DU teachers defy norms, protest outside V-C office
The teachers of Delhi University (DU) have defied the administrative warnings to hold a dharna outside the office of the vice-chancellor, Dinesh Singh, to protest against his refusal to talk with the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on the issue of one-sided decisions and announcements.delhi Updated: Jan 13, 2012 00:42 IST
The teachers of Delhi University (DU) have defied the administrative warnings to hold a dharna outside the office of the vice-chancellor, Dinesh Singh, to protest against his refusal to talk with the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on the issue of one-sided decisions and announcements.
The V-C had earlier written to the principals of all colleges and had asked them not to grant casual leave to any teacher and take strict action against teachers who miss work.
“This is like the imposition of emergency. The court did not stop us from protesting. It only said that teachers cannot miss work to protests against the semester system,” said Sanam Khanna, who teaches at Kamla Nehru College.
Teachers, meanwhile, stated that they did not miss any classes to attend the dharna and participated either before or after their classes.
Placards with ‘fascist V-C’, ‘dictator V-C’ written on them were clearly visible as teachers gathered to demand their rights.
The protest was attending by former Rajya Sabha MP and former president of DUTA, OP Kohli and sitting Rajya Sabha MP and leader of CPI, Gurudas Dasgupta.
Kohli criticised the university administration for refusing to enter into a dialogue with the teachers and said that the continued ‘obstinacy’ of the administration ‘reflected poorly on the university's image’. Dasgupta bemoaned higher education in India that had been commercialised, which was the reason for the downfall of the level of education in the country.
“Teachers are very angry and hurt with the attitude of the V-C. He refuses to meet the teachers’ collective, which represents the cause of teachers. Teachers’ role in policy making needs to be restored,” said Abha Dev Habib, member, DUTA.
“The total number of classes held on thursday were more than what is normally seen in the university and the classes were held smoothly,” said Singh.
St. Stephen’s teachers condemn principal’s actions, will sit on dharna
A day after DUTA held a protest against the V-C, the teachers of St. Stephen’s College are ready with their own protest against the college principal. The staff association of the college passed a resolution on Thursday condemning the “unjust” and “malafide” actions of the principal against teaching and non-teaching staff of the college.
“Another important catalyst for the dharna is the derogatory and threatening remarks in the minutes of the governing body meeting against a woman employee of the college who had taken up her complaint of sexual harassment. The college faculty has condemned any attempt by Valson Thampu to pressurise the complainant to withdraw her complaint or to take action against her,” the resolution signed by 44 teacher states.
Thampu could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. According to teachers, the victim has approached the apex committee to look into her case after the college complaint committee did not find evidence of sexual harassment. The teachers had, in December, written to the chairperson of the governing body to protest the manner in which MS Frank, a teacher, was allegedly being targeted by Thampu. The teachers will hold a dharna during lunch hours and will wear black bands throughout the day in protest.