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Aishe flags digital divide worry

Undeclared emergency in country, says JNU students’ union president
SFI leader and JNU students’ union president Aishe Ghosh in Siliguri on Tuesday.
SFI leader and JNU students’ union president Aishe Ghosh in Siliguri on Tuesday.
Picture by Passang Yolmo

Our Correspondent   |   Siliguri   |   Published 30.12.20, 03:03 AM

SFI leader and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, here on Tuesday, underscored the “digital divide” that has cropped up in the education sector amid the pandemic and demanded that the central and state governments take initiatives to reopen education institutions immediately while adhering to health safety protocols needed to keep Covid-19 at bay.

Durgapur girl Aishe, who hit the national headlines in January 2020 for receiving severe head injuries allegedly by the ABVP on JNU campus while she was leading a protest against fee hike, was here to attend the 50th anniversary of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the CPM students’ front.

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“It is necessary that educational institutions reopen immediately to bridge the digital divide that has been witnessed in education across the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 70 per cent students are bereft of the online education system (as they lack Internet access). In the past few months, it has been found that the number of dropouts is on the rise. This is alarming,” Aishe said, urging schools, colleges and universities to open up “so that the inclusive system of education can resume”.

 “We will carry out a series of programmes (under the banner of the SFI) so that the governments make appropriate moves in this regard,” the student leader added.

On Tuesday, Aishe walked in a rally organised by the SFI that started from Bagha Jatin Park, moved through Kutcheri Road and Hill Cart Road, and ended at Mahatma Gandhi Chowk. Hundreds of SFI supporters and senior CPM leaders including Asok Bhattacharya and Jibesh Sarkar attended the rally.

Speaking to newspersons, Aishe lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over the recent controversy over the ancestral home of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen in Santiniketan. Authorities of the varsity, perceived to have Rightwing leanings, have accused Sen of encroaching on varsity land. Aishe pointed out that the Nobel Laureate had been outspoken and had said that democratic rights of people were violated.

She hit out at the saffron brigade and alleged an “undeclared Emergency” in the country. The BJP government, Aishe said, had promised two crore jobs ahead of the 2014 polls but never met it.

“These days, whether it is students or farmers, no one can speak up on their demands,” she said.

“As far as employment in concerned, situation has worsened as 15 crore people have lost their jobs in past six months but the RSS and the BJP are least bothered about it,” Aishe said.

“These days, people are deprived of their rights, farmers have launched a movement and as a whole key problems remain unaddressed,” said the JNU students’ union leader.

Aishe accused both the BJP and Trinamul of indulging in election-centric politics.

“Whether it is in the state (Bengal) or in the Centre, situation is same. Instead of trying to address the issues of the common people, both the governments are indulging in election-centric politics. We are against such political practices,” she said.



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