With the convocation of Jadavpur University (JU) just two days away, the university campus has become a centre of activity with majority of students and teachers deciding to boycott the event, a section of teachers going on a hunger strike and the vice-chancellor appealing to all urging to make the function a success.
Several members of Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) have decided to boycott the convocation and 20 of them are getting ready to go on a hunger strike from 5 pm on December 23 until vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakarbarti is removed and campus security is tightened.
With the campus on the boil, Chakrabarti once again appealed to the teachers and students on Monday urging them to make the convocation a success. “The teachers are the guiding light of the students and by boycotting the convocation, they would not be fulfilling their duties. Also, they will be setting a bad example. I urge them to join the convocation. Many of the teachers have already assured me they will come,” Chakrabarti said.
“I am hopeful that the students would be joining the convocation as the number of registrations has gone up by 10% this year compared to our last convocation,” he added. The teachers are, however, not ready to budge. “There is no binding on any teacher. Some of them feel that they should be at the convocation even if it is for a very short time. Hence, they will be going to the convocation from our hunger strike dais,” said Nilanajana Gupta, the general secretary of JUTA.
“We, however, do not want to disrupt the convocation. So, we are carrying out the hunger strike far away from the venue,” Gupta added.The students across all faculties, too, held a general body meeting to decide on their stand.
“Students from all three faculties of the university — arts, science and technology — attended a joint general body meeting on Monday after which all of us have decided to boycott the convocation. We have also appealed to our PhD scholars to do the same. Instead of attending this event, we will organise a cultural protest at the university ground from 6pm on December 23 to 6pm on December 24. Our protest site is far from the convocation venue. So, there is no question of any disruption,” said Gitashri Sarkar, the general secretary of the arts faculty.