Ashoka University students demand caste census, anti-discrimination cell in varsity

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Ashoka University.

Sonipat: At Ashoka University in Sonipat Haryana, the Social Justice Forum, representing students advocating for the rights of various minority groups, initiated an online petition for a comprehensive caste census.

With over 2000 students at the university, the forum had previously pushed for an Anti-Discrimination Cell, a demand that the Vice Chancellor accepted, committing to its establishment in the next semester, online news website Mooknayak reported.

While the VC also announced the creation of an Equal Opportunity Cell to address discrimination on campus, the Forum sees this as insufficient.

They stress the importance of the university actively engaging with the diverse needs of different groups.

The proposed committees are expected to be operational in the next semester, with elected student representatives playing a crucial role.

However, the forum challenges the concept of ‘free and fair election’ by calling for a caste census of students and employees.

Insisting on a comprehensive approach, the forum demands a caste census covering everyone on campus.

They see this as a fundamental first step to address specific needs and improve diversity initiatives.

Originating from the YIF batch of 2023, the Social Justice Forum gained over 200 signatures for the anti-discrimination cell petition from alumni and current students.

Their current goal is to ensure an equitable foundation for the proposed Anti-Discrimination Cell.

In a discussion with Mooknayak, a students’ representative at Ashoka University highlighted instances of discrimination, including concerns about a separate counter for Jain and Vegan food potentially creating divisions among students based on dietary choices.

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