By: Ravinder Vasudeva
Shimla: Himachal Pradesh University (HPU is once again in the news and for the same reasons. The chain hunger strike by the Student Federation of India led Student Central Association ( SCA) has now stretched for 35 days, and the means adopted by the agitating students has raised some serious questions about the teacher-student relationship in the campus.
The HPU campus is known for “bloody political and physical struggle” amongst the various student political oganisations. We may ignore this fact by saying that it happens in the higher educational institutions in the whole country, but what has added to the already deteriorating educational atmosphere of the campus is the fact that the student organizations have forgotten their moral duties and crossed all limits while presenting their demands before the administration.
It was hardly a month ago that the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) had resigned from his office when some students from SFI while expressing resentment against the administration picked up the DSW from his collar. And now, the previous day’s incident has again exposed the worsening “teacher-student relationship”. It was a “Puran Shiksha Band – no classes for the whole day” organised by the SCA and classes were forcibly vacated. According to sources, at about 11.45 am, a group of students threatened Dr CL Chandan, professor in the Institute of Management Studies, who was taking a class. These students threw books and papers belonging to the teacher and lifted the lecture stand and threw it on the desks where some students were sitting. Various such incidents happened in different departments of the campus.
Before all this, the protesting students disrupted traffic at the University Chowk and prevented teachers from entering in the campus. These students also punctured university buses, which resulted in students and other staff not reaching of varsity on time.
Past experience reveals that in this month of the academic year, when number of students visits the campus to enroll in new courses, student organizations in order to show ‘activism’ always try out silly things. More interestingly, the demands of these student organizations also remain the same every year. God knows what happens to the struggle of these organizations after the elections to the student bodies are over.
Who is responsible for all this? The mannerless students or the varsity and police administration which even after repeated incidents of such kind, have failed to take any stringent disciplinary action against the mischievous students?