This is a guest post by MANINDRA AGRAWAL
This is the story of a young man who made it to the premier institution of IIT Kanpur against heavy odds, but was then let down by the system and people at the institute. Yet, he showed exemplary courage and stood up for his rights firmly but gently. The story also highlights the frailties of human nature and the vindictiveness that can mar human actions. It is a story that needs to be told.
IIT Kanpur, like all other IITs, has very few faculty from reserved categories. An initiative was taken in August 2017 with an exclusive advertisement for faculty under various reserved categories. The applications received were sent to the respective departments for evaluation, and the shortlisted candidates were called for seminars. The protagonist of this story, Dr SS (I am using initials for the key players for convenience, all names are in the public domain), who is from a scheduled caste of Andhra Pradesh, was shortlisted in the Aerospace Engineering department. He did both his M.Tech and Ph.D from IIT Kanpur under Professor AKG, who happened to be the head of the department at the time. Continue reading The Saderla story – courage in the face of violent prejudice: Manindra Agrawal
A conversation with youngsters – who are by nature bubbling with energy , fired with idealism and suffused with innumerable questions – is a thing which everyone with grey hair looks forward to.
For someone like me it is an added gift this morning that after exactly a gap of forty years this writer is with students of engineering helping him rekindle memories of his own days of engineering in the city of Varanasi. A really exciting period when few of us had come together to do something for society as well. A period worth remembering when we were engaged in running evening classes for deprived sections in neighbouring villages, learning from their life experiences and in spare time reading good literature, tracking trajectories of different revolutions, debating, discussing, brainstorming what else can be done to awaken the society around. Continue reading And Somewhere There are Engineers …
नागेश / बदला हुआ नाम/ – जो आई आई टी मद्रास में अध्ययनरत एक तेज विद्यार्थी है, तथा समाज के बेहद गरीब तबके से आता है – उसे उस दिन मेस में प्रवेश करते वक्त़ जिस अपमानजनक अनुभव से गुजरना पड़ा, वह नाकाबिले बयानात कहा जा सकता है। उसे अपने गांव की जातीय संरचना की तथा उससे जुड़े घृणित अनुभवों की याद आयी। दरअसल किसी ने उसे बाकायदा मेस में प्रवेश करते वक्त़ रोका और कहा कि अगर वह मांसाहारी है, तो दूसरे गेट से प्रवेश करे।
मेस के गेट पर बाकायदा एक पोस्टर लगा था, जिसे इस नये ‘निज़ाम’ की सूचना दी गयी थी। यहां तक कि अपने खाने की पसंदगी के हिसाब से हाथ धोने के बेसिन भी बांट दिए गए थे। ‘शाकाहारी’ और ‘मांसाहारी’। एक रिपोर्टर से बात करते हुए नागेश अपने गुस्से को काबू करने में असमर्थ दिख रहे थे। उन्होंने पूछा कि आखिर आई आई टी का प्रबंधन ऐसे भेदभावजनक आदेश को छात्रों से सलाह मशविरा किए बिना कैसे निकाल सकता है। Continue reading आई आई टी मद्रास – आधुनिक दौर का अग्रहरम !
THIS IS A STATEMENT PREPARED BY JNU FACULTY
In the wake of the protests in universities about a number of disastrous policy level changes — huge fund cuts for the University Grants Commission, state governed divestment from the higher education in the name of graded autonomy, tampering with reservation policy in both drawing up recruitment and in college administration, casualisation and reduction of employment in universities, widespread corruption, as well as authoritarian clampdown on free speech and thought — the government has now sought to muzzle teachers voices through the induction of the Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules to govern the conduct of faculty in Central Universities.
Continue reading The Imposition of CCS Rules in Central Universities: Statement by JNU faculty
We, the undersigned academics and members of civil society, unequivocally condemn the arbitrary arrest and incarceration of six teachers and nine students of Manipur University. Six teachers and seven students have been sent to judicial custody for fifteen days, and the remaining two students for five days.
The arrests have been made under sections of the Indian Penal Code that invoke ‘an attempt to murder’, ‘wrongful confinement’, ‘extortion’, ‘kidnapping’ and ‘criminal conspiracy’ on the basis of a complaint made by Manipur University faculty, K. Yugindro Singh (and the suspended registrar M. Shyamkesho) on charges of attempt to murder and kidnapping. The six arrested professors — Dr. N. Santomba, (Dept. of. Manipuri), Prof. Chungkham Yashawanta (Dept. of Linguistics, also Dean of Humanities, and in-charge Dean of Students Welfare), Prof. Sougaijam Dorendrajit (Dept. of. Physics and Registrar-in-charge), Dr. L. Bishwanath Sharma (Dept. of. Philosophy), Prof. L. Sanjukumar (Dept. of. Biotechnology and Secretary MUTA), and Dr. Yengkhom Raghumani (Dept. of. Earth Sciences) have also been suspended with immediate effect. Following these arrests, the Manipur University campus has been turned into a cantonment, the boys hostel has had tear gas shells and mock bombs rained down upon it all of Thursday night (20 September), Internet services shut down, and all normal academic life has come to a complete halt.
