Is strike only way to be heard, ask DU protesters

Is strike only way to be heard, ask DU protesters

Teachers body get support from karamcharis as well

 A large number of students showed solidarity on Friday by taking part in the joint protest by Delhi University teachers and non-teaching staff. They questioned if resorting to strikes is the only way to be heard in the varsity.

Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) is on an indefinite relay hunger strike since October 10. DUTA members are demanding a dialogue with the vice chancellor over academic changes in DU.

“The Delhi University Students’ Union also had a hunger strike in the last academic session, after which few of our demands were agreed upon. However, is a strike the only solution left for stakeholders in the university to hear and agree to demands?” said DUSU president Arun Hooda.

A crowd of at least 500 people, including teachers, students, karamcharis and parents came to show solidarity to the teachers who are on strike.

Posters and placards informing about the adverse effects of ‘academic reforms’ were put up at the venue. Teachers’ association members of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University also came to show support.

“Every Central university is facing problems. There are issues in Jamia too. But it is only in DU that the VC refuses to meet its own teachers. In our university the VC at least hears our concerns. It is a different matter if the issues are resolved or not,” said Jamia Teachers’ Association president M S Bhatt.

“If not dialogue, discussion and debate, what is the other way to find out if the demand is genuine or not? The varsity is led by a professor — the VC himself — and he is also the one who is treating teachers like this. It’s shameful. The Prime Minister was a professor of DU, so why is he quiet on this issue?” said Bhatt.

The DUTA president had announced that on October 31 the VC’s effigy will be burned, followed by a march. DUTA is demanding to fill 4,000 vacant teaching posts, 5,000 non-teaching posts and to grant pending provident fund of retired teachers.

It wants to have a dialogue on implementation of four-year graduation course and problems in the semester system. “The situation of adhoc teachers is serious in DU because they don't even know if they will be teaching the next semester or not. Every day instead of concentrating what to teach, they are worried about finding jobs elsewhere,” said former JNU Teachers’ Association president Anand Kumar.

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