“I Oppose Any Law That Divides Nation”: BHU Student Rejects Degree Over CAA
A student of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Rajat Singh, refused to accept his Masters (History of Arts) degree at the annual convocation and degree distribution ceremony in solidarity with students who were arrested for protesting against CAA.
“I am a History of Art student and we had our convocation Tuesday. I did not accept my degree because several students were arrested during protests against the new citizenship law on December 19 and I oppose the arrests. I oppose this communal law, I oppose any law that attempts to divide the nation.” The Indian Express quoted Rajat as saying.
He further added that the university remains unaffected by the ordeal the students had to face.
“ Especially those students, who were to have their convocation alongside us today, they are in jail and the university does not care about this. That is why I won’t accept this degree,” he said.
Rajat Singh, student of BHU refused to accept his Masters degree in protest against CAA.
He said – "I can not accept my degree when 70 students are in jail".#CAA_NRCProtests #NRC_CAA_Protests@Mdzeeshanayyub @Akhil1490 @Vidyut @kabira_tweeting @_YogendraYadav @HasibaAmin pic.twitter.com/3Y5cinD2Nj
— JAC_BHU (@JacBHU) December 24, 2019
In the video that has now gone viral, Rajat can be seen talking to Dean of the arts faculty, who was offering him his degree. His words, however, were inaudible.
There were extensive protests in Varanasi against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC.
The university had previously issued a statement instructing students to not participate in the protests.
The department and faculty heads were asked by the varsity to advise their students to stay away from such activities and help in maintaining an academic atmosphere.
Priyesh Pandey, Joint Action Committee (JAC) member and a first-year MA student at BHU, alleged that 12 students from BHU were arrested last week, and are still in jail.
“Among the 12, there are 3 Ph.D. students and one BA student. The remaining are MA students. On Tuesday, these students were denied bail by a sessions court and the next date of hearing is January 1. These students are in jail and the administration is doing nothing,” he said
“If they [police] send us a record of those arrested, we can match that with our dossier… Only then we can say anything for sure. Also, even if someone has been arrested while breaking the law outside the BHU campus, there isn’t much the university can do. There is no reason why the BHU should be bothered if someone is doing something in their personal capacity,” said the university spokesperson Rajesh Singh
The university said that if an arrest has been made outside the BHU campus for breaking the law, there is not much that the university can do.
“These persons were not arrested from the BHU but from Beniyabagh while protesting along with a crowd of nearly 400 others. They are not BHU students but there were some leaders from left front parties. They had come with a plan despite knowing that a protest was not allowed there as Beniyabagh, which is around 8 km from BHU, is a sensitive area. We did not even go to the BHU and we cannot confirm if there is any BHU student [among those arrested],” SSP Chaudhary said.