On 30th December 2013, the Delhi University Teacher’s Association again intensified its protest insisting its demand for withdrawal of illegal suspension of two teachers of Hindu College. The dharna was staged jointly by DUTA and Joint Karmchari Union outside the venue of the meeting of the Governing Body.
Teachers from various colleges assembled there and turned into a gherao when they came to know that the Chairman had refused to allow a discussion on the matter even under ‘any other business with the permission of the chair’. The college authorities even called up the police but the protesters didn’t stir and continued the gherao even till 9 p.m. in the night.
A delegation of office bearers of DUTA, DUCKU and the Hindu College Staff Association, which also included the newly elected MLA of AAP and Secretary of DUTA, Dr. Harish Khanna made a fervent appeal for withdrawal of suspension to the members of Governing Body. A memorandum was presented which laid emphasis on the reply of teachers, the report of Grievance Committee and the resolution of Staff Association at the end of meeting with the Governing Body.
“The college management and university authorities have falsely fabricated the minor issue in a disproportionate, one-sided and high handed manner. It is a pre-meditated design to create disaffection between teachers where only one party is held guilty. The malafide and biased behaviour of the Chairman in collusion with the Vice-Chancellor, who had approved of the suspension, was part of a larger agenda to create disaffection within the faculty”, said Nandita Narain, President of Delhi University Teacher’s Association.
The members of the Governing Body have agreed to hold a special meeting around 12th January after the gherao built up strongly so that the matter could be resolved. The dharna was called off after the Chairman of Governing Body, Mr. Punj came out and assured the teachers and karmcharis gathered outside to hold the meeting. The protest was stopped on the understanding that the dharna will be further intensified if the suspension was not withdrawn on that day following the assurance offered by Mr. Punj.
The teachers, students and karamcharis have not yet given up against the alleged “Unprecedented assault on democratic rights” by the DU’s VC. Wednesday, 31st October 2012, DUTA (Delhi University Teachers Union), backed up by DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) and DUCKU (Delhi University College Karamchari Union) burned the effigy of the Vice- chancellor outside his office at around 3:30 pm. The DUTA has been on a relay hunger strike since the 10th of October demanding from the vice chancellor answers to their various grievances concerning arbitrary imposition of “academic reforms”, withdrawal of the right to revaluation, violation of anonymity of exams, delay in declaring exam results so on and so forth.
Around hundreds of students, teachers and non-teaching staff gathered to witness and participate in the protest. The administration tried its best to dissolve the crowd and curb the burning process by instructing the university’s security personnel to steal away the effigy, but the DUTA continued anyway. The security breached the law in front of the ineffective and mute police force by trying to take away the head and other parts of the effigy. The crowd arranged another effigy and burned newspaper in the meantime.
“It was a complete chaos, with officials trying to crush the protest and crowd not budging from the venue. It is quite shocking that the police were just standing there, doing absolutely nothing!” said Vidushi a student. “We have no idea what is going on in the university, even the teachers are at loss. There are new academic changes with every passing day!” adds another.
Teachers said that the authorities are now spreading rumors that the DUSU and DUCKU have withdrawn their support from the movement. “This is shameful. This is for the first time that DUSU, DUCKU and DUTA have come together. We have letters from these unions citing their support,” said a DUTA member.
Today on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 the permanent teachers of DU went on a strike protesting against the “non-cooperative attitude of the Vice Chancellor and the Delhi University administration”. DUTA (Delhi University Teachers Association) declared that the strike, which also included hunger strike, will be on even after the letter of the registrar arrived stating the Dean and the principal of colleges must ensure the teachers are taking regular lectures. The letter also stated that all the leaves on Tuesday shall stand cancelled.
“We are not supposed to come and teach today, but the university administration is acting in the most arbitrary manner. Their “no work, no pay” order is stifling our right to strike and protest”, says a DUTA member. “Yes we will give lectures but support DUTA side by side, all our demands are fair and justified” adds another. DUTA demands “filling up of 4000 teaching posts and the other vacant non-teaching posts as was promised by the vice chancellor, implementation of UGC guidelines of 2006 regarding reservation, expeditious process of promotion and withdrawal of negative service conditions”.
The DUTA also alleges that the VC is making a continuous attack on their right to protest and is not meeting the DUTA and the DUCKU, the Delhi University and College Karamchari Union. While in colleges like SRCC, Daulat Ram and Hindu students had their usual lectures, in Hansraj classes were suspended. “If teachers go on a hunger strike they will be going against the orders of high court. It will affect their service record”, says Alka Sharma, the registrar, DU. The DUTA however is not intimidated. “This high handed attitude of administration has to be done away with, we will not give up” concludes a DUTA member. However, the no work no pay strategy of DU authorities proved successful in bringing the teaching staff to college thus reducing the strength of the protest.