JNUTA Appeal

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JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY TEACHER’S ASSOCIATION

JNUTA Appeal

 

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few months the JNU Administration has continuously stonewalled any genuine dialogue and discussion and preferred the use of the stick to deal with both students and teachers. JNUTA did receive a written response to its letter submitted to the VC on 3 May 2016 during the Mass One day Hunger Strike (170 teachers participated). While the response from the VC has not offered any time bound substantive assurance on our eight demands; JNUTA president received a letter (Appeal) on 6 May by the Registrar which in a threatening language tries to misrepresent JNUTA’s stand on purpose.

According to our VC, hunger strikes are “unlawful” and students should “use constitutional means to put forth their demands, if any”. The Registrar on the other hand chose to intimidate JNUTA by implicating it for having given a call to ‘outsiders’ for Hunger strike. In a preemptive attempt JNU administration is trying to implicate JNUTA for “direct and indirect use of coercive measures” against the University. The message is clear. The Administration ‘in order to protect the academic atmosphere of the University”, will take more coercive measures.

What prospect does dialogue and discussion have to offer if this is the language in which the Administration wishes to engage the teachers and students? Moreover,is it not a fact that that in the last three months the JNUTA has taken the initiative to meet the University Administration not once but a number of times – while the University Administration has consistently opted for the path of unilateral action?Is it also not true that each and every such meeting, including the recent one where a mass delegation of teachers met the VC and his team after the hunger strike on 3 May, have proved to be instances of trying to dialogue with the wall? While no concrete commitments have ever been forthcoming on the substantive issues raised by the JNUTA, every time we are told that we should trust the Administration to do what is right despite the fact that actual experiences suggest the exact opposite! The absence of any concrete time-bound commitments that would encourage faith in dialogue and discussion to resolve the situation on the campus is also the hallmark of the Administration’s response to the JNUTA letter of 3 May 2016.

Despite JNUTA’s appeal not to go ahead without a proper procedure as per norms, the University Administration callously precipitated the situation just before examinations. It is now 10 days since students began their indefinite hunger strike. Unlike the University Administration, the JNUTA is genuinely and deeply concerned about the condition of the striking students. At the same time, the JNUTA is also very clear that the penalties imposed on students are completely unfair. We also understand that these punishments are only particular reflections of a concerted attempt to create a more authoritarian structure of governing the University.In the process teachers and academic as well as administrative norms are being targeted. Further, the University Administration has decided to curb the basic right to protest and disengage from discussion and dialogue by issuing “Appeal” containing clear threats to elected bodies including JNUTA. Keeping this in view, the JNUTA Extended EC at its meeting on 6th May came to the conclusion that we has no option but to intensify our resistance and put concerted pressure on an Administration that has entirely lost its moral authority to run the University. With this in mind, the meeting decided:

  1. To start a relay hunger strike of teachers from 7 May 2016 to protest the publicized administrative threats to JNUTA.
  2. To organize a mass protest outside the venue of the AC meeting on 10th May 2016 and to demand in the meeting an immediate democratic resolution of the situation on the campus.

The JNUTA EC appeals to all colleagues to come forward and make these programs a success so that a clear and unambiguous message is communicated to the Administration about the strength and resolve of the teachers.

Prof. Ajay Patnaik

President, JNUTA

 

Dr. Bikramaditya Choudhary

Secretary, JNUTA

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