22 November 2016| 12:44 PM: Three days ago, Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation(BASO) successfully collected more than 900 student signatures in favour of convening a University General Body (UGBM) Meeting on the agenda: “Justice for Najeeb: The Way Forward.” The UGBM is the most democratic and highest decision-making body of the campus.
The UGBM was especially significant for a number of political groups on the campus had repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction on the ways in which #JusticeForNajeeb movement was being steered by the Students’ Union. BASO in its parcha called the “steps taken by JNUSU” hampering and confusing, thereby “weakening the movement.” Justice for Najeeb Ahmad Front (JUNAF) went a step ahead and asked the students to “question JNUSU’s commitment to the cause”; in its parcha it warned AISA-SFI that “they can no longer fool Muslims which can then serve well as an election strategy.” JNUSU parcha in return focused on the successes of the Union, and asked the students to remain vigilant “against the steps resorted by the administration to scuttle this process.”
The gathered students sat huddled in groups, occasionally around bonfires with a regular supply of fuel coming from Sabarmati bushes in the vicinity. “In the winter air, you can feel the coldness and arrogance of the Union,” a student remarked. ABVP did not participate in the UGBM.
Almost all student groups except AISA-SFI criticised the “highhandedness and unilateral approaches” of the Union. The mistakes made by the Union were recollected and sharp criticisms from pained hearts resonated in the Sabarmati ground–the iconic place for the UGMBs. The handful of the AISA-SFI Councillors who spoke next defended the Union and attacked the “rabble-rousers for misleading the students.” Then came the Office Bearers who made passionate speeches and stressed on the need of unity amongst the students in what they called an hour of crisis.”
The UGBM lasted until wee hours in the morning. After the students, Councillors and Office Bearers had spoken, the head counts began at around 4:30am in the morning, and as almost everything else in JNU, involved much brouhaha and hullaballoo.
Amidst ten resolutions that were tabled, Councillors were accused of not sealing the house properly. Students went on near the stage when their proposals were not tabled and Gen Sec Satarupa was accused of ” donning the clothes of a class monitor.” President Mohit was criticised for using words what some perceived derogatory against women folk and Shakeel Anjum, the former General Secretary of the Union openly bashed the AISA-SFI Councillors for “fake counting” and messing with the head count numbers. The “fake counting” argument drew boos from the AISA-SFI side after which a recount was demanded. Indeed, the recount saw the numbers falling from 198 to 182. The AISA-SFI section then raised voices against the video recording of the house by a BAPSA member.
In the end, AISA-SFI prevailed. Most of the resolutions put forward demanded stronger actions against the Administration and the students who had attacked Najeeb. The resolutions that were critical of JNUSU lost by an average of around 70 votes. Concluding the UGBM, President Mohit reminded the students of the upcoming Parliamentary March tomorrow and requested the students to join in huge numbers.