Are The Faculties Always At Fault?

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Saheli Dey

Scene 1: Jadavpur University’s Vice-Chancellor, Sachin Sen, had been shot dead during the Naxal movement in West Bengal.

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Scene 2: RED HAMMER OVER CALCUTTA UNIVERSITY. During late 80s the Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University Prof. Santosh Bhattacharya was manhandled day after day by the students and the employees affiliated of the Left Front regime.

Scene 3: Kolkata’s prestigious Presidency University Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia remained under gherao by protesting students since Friday evening (August 21 2015), putting a question mark over its third convocation ceremony scheduled for later in the day.

Scene 4: The VC of the CU Sugata Marjit manhandled by a section of agitating students at Vivekananda Womens’ College. (April 5 2016)

Scene 5: After months of turmoil, West Bengal’s Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Abhijit Chakraborty on Monday finally resigned from his post. (January 12 2015)

Scene 6: Classes in SA Jaipuria College in north Calcutta have been suspended following prolonged campus violence.

Scene 7: Amit Abraham, Scottish Church College principal put in his papers on Saturday, sending out signals that something is gravely wrong with the college campuses. Abraham didn’t name anyone but has made a suggestive post on social media on his decision to resign. “I had come here to SERVE and not RULE. But, I began ruling over the hearts of people which offended some great minds,” the post states.

The above mentioned scenes are not part of Shakespeare’s novels. These are scenes of unrest prevailing approximately since 1970s till today, in our very own, West Bengal. All these scenes point to one thing at the end: Demoralization of Educational Foundation.

Student movements are definitely essential. But are the students means rowdies? Students seem to get a huge amount of power just for ‘chaos for chaos’ sake’ in name of movements and ‘revolutions’. Be it the ‘Hok Kolorob’ by the Jadavpur University students in protest against the then VC Abhijit Chakraborty; or, heckling and man-handling of Calcutta University’s VC Sugata Marjit by students of Vivekananda Womens’ College.

Are the protests against Abhijit Chakraborty or Sugata Marjit justified? What does Prof. Marjit has to do with the administration’s decision to withheld ‘failed’ students from appearing for their final Part I examinations? Though Prof. Chakraborty had resigned he never changed his outlook. So, deserves some admiration. The VC had to leave the campus, disappointed. Anuradha Lohia, VC of Presidency University was gheraoed for a long period causing her health problems. In late 1980s the VC of the Calcutta University Prof. Santosh Bhattacharya was heckled bodily and was abused everyday by profane remarks and languages. Prof. Sachin Sen, the VC of Jadavpur University was shot dead during the Naxal movement as a ‘class enemy’ either in 1969 or in 1970.

Did the students attain what they wished for? If yes, why still student unrest persists in almost every campus? What can be their demands? I had been a student of a prestigious school, then a college and at last of a university. Respecting my teachers and professors was my firsahelist priority. I did not believe in reasonless agitation movement against any of my college/university authority. I did not participate in either of them. Did that stop me from learning the basic demands in life – No it did not.

Charity begins at home, is a famous saying, but seldom practiced. It is saddening to see students violently protesting in campuses day after day without proper reasons. I wish there was a single parent who would have stopped their child from inclining towards these politically motivated unrests. Do parents not teach that the person they are going to insult is also someone’s parent!

I truly doubt how much do these agitating students gain by such protests. What do they demand? They have been given all facilities in their institutions. They have their classes held regularly, syllabi completed on time. There is a proper way to voice your opinions. Protests, leading to the harassment or resignations, cannot be a solution. There is always a complaint cell to voice your opinions. If they do not function in right way, there are proper sections where one can go for the redressal of their grievances. But why adopt such a measure?

We must keep one thing in mind, that, such movements are mostly influenced by some politically pre-motivated groups and radical organizations, which bring in trouble or unrest. It eventually destroys lives and careers of many students who actively participate in them. But those, who are self-seekers, make an opportunist political career out of them. They, later on, join politics.

The problem of unnecessary student unrest is not going to go away quite easily. With the development and growth of media and internet, it is probably going to become worse. It cannot be solved in a day, because, Rome was not built in a day. Of course, the students are not to be kept at gunpoint. The academic institutions also need to take care of students’ own problems. They must take measures before such violence breaks out and not remain stoic about students’ real educational urge and aspirations.

But still, protests for protests’ sake are yet to continue. In name of student movements such pandemonium will be witnessed in the years to follow. Until and unless, the students understand the influence they have on the normal running of an educational institution, nothing can change.

 

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