Published: 14th December 2018
TISS protest intensifies after talks break down
The committee, allegedly, asked the students to cooperate and think of the greater good as they dismissed any chance of reversing the decision
As Tata Institute of Social Sciences' Hyderabad campus garnered support from all across the country for their protest against the scrapping of the deferment course and making the campus non-residential, the deputy director, Dr S Sivaraju and the management committee met the student representatives at 3.30 pm on December 13 — but the protest intensified after the talks turned out to be futile.
The Student Action Committee that spoke with the administration alleged that the meeting was nothing short of a humiliation for them. "The Deputy Director along with the management committee members shrugged off all the responsibilities. He said that our demands venture into issues that the Hyderabad administration cannot decide. They said that they eqivocally support the decision," said Vaivab Das, MA in Women Studies, "They said that they empathise with us but they have to stand by the declaration, when we told them that making the campus non-residential will make the institue inaccessible to a large section who cannot afford private accommodation."
The committee told the students that they should cooperate with the management keeping the larger good in mind. "The commitee members told us on our face that we are inexperianced to talk about these issues and we should only speak if we have adequete experience. This was humiliating for all the students in the SAC as we were representing the students in the Hyderabad campus," added Vaivab.
A press note released by the students' collective alleged that the Deputy Director wasn't keen on addressing the general body despite the repeated requests by the SAC, but agreed later. A students’ council member, on condition of anonymity, said that the administration is turning a deaf ear to the students’ legitimate demands. “The administration has been indifferent throughout and it took them four days to start a conversation with the protesting students,” he said.
TISS director Dr Shalini Bharat, in a meeting with the student council members, had, in a previous meeting, cited infrastructural challenges as the reason for the deferment of BA course. Bharat did not comment on the reason for making the campus non-residential but maintained that the institution will not take the responsibility of providing accommodation to students.
The students plan to intensify their protest and the campus is still on lock down. The SFI central executive committee, BASO, SFI Jamia Milia Islamia, have released solidarity statements.