protesting students as he was busy with the Functional English Fest (check here) going on in the college at that time.
“Why is education becoming a profit-oriented business? Why is only 1.5% GDP spent on education when the actual GDP percentage provided for education is around 10%?”, asked a protesting student.
As the day went by, the students persistently protested against the fee hike, sitting at the entrance of the college with their non violent methods and strong will power to make a change. This agitation may take a turbulent turn if the students demands aren’t addressed because the students are adamant. “What is the point of giving exams when we can no longer strive here, with the increased fee?”, asked another protesting student, implying that they will boycott the examinations should the need arise.
About the Author:
I am a concoction of desires, seek solace in solitude. Circumspectly sarcastic. My pen is prompted by societal stimuli.
Anmol Sandhu (PGGC-11)
About the Photographer:
See the world through my lens and feast your eyes upon thousand words in one moment. Hi! I am Rashi. I am introvert but my camera isn’t.