Manipur University has witnessed a peaceful (in the face of great police brutality) 85 day long united agitation by its teachers, students, and staff asking for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor A P Pandey, and the constitution of an Independent Enquiry Committee to look into the allegations of his administrative and financial lapses. This agitation was successful, with a probe being announced on August 16, 2018 and the VC being placed on suspension pending inquiry on 18 September 2018. The details of the egregious misdemeanours of the suspended VC that have formed the basis of agitation by the greater student and teacher communities and have been the cause of disruption of academic activities, are to be found in the news item links provided below.
Read the rest of the statement and sign the appeal here.
OPEN LETTER TO THE VISITOR BY FORMER OFFICE BEARERS OF ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION and ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY CONSTITUENT COLLEGES TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
The Hon’ble Visitor, University of Allahabad, President’s Secretariat (Rashtrapati Bhawan), New Delhi
On the eve of the 131st Foundation Day of the University of Allahabad, the under-noted former and serving teachers of the University of Allahabad and its Constituent Colleges, who are or have been office-bearers of the Teachers’ Associations of the University and its Constituent Colleges, respectfully seek to invite your kind attention by means of this Open Letter to certain crucial aspects of the present institutional predicament of the University, arising proximately from shocking revelations of grave improprieties by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rattan Lal Hangloo, and cumulatively from the general expositions of the manifestly freewheeling mode of his working over the past three years.
The facts of the Vice-Chancellor’s indecorous personal conduct involve the seeking of personal intimate favours from an individual by proffering employment and promising career-building opportunities. This sordid episode, and the outrage it has engendered in the members of the University community (students, alumni, and serving and former teachers and employees) as well as concerned citizens and well-wishers of the institution, are in the public domain, for they have been covered in graphic presentations in the print, electronic and social media. These have also been communicated by different sources to the Hon’ble Visitor’s establishment, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and other agencies of the Government of India. Some of the individuals subscribing to this Open Letter have also conveyed their dismay over the style and substance of his administrative and financial transactions in separate communications to higher authorities, but have experienced a disheartening absence of critical engagement on the part of the concerned dignitaries and offices with the transgressions of Prof. Hangloo which have also been in glaring public spotlight for almost three years, from his earliest days in office. Continue reading Allahabad University Vice Chancellor’s misdemeanours: Open letter to President of India
The following is a statement signed by 143 teachers of Hyderabad, released by the University Teachers’ Forum Hyderabad, condemning the police raid at the residence of Prof K. Satyanarayana recently.
We university teachers of Hyderabad hereby strongly register our protest against the arbitrary, ill-mannered raid on the residence of Dr. K. Satyanarayana, Professor of Cultural Studies and Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the EFL University on 28 August 2018.
Early in the morning of 28 August, a police team from Maharashtra accompanied by some Telangana policemen and women, forced themselves into the apartment residence of Prof. Satyanarayana and his wife Pavana without showing them any authorizing document and proceeded to ransack and vandalise the entire flat for over eight hours.
The document that they eventually produced authorized the search ostensibly to find Mr. Varavara Rao, who had already been house-arrested at his own flat by another team. There was no mention of any charges against Prof. Satyanarayana himself. In violation of all rules and conventions, this document was in Marathi, was never presented at the time of entering the residence, and no explanation was offered as to the purpose of their raid. The team left having turned the entire flat upside down taking with them three laptops, a tablet and hard drive apart from some books and papers. Prof. Satyanarayana’s accumulation of research done over 30 years is now in danger of being completely destroyed.
An internationally renowned scholar of Cultural Studies and a pioneering author and editor in the field of Dalit Studies, Satyanarayana co-edited the two-volume anthology of New Dalit Writings from South India: No Alphabet in Sight (vol 1) and Steel Nibs are Sprouting (vol 2), Exercises of Freedom, as well as the volume of Dalit Studies, the first effort of its kind.
He has been a Dalit scholar and has devoted his entire time as an academic to the pursuit of knowledge and research into issues affecting dalits.
Continue reading University Teachers Forum Hyderabad Condemns the Raid at Prof Satyanarayana’s House