This Is Not Just About Kanhaiya Kumar & Delhi University Teachers: Mukul Mangalik

MUKUL MANGALIK in raiot.in

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) General Body Meeting (GBM) held on May 28, 2016 issued an appeal ‘to all students to support our struggle’ against the University Grants Commission (UGC) Notification 2016. The resolution passed by the DUTA GBM of June 2, 2016 ‘extends thanks to Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) for its support’ and to many other students’ organisations ‘which have expressed support for the ongoing struggle’. The DUTA Executive, in keeping with the letter and spirit of the sentiments expressed by successive GBMs invited representatives of teachers and students’ unions and organisations, including the JNUSU, to extend solidarity with the ‘khaali thaali’ (empty plates) dharna (sit-in) organized by the DUTA on 6th June outside the UGC compound. A section of Delhi University (DU) teachers did their best to prevent Kanhaiya Kumar, elected President of the JNUSU, from speaking on this occasion…

In trying to deny a student even a chance to speak, they have gone against everything that teaching should mean; in seeking to throttle words, speech and ideasinstead of countering them with other words, speech and ideas they, as university teachers have struck a blow against the freedom of expression that is the lifeblood of universities. They have gone against the idea of universities as potentially life-altering sites for students, places that encourage them to ask questions and speak freely; to read, write and think critically, analytically and with academic rigour, together and independently, in the endless pursuit of understanding and truth; to debate, disagree with, and discuss everything of consequence without fear of any forms of authority or power, but with respect for universal rights, ‘in the hope of creating a future in which liberty and human freedoms might be grounded in citizenship based on substantive equality’…

Let no one imagine that this moment of contestation in our history will spell political doom for the DU teachers’ movement. It shall not. If anything, we are likely to come out of this with an even stronger resolve, holding up a brighter flame of hope to all teachers and posing a more invulnerable front to Capital and State than has been the case thus far.

Read the whole article here.

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