Amid threats to cancel thesis, activist slams Jamia Millia Islamia

When contacted by the professor and head of the sociology department he refuted Zargar's allegations and said all due process was taken.

Student activist and research scholar Safoora Zargar said that the department of sociology in Jamia Millia Islamia has threatened to cancel her MPhil thesis admission in a ‘discriminatory’ move.

In an interview to Maktoob Media, Safoora said that her application for an extension of the thesis has been put on hold by the university for nearly three months now.

“As of now I don’t know the status of my admission and nothing has been communicated to me,” Zargar told Maktoob.

MS Education Academy

On Thursday, Safoora, in a series of tweets explained how she was being discriminated against as compared to other students by the department.

“Since December 2021, I have been made to run from pillar to post for extensions that are easily given to other scholars in the university. While UGC has granted five consecutive Covid extensions I have been given only one. I was forced to apply for an extension under the women scholar category, only to be denied after months citing ‘unsatisfactory progress,” she said in a tweet.

She said that her work has been censored and rejected time and again for being ‘too political.’

Zargar began working on her thesis titled – Socio-spatial segregation among Muslims in Delhi. A case study of Ghaffar Manzil Colony” – in February 2019.

She completed three years in February 2022 with one COVID-19 extension and a normal extension given to all scholars.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country, the UGC declared that universities and higher educational institutions can provide a six months extension on a case-to-case basis after reviewing a student’s work.

The first extension was granted in June 2020 and started getting extended due to the country’s COVID-19 situation at that time.

When Zargar applied for the six-month extension, the department officials told her that she was not eligible as she had already taken one before.

“It defeats the entire purpose of the relief given by UGC. COVID have been here for two years and that is why there were consecutive extensions,” points out Zargar.

Zargar says she was forced to apply under the women scholar category. But after reviewing her draft, the Research Advisory Committee refused to give her an extension stating her fieldwork was not up to the mark.

“I have no information if any further steps are taken. It is causing me lots of anxiety. My rights were violated at the time when my COVID extension was denied. It is completely an arbitrary decision and I have the right to be heard at least,” Zargar said.

When contacted by the professor and head of the sociology department, Dr Manisha Tripathy Pandey, he refuted Zargar’s allegations and said all due process was taken.

Traumatic for the last two years: Safoora

Zargar described her experience as traumatic and discriminatory. “They have called me a dengai (rioter). They say my name has been blacklisted. In official records, my performance is described as poor,” said Zargar.

Zargar feels that her political views against CAA and her arrest under the UAPA while she was three months pregnant, it drew a lot of unwanted attention.

“They told me not to be ashamed of being pregnant. This was a replica of what was happening on national media about my pregnancy and I raised an objection against it,” Zargar said.

“If they can do this to an out-spoken person like me and get away with it, it exposes the larger issue of student-supervisor abuses in researcher’s circles,” she concluded.

Back to top button