MU issue not an isolated one: JNUTA

IMPHAL,1st Aug: Teachers’ associations of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University have extended support to the ongoing agitation being launched by teachers, students and staff of Manipur University in pursuance of demand for removal of vice-chancellor professor AP Pandey. Representatives of DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA), FEDCUTA and JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) held a press conference Wednesday at New Delhi and read out solidarity letters. They also expressed concern over rapid dismantling of higher educational institutions in the country particularly under the BJP regime.

JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) secretary Sudhir Suthar told media persons that the Manipur University issue was not an isolated event while pointing out the manner in which dismantling of higher educational institutions has been initiated under BJP regime across the country. Rather such attempts have been made at other universities such as DU, FTII, Hyderabad University among others. Former DUTA and FEDCUTA president Nandita Narain also expressed her concern over HRD Ministry’s denial of sending MU VC on leave despite an inquiry being conducted against him. It points out the ministry’s outright attempt to save the VC and was in contravention of established practice of sending VCs on leave during an inquiry, she said.

Teacher and women’s right activist Dr Maya John also spoke about the role of BJP government in expediting privatization of public-funded institutions by depriving them of funds and dismantling them by appointing subservient administrators and thereby curbing democratic movements in universities.

During the press conference, KSA vice presdient Sukham Bidyananda apprised media persons about the ground situation prevailing at Manipur University and raised concern about the future of the students of MU and affiliated colleges while blaming the BJP government for perpetuating the crisis and neglecting the larger interest of students.

Teachers’ bodies of different universities have voiced their concern over the situation in the Manipur University maintaining that professor AP Pandey appears to have been posted in the university to help militarise the university campus, Bidyananda said. He claimed that the government does not take the issue in the university seriously, thereby resulting in delay in resolving the situation till date and loss of academic career of several thousands of students.

In a bid to draw attention of the Centre towards resolving the issue, KSA met representatives of teachers of the Delhi-based universities in the national capital, and held a joint press conference at Indian Women Press Corps there, he informed. Extending solidarity to the protest of MU community, the teachers’ bodies demanded early solutions to the present crisis in Manipur University. They also recognised the ongoing agitation as a democratic movement and extended their moral support to the MU community.

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