Guest Post by EFLU Alumni and Other Concerned Individuals
[ This is a statement prepared by some alumni of EFLU, in the aftermath of the rape of a woman student on campus last week. The statement was then shared on the social media for endorsement. Those who had drafter the statement say that they “…were overwhelmed by the support shown by a cross section of people including alumni, not just practicing academics and students of other universities, but also techies and bankers, journalists and professionals.” The statement is intended to be seen as an expression of solidarity with the complainant, in appreciation of her bravery and as a means of extending support to the EFLU community who are trying to fight for gender justice in innovative and inclusive ways. ]
This is a public statement condemning the rape of a girl student in the hostels of The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. We express our solidarity with the complainant and demand that the guilty be punished. Happening within the university space, this action by the student’s peers shocks and saddens us, but also points at the deep entrenchment of patriarchy even within the most radical of spaces.
Guest Post by Sudha K F and Muhammed Afzal P
The semester break seems to be the most active time for the English and Foreign Languages University (Hyderabad) administration. What are these activities that the administration invests so much of its energies in, when most students have left the campus for their vacation? It is sending memos, show cause notices and the latest: the RUSTICATION of two significant student leaders on the EFLU campus.
When the word ‘fascist’ has become an everyday term, to talk about the Modi nightmare and its anxieties, we have more to add to that list from EFLU, Hyderabad. Mohan Dharavath, President of Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minority Students’ Association and Satish N, General Secretary of Telengana Students’ Association, have been rusticated from the University for two years, the latest in a series of draconian and undemocratic moves, on the part of the autocratic EFLU administration. The two students, along with another student, Subhash Kumar, were given show cause notices by the Proctor’s office on 24 March, to which they responded, denying the baseless charges levelled against them. The rustication is part of the disciplinary action against these students who were part of a massive protest that took place against the administration, called forth by the EFLU Students’ Union. This protest was against the absolute closure of the only 24-hour reading room, and library, on the small EFLU campus in the first week of March 2014.
Guest Post by a student who wishes to remain anonymous
The recent incidents in the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, shows yet another move from the part of the administration to bypass democratic procedures and suppress the voice of the student community. Ever since she took charge, the current VC Sunaina Singh has managed to acquire infamy for her anti-student and totalitarian mode of governance. The most recent one was closing down the common reading room for students, which was functional 24*7. The initial reason given was that it was under renovation. Later, notifications were put out stating that the previous reading room will be attached to the library (which closes down at 8pm on weekdays and at 6pm on weekend). Separate reading rooms were allotted for male and female students in their respective hostels, each of which cannot accommodate more than 20 students at a time (the total strength of the university is 2500+).
This decision, in effect, meant that boys and girls had no place to study/ work together after the stipulated working hours of the library. The authorities even posed the question as to why it was necessary that boys and girls have to study together. Excuse my hyperbole, but probably the next step would be to prohibit the formation of mixed groups for class works, assignments and presentations.
This particular incident of closing down the common reading room has to be viewed by placing it in the context of the larger issue- the regulations imposed on the students over the past one year and attempts to curb the liberal values that EFLU has always held up. Continue reading The ‘Occupy Library’ Protest in EFLU, Hyderabad: Anonymous
This is a guest post by KT HAFIS
What follows is a ‘status update’ from EFL University, Hyderabad, with special reference to the recent regulation of free speech on social networking sites in the university. It follows the polemical structure of a facebook status update as it tries to bring in a new dimension to the nature and scope of the idea of public and public sphere. At the very outset, let me make this point very clear. We are not fighting for some anarchic and absolutist idea of free speech. We know very well that freedom of expression also means a lot of responsible thinking.
First, some detail about the facts of the matter before we reflect on the philosophical and theoretical problems that they posit in the face of the ‘here and now’ of student politics in Indian universities in general and EFLU in particular.Two students, Kt Hafis (the author) and Thahir Jamal were handed show-cause notices, issued by the Proctor’s office signed by Deputy Proctor Sujata Mukhri, for having expressed our opinion on Facebook regarding the anti-reservation remarks made by Mr. Tariq Sheik, a member of the administration and Deputy Dean of Student welfare, at a students’ general body meeting organized by the Dean of Students welfare to select the electoral committee for the upcoming students’ union election at EFL university. In that meeting, students sensitive towards the problems of representation raised genuine concerns about the absence of reservation in the central panel (President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Joint Secretary, Cultural Secretary, Sports Secretary) and against the denial of the posts of SC/ST, OBC, women, disabled and foreign representatives in the new constitution of the Students’ Union. These had been approved by the Vice Chancellor of EFLU and in response to a students’ struggle conducted the last year. Continue reading Chanting Sacred Election-Ritual Mantras by Regulating Free Speech: ‘A Status Update’ from EFLU, Hyderabad:Kt Hafis
Anonymous Guest Post
[This is a response to the recent political developments in the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. On 1nd March, 2013, Mudasir Kamran, a Kashmiri Muslim PhD scholar of the university was taken to the police station by the Proctor and some other professors of the university in pretext of a personal enmity between Mudasir and his erstwhile room-mate, where he was detained throughout the night without any written complaint being filed. Mudasir came back broken, asking why he was treated like a thief and a criminal. On 2nd March, he committed suicide. A section of the students since then has been demanding for the suspension of the Proctor, an apology from the university, and compensation to the family. The university administration dealt with this in a fiercely draconian manner. They refused to meet the students, they enforced police protection, they threatened a null semester, even a total shut-down of the university. They did not issue a single apology, they appeared in front of media and produced false versions of the events hand in glove with the police (that was subsequently refuted by the alleged eye-witnesses), they constituted a faculty-only Fact-Finding Committee without removing the accused from his administrative position. Rumours have been floated about the alleged homosexuality and the mental instability, thus inciting the cultural stereotype of social aberration and criminality. One unofficially Leftist section alleged that the students are spreading rumours and contacting their “Kashmiri friends” to ignite the fire of unrest in Kashmir (although there has been and still is no connection between student’s demand and what is happening in Kashmir). On 8th March, they finally succeeded in coercing the students enough to make them ask for a resumption of normalcy on the campus. The Vice-Chancellor has threatened that any political activity on the campus will result in a null semester. She has ensured that classes will commence under heavy ‘police protection’ on Monday. A section of the teachers who has refused to accept the responsibility for Mudasir’s unfortunate death has demanded for criminal cases to be filed against the protesting students. Since the protesting side has been majorly comprised of dalits, OBCs, minorities, this is an attempt from their side to allegorically (and satirically, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift who once wrote his ‘modest proposal’ that the British landed aristocracy simply eat Irish children as a way to end the problem of poverty in Ireland) express some of the horrors they have to go through to even stage a basic minimum democratic protest in a so-called elite university.]
[This text has been slightly edited and modified, mainly to allow for easier reading, and to correct a few syntactical slips, but the general tone and style, including capitalization and some archaisms have been maintained so that it is clear that this is a legitimate work of satire, written in the public interest. Kafila]
A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING THE DALITS, MINORITIES, AND IN GENERAL THE POOR AND THE MARGINALIZED FROM BEING A BURDEN ON THE GLORY OF THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE UNIVERSITY.