• OU students protest CAACAA is a talking point on the unofficial Instagram handle of the ISB batch that will graduate next year
  • A group of ISB students attended a protest held by various students groups at the Arts College in Osmania University on Tuesday evening

Hyderabad: The fire of protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has spread to Hyderabad over the last few days, touching even the elite Indian School of Business (ISB). No protests have been held on the campus, but a group of students has been actively participating in demonstrations on other campuses and across the city to show their support.

Since 15 December, when baton-wielding police cracked down on protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), students and faculty members at University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) have been holding demonstrations against both the Act and the police action.

At MANUU, semester exams that began on 14 December have had to be postponed after students boycotted them on Monday. They have been holding protests since Sunday evening. Some students from ISB, who wanted to show solidarity, went across to MANUU earlier this week. “We were not let inside by the police but we spoke to the students from MANUU. When we went back again, the police had cordoned off the road, 500 metres ahead of the gates, and forced us to leave,” said an MBA student from ISB, who did not want to be named.

He added that there have been discussions about CAA, and that these will continue in ISB students’ clubs. “The administration won’t give permission for a protest, but they cannot stop us from holding discussions in our internal clubs,” the student said.

A group of ISB students attended a protest held by various students groups at the Arts College in Osmania University on Tuesday evening. “Our meeting with the MANUU students earlier this week was amazing, even though we met them only at the main gate. We could exchange ideas and offer support. I went to Osmania University on Tuesday with some others from ISB and participated in the march,” the ISB student said.

On the unofficial Instagram handle of the ISB batch that will graduate in 2020, CAA is a talking point. One Story asked students’ for solutions to the CAA issue and student protests across the country. On Wednesday, another Story was out, informing students of a ‘Bonfire Discussion’ on CAA on the campus. “What is education worth, if we can’t talk about it?” it said.

Hyderabad universities event ISB students citizenship Bill protests participate

An official from ISB’s administration, also seeking anonymity, said that no protest has been held on campus. “Even if students do plan to organize something, it will be a discussion rather than a protest.”

In contrast, the reaction on other campuses in Hyderabad, has been strong. In UoH, some faculty members joined students in protests on Tuesday evening. Together, they raised slogans and burnt a copy of the CAA during a protest or mashal juloos or torch procession. UoH was site of raging protests over the 2016 suicide Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula over alleged caste discrimination on campus.

“These protests will continue until the Centre comes up with an alternative. I don’t remember seeing so many protests in different places in recent history. All members of society along with the student community have gathered to protest in national interest,” said Mohammed Abdul Nayeem, an assistant professor at the ICFAI Business School.

Meanwhile, student groups and civil society organizations in Hyderabad are gearing up to participate in protests across the city from Thursday onwards. While many student bodies are expected to turn up for a nationwide protest rally from the historic Charminar towards the exhibition grounds in Hyderabad on Thursday, another demonstration will be held at Necklace Road on the same day at 4pm.

Prior to this, one of the first demonstrations against the citizenship law was held at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park by social and political organizations on 15 December. As many as 1,000 people from different walks of life came together in protest. It was followed by protests by student organizations from MANUU, Osmania University, and the English and Foreign Languages University.

(Courtesy Livement)