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Branch divide among engg students: CSE, ECE students treat ENE, Biotech students badly

A reputed engineering college (name unknown) in New Delhi witnessed a massive brawl over a not-so-petty issue recently. The college, dubbed “notorious” for students using exam seasons to protest against scamming administrators, saw yet another massacre in the form of a huge protest by a section of the students. These students call themselves “Dalits” because they “belong to the downtrodden branches of the engineering students fraternity”. “There are other illustrious sections of students dominated by the ECEs and the CSEs. We are the environmental engineering (ENE) and biotechnology (BT) students in this college,” said a student leader.

They claim to be mocked at by “the elite class”, and are often referred to as “un-mentionables” by them. These “impoverished” people are allegedly devoid of the basic amenities in college like air-conditioned rooms, lecture halls, proper lights, etc. Apart from this, they are often held responsible for degrading statistics in terms of jobs and placements. According to sources, these people are even restricted in certain areas of the college which are visited by the students of the “higher” (=more lucrative) branches only. Students say they are ill-treated by the canteen staff, and are subjected to this ordeal in the form of ferocious looks by the chaiwallahs as well. A protesting student shares his grief, “The filthiest of the matchbox-sized tutorial rooms sans any proper fans are allocated to us. Wherever we go, we are the bearers of this burden of the lower and downtrodden tag. Be it the office or the library, sarcasm, mockery and taunts are now inseparable parts of our lives. We also worked hard and got selected in this institution, but a lower branch selection ruined our lives.”

A small group of about 8 boys from the “influential” branches are also part of the protest. “All of us have a crush on the same girl, who studies Biotechnology. But, due to the discrimination, it is shameful for us to even express our crush openly. So we decided to join this,” said one of them. During fests, the “Dalits” are forced to sit at home by others, because of the “spoilsport” tag that they have in college. It is believed that their presence would bring gloom, and steal away the splendour of the fests. It is a superstition that the smiling faces of the ENE and BT students bring curse to the events.

“The matter grew worse every day. One day, a CSE student, who sat on the same desk as me in the exam, didn’t help me with my question paper. I thought we’ve had enough,” said Farukh Engineer, an environmental engineering student, who initiated the agitation. The students belonging to such branches of engineering, filled with rage and fury, started the protest last week. Some even called for an indefinite hunger strike to achieve a formidable status in the college campus. The college premises are full of posters which mention their demands. The echoes of Hamein Insaaf Do were heard in every nook and cranny of the college. The college has 120 environmental engineering students, and 80 students study biotechnology across four batches each.

“We are treated brutally by every department. But what upsets me the most is the ignorant attitude of the librarians towards us. The moment they get to know our branch, our issued books (if any) are snatched away from us, with lame excuses of inadequacy or unavailability. They even restrict us from taking the books because they feel that those books would be mishandled by juveniles like us,” as quoted by a meek ENE student.

Anxious about the plight of the college reputation, the Director called for several meetings which ended up futile. The stubborn students challenged the director and gave threats. They have accused him of himself being biased in terms of “branch divide”.

The students who faced the atrocities are still on a strike and the status remains uncertain.

About the author

Mansi Ghai


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