Sudden protests in Oxford and London, Indian students sing slogans used during the British colonial period
LONDON: Students and academics from universities in London and the University of Oxford participated in protests on Monday to show solidarity with the students of Delhi, many of whom had been brutally attacked inside their university campus on Sunday night.
More than 50 graduate students, researchers and academics from the University of Oxford protested in front of the Radcliffe Chamber, while a group of 60 to 70 students and academics gathered on the steps of SOAS University in London.
Pooja, 24, an Indian PhD student from Kerala who organized the rapid protest in London through the SOAS India Society, said protesters chanted Inquilab Zindabad and recited the patriotic poem by Bismil Azimabadi Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, which was immortalized by Ram Prasad Bismil as a war cry for freedom during the British Raj.
From noon, Oxford students held posters that said Oxford with JNU and Oxford against brutality in JNU, while they were singing We are with you JNU and Stay strong JNU. They sang Urdu Nazm by Faiz Ahmad, Hum Dekhenge, and read the preamble of the Constitution of India.
More than 50 people at the University of Oxford had signed a statement on Monday night demanding that the Indian government take strong measures against thugs who attacked students at JNU and independently investigate the role of the police in that incident and others in The last weeks. It also requires that the government pay attention to public opinion against the Citizenship Law (Amendment), repeal the recent anti-Muslim clauses within it and the previous amendment concerning the National Registry of Indian Citizens.
Sameer Bhat, 23, of Srinagar , the first Rhodes Kashmir Fellow, who is reading a master's degree in global governance and diplomacy at Linacre College, Oxford, which helped organize the protest, said the participating students were Hindus, Muslims and all religions. “Previously, the protest we held in Oxford was about the CAA, but it was about violence in JNU, as well as police inaction. Many tourists and passersby stopped and talked to us. Many of us have friends studying at JNU. There are news reports that say ABVP was involved in the violence. We are against any type of violence that is committed in the students or in the students' facilities. We want universities to be safe for students. They should be allowed to express their views and not be afraid to express dissent against the government. We are completely against the government's response to the protests that have been held throughout India.
On Sunday night, about 20 Oxford students had gathered at the same place to hold a candlelight vigil as soon as reports of violence in JNU on Sunday reached them.
On Monday at 10 in the morning, a group of 60 to 70 people gathered on the steps of the SOAS University in London with posters saying Students from the United Kingdom with JNU and AMU, we will not forget.
“It was students, research academics and academics from multiple London universities: SOAS, LSE, Kings, Middlesex, UCL, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Birkbeck, who opposed state violence against students from all universities Indians, as well as the CAA and NRC, said Pooja, who organized the London protest at SOAS.
“They were mainly Indians, but there were some people from Pakistan and Bangladesh and some students from studies in South Asia. We organized it on Sunday as soon as we learned of the violence of a student of the UN. We are protesting against the government because we do not like this new face of India and we believe in India that was built in 1947 under our Constitution. We want to show solidarity with the students of AMU, JMI and JNU, as well as with the Muslims, and we oppose the increases in rates in public universities, ”he added.