In an exceptional display of student solidarity, the residents of Jamia’s boys hostel on Thursday, Nov. 22, collected and donated Rs.9000 to help pay for the fines of about a dozen students who were fined Rs.3000 each by the Jamia administration for protesting and going on a hunger-strike against a mess fee hike they deemed unjust, in the month of September this year.
Following a night-long protest against a mess fee hike by 250 students outside the Provost Office on Jamia campus on Sept. 27, many students were sent a show-cause notice by Jamia authorities, and subsequently after about two months, few of them were fined Rs.3000 while a few stand suspended too.
A sum of Rs.9000 was collected in the boys hostels on Thursday for the purpose of helping the students to pay the fine that the authorities imposed on them as punishment, a hosteller informed Jamia Journal. The student, wishing anonymity, said that it was a collective responsibility of all hostellers to help these students pay the fine. “We all protested for the fee hike and some of the students were fined. So it’s the responsibility of all of us to help them with it and stand with them”, he added.
On the question of what prompted the students to collect money, another hosteller said, “The common students of the hostel decided to start this campaign keeping in view the weak financial backgrounds of those who’ve been slapped with this fine”.
While the imposition of the fine has yet again raised concerns for the need of a strong students’ union, many see this money collection campaign by the students as a welcome step to strengthen student unity. “The hostellers contributed with great enthusiasm which reflects the sign of solidarity among students”, a student stated.
A student aghast over being fined and suspended for two weeks, added, “This has sent a strong message to the Vice Chancellor of the university that students stand united despite continuous efforts to break our unity.”