Student tears copy of CAA while receiving degree at Jadavpur University
KOLKATA : A student of Jadavpur University tore apart a page of a copy of the Citizenship Amendment Act while receiving her degree at the convocation ceremony, asserting that the gesture was her way of protesting against the contentious law.
After receiving her MA degree and medal at the Jadavpur University convocation on Tuesday, student Debosmita Choudhury asked for a moment on the stage, took out a copy of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and ripped it into pieces.
“Hum kagaz nahi dikhayenge (We will not show IDs). Inquilab Zindabad,” Debosmita Choudhury, a student of International Relations, declared before picking up her degree and walking off the stage.
The student said she chose to “dump” the CAA document at the podium where the vice-chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor and registrar were seated, as the new law made citizens prove their nationality.
“Let there be no confusion. I am not showing any disrespect to Jadavpur University. I am proud to be awarded this degree at my favourite institution. But, I chose this podium to register my protest against CAA… my friends are on a sit-in near the gate of the convocation venue,” she told Media.
Ms Choudhury said some of her friends refused to receive degrees from the Vice Chancellor in protest against the citizenship law. PTI quoted another student, Arkoprobho Das, as saying some 25 of his batchmates did not go to the podium to collect their degrees.
“We wore the convocation gowns, but when our names were called we did not go to the podium. This is our way of protesting,” he said. Earlier in the day, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s car was surrounded by protesters as he tried to enter the university for the convocation.
Jadavpur University has been among the centres of protests in Kolkata against the citizenship law, which, for the first time, makes religion a basis of citizenship.
The CAA facilitates Indian citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants, who are minorities in neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, if they fled religious persecution in these countries. Those protesting against the law call it unconstitutional because they believe it discriminates against Muslims and is therefore against secular principles.
Protests have swept through various cities, especially college campuses, after violent police action on students at Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University and the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh over two weeks ago.
(With inputs from PTI)