The hunger strike by DUTA members enters the 29th day today. It seems that the strike and continued efforts to ruffle the Vice Chancellor are futile as there is no word of any policy changes from the administration.
The reason behind the indefinite hunger strike
The protest is mainly against the manner in which number of changes is being implemented in Delhi University. Also, the 61 member task force created by the VC for “redefining education” without seeking approval of the Education Council is a bone of contention. It is deducible that the actions of the Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh are not being kindly taken by the Academic and Executive Council. What has further added fuel to the fire is the fact that their protests are falling on deaf ears and the VC has chosen not to answer to any of the 50+ letters the Delhi University Teachers Association wrote to him.
The main points can be bulleted as
- Problem of ad hoc teachers in DU. – as these teachers are insecure about the job, their main focus is on getting a secure job rather than teaching students.
- Implementation of four year graduation course – It is imperative that such a crucial decision be taken only after consulting all essential people involved.
- Semester System – the System is new and many are finding problems in adjusting to it. These issues need to be addressed methodically rather than just imposing the system and forcing students and teachers to adjust quickly.
- Formation of task force – If the VC so desires, a task force should be formed for the right intentions. The only concern here seems the motive behind the team formed.
The strike and the violence
What started out as a hunger strike by 23 teachers on day one, took violent proportions in November when the teachers and other protesters brought an effigy to be burnt in front of the Vice Chancellor Office. The security personnel got into a heated argument about the effigy when it was brought who managed to take away the head of the effigy, but the rest was burnt by the angry protesters.
Students have joined the strike and expressed solidarity to the cause behind the agitation. Though many have started questioning – Is strike is the only way to be heard? This includes DUSU president Arun Hooda. It is actually a matter of great concern that when all across the country premier institutions chose to sort out matters in a more disciplined manner, why is it that DU, one of the best Universities in India has to resort to such measures?
It so happens that teaching as well as non teaching staff have expressed that they are open to discussions and even debates. They are ready to explain how their concerns are genuine, but it is sad to see that no one wishes to hear them out. Thus, the strike.