EDUCATION & POLITICS: Varsity stalemate lingers – SFI strike today

EDUCATION & POLITICS: Varsity stalemate lingers – SFI strike today – getting worse and worse under communists and a parochial Bengal ?!!

The Congress demonstration on the NBU campus on Wednesday. (Kundan Yolmo) - disgruntled for too long ?!!


Siliguri, Sept. 15: North Bengal University vice-chancellor Arunabha Basumajumdar today cancelled an Executive Council meeting in a replay of the last one which was adjourned following a stalemate because six items demanded by its members had not been listed on the agenda.

In another development, the SFI-backed student union called a strike on the campus tomorrow to protest the VC’s “refusal” to meet its members.

Dean of arts, commerce and law Jeta Sankrityayana said the VC was wrongly interpreting the NBU Act, 1981, saying the six items had not been included in today’s meeting since they were not within the EC’s jurisdiction and that his decision on the matter was final.

“But when we asked him to give the same in writing, he refused. His reluctance proves that he is in the wrong. Around 6pm, he declared the meeting cancelled because of non-cooperation of some of the council members,” he said.

The August 20 EC meeting had been adjourned because of a deadlock on the same issue.

Defending his decision, Basumajumdar said the topics on the agenda could not be discussed because of “non-participation” of some EC members. “The act clearly states that the decision of the VC on this matter is final so there is no scope for written explanation.”

Members of the North Bengal Teachers’ Council demonstrated in front of the administrative building to protest the “arbitrary” functioning of the VC. “It is not his prerogative to decide what items should be included in the agenda,” said Sanjay Roy, a Faculty Council member.

Around 30 Congress supporters organised a day-long demonstration on the campus demanding that the EC meeting should not be disrupted. They later submitted a memorandum to the VC.

The SFI protested the permission given to the Congress to demonstrate on the campus while being denied an audience with the VC. “He allowed outsiders to submit a memorandum, but he refused to meet us. We have called a strike tomorrow to protest this,” said Joyprakash Das, the student union general secretary.

Reacting to the charge, Basumajumdar said: “I had allowed six representatives of the union to meet me but over 50 of them wanted to enter my office which was not feasible.”

ETHICS vs ARROGANCE: Land donor locks school – no gratefulness nor humility on the part of those who receive gifts for free, until extreme action is forced ?!!


Malda, Sept. 15: The donor of a plot of land on which a school was built nine years ago locked up the institution last week after a promise to give a permanent job to one of his family members was not fulfilled.

Jatha Murmu locked up the main entrance to Mahadebpur High School near Gajole, 50km from here, on Thursday.

He had donated two bighas in 2001 and the single-storey school building was built the same year.

“When the authorities of the proposed school approached me for land, they promised a job for one of my family members. Nine years have gone by and they have appointed permanent staff but no one from my family has been given a permanent job,” said Murmu.

His wife Kadni Soren has been working as a casual worker in the institution from 2001. According to Murmu, she generally fetches water and dusts the offices and the classrooms for Rs 1,200 a month.

Murmu said of his two daughters one was married and the other one, who is a college student, will turn 20 soon.

“If they do not give a permanent job to my youngest daughter, then I will demand that my land be returned and that is why I have locked up the school,” he said.

The institution has over 500 boys and girls on its rolls.

Headmaster Gour Kinkar Dey said he had joined the institution in 2005 and had no idea about any deal inked between Murmu and the authorities before that.

“Jetha Murmu claimed that a promise had been made by the authorities and as it was not kept, he had locked up the institution,” Dey confirmed.

Block development officer of Gajole Ajmal Hossain said he has not yet been informed about the incident, but added that he would enquire about that.

District inspector of schools Chinmoy Sarkar said: “If such a promise had been made then the managing committee should have kept it. I will find out why the promise, if any, has not been kept.”

However, Sarkar said he has asked the managing committee of the school to hold parleys with the villagers and get the institution opened as soon as possible.

“No school can remain shut for days. No one can hinder the education of children,” he added.

No FIR has been lodged.


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