After formally launching its students’ body last year, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has now announced the formation of a teachers’ body.
The 15-member body has already selected four teachers as office bearers. SA Jafferi, associate professor at Rajdhani College, is the president of the body.
Jafferi was earlier associated with Indian National Teachers Congress (INTEC) –the teachers body associated with the Congress between 2009 and 2011. Jafferi was also the officiating principal of Ram Lal Anand College (evening) between 2012 and 2015.
“I was not satisfied with the way they worked so I left. I was also associated with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement out of which the Aam Aadmi Party was born. I identify with the ideology of the party,” said Jafferi.
The other three office bearers are SD Siddiqui, associate professor with Aurobindo College, who will be the advisor, Devendra Kumar Singh of Aryabhatta College and Vivek Saxena of Deshbhandu College.
Siddiqui, also a former member of INTEC and a former Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) secretary, said it will take time for the body to grow.
“I was earlier a member of the INTEC but the Congress doesn’t really have a strong cadre in the university. The support there is just for particular candidates. I left that and have been associated with AAP for some time now. There was a demand for a formal body among the teachers. We will slowly build our organisation,” said Siddiqui.
AAP has enjoyed some popularity in DU in the past as well. Former DUTA member, Harish Khanna was the party’s MLA from Timarpur in the 49-day AAP government.
The party has been showing an increasing interest in Delhi University over the past one year. The party’s student wing, Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), was launched formally last year but had made its presence felt in 2014 as well. Last year, CYSS contested the students’ union elections.
A statement issued by the party said, “The party believes that the only way to lead change in India is through education and the teachers should be the vehicle of that change. The forum will engage with the teaching community on ideology and ethics of the party. The forum will also work to weed out corruption, nepotism and favouritism from the University system.”
The party is also looking at building its teacher cadre in time for the DUTA elections, which usually happen in August–September.
“There was a growing demand from the teachers for AAP to form a teachers body and the association is a result of this demand. Whether we contest elections or not depends on the support we get from teachers,” said a senior AAP official.