New Delhi: With Jamia Millia Islamia completing 100 years Saturday, the university’s students and alumni observed the centenary by showing their solidarity with those students who have recently been arrested.
Jamia students Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar were arrested last month in connection with the February Delhi riots. Both were subsequently charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Following this, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, the president of the Jamia Alumni Association, was booked under UAPA in the last week of April.
On Thursday, another student, Asif Iqbal Tanha, was slapped with UAPA, two days after being arrested.
With a total of three students and one alumnus under arrest, the university’s students and others, tweeted with the hashtag #StandWithJamia in a show of support and solidarity, which soon began to trend on the microblogging site.
— Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub (@Mdzeeshanayyub) May 23, 2020
“Protests को crime मानना दिखाता है कि कुछ बड़ा घपला है। #StandWithJamia” (When protests are seen as a crime, it shows that there is something very wrong,” actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub tweeted.
Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohith Vemula, also extended her solidarity to the students. Rohith Vemula was a student of University of Hyderabad, and committed suicide in 2018 after facing casteism and alleged harassment there.
My son Rohith was martyred in struggle for inclusive education. He was vilified & hounded. Today I am enraged to see similar attacks & arrests of Jamia students by brahminical regime. They don't want students from marginalised communities to get higher education. #StandWithJamia
— Radhika Vemula (@vemula_radhika) May 23, 2020
Asif Tanha Iqbal
They are all in jail because they fought fot equal citizenship for Indian Muslims. Each minute of our lives must be spend in the fight to get them justice.#StandWithJamia
— ️Ladeeda Farzana (@ladeedafarzana) May 23, 2020
The three students, Haider, Zargar and Tanha, are all part of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), which is a group of Jamia students and alumni. The students were part of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests that took place in December and January.
The Delhi Police have accused them of inciting the mob in the riots that took place in February.
Jamia’s illustrious legacy
The students also spoke of Jamia’s legacy — the university has produced a number of renowned actors, journalists, and academicians in the last 100 years. Some of the names on its alumni rolls include actor Shah Rukh Khan, senior journalist Barkha Dutt, cricketer Virender Sehwag and historian Mushirul Hasan. The university also has its roots in India’s freedom struggle.
— Nabiya Khan | نبیہ خان (@NabiyaKhan11) May 23, 2020
Jamia has produced an amazing alumni like Shah Rukh Khan, @khanumarfa Barkha Dutt, Virendar Sehwag, and scholars like Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi. That is it's legacy so if you plan to judge a university by its history, here's some for you. I can get you more. #StandWithJamia
— Saif Ul Islam (@SaifulJamia) May 23, 2020
Jamia emerged out of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation movement in 1920 against the British, as part of which Indians refused to heed to the rules of British systems, including universities. While it was based out of Aligarh at the time, the university campus was moved to its present location, Delhi’s Okhla neighbourhood, in 1935.
Jamia students played a very significant role in awakening the community & making the anti CAA movement a national phenomena. This is precisely why they're criminalised. They fought for us, and this is the time that we #StandWithJamia.
Please join the twitter campaign.
— Sharjeel Usmani (@SharjeelUsmani) May 23, 2020
Students and alumni reminded people of Jamia’s history, while also questioning why its students have been arrested. Zargar, one of the arrested students, is nearly four months pregnant and lodged in Tihar Jail.
#Safoora is a symbol of resistance, 3 month pregnant has been arrested without any proof against her
She is the warrior who uses pen to tell world about the atrocities on students
— Fahad Ahmad (@FahadBombay) May 23, 2020