Published: 12th July 2019
TISS-Hyd protests: Admin sends notice to parents, students still not backing down
Dr CN Reddy, the owner and the person in charge of the hostel management has said that he was stepping down from the role of managing
The students of TISS, Hyderabad are on their fifth day of protest and are nowhere close to calling it off. The administration has issued notices to the students urging them to call off the strike and also alerted their parents to it, but the students are insistent that their demands are met and the hostel fees by reduced for the scholarship students.
Dr CN Reddy, the owner and the person in charge of the hostel management has said that he was stepping down from the role of managing. He urged the students to exclude his name from their protest and said he was willing to accept any decision taken by TISS and they have no objection to whatever decision TISS decides to take on the issue. He also requested the students to call off the agitation as it was disturbing the other students residing in the hostels. "It is in the best interest of mine that justice is done to TISS students. I support TISS in all aspects and have no objection with TISS taking over the hostel management," he said in his letter.
The students say they have also received a letter from the service provider stating that he would be withdrawing from extending services, leaving the students in a dilemma. The students are not satisfied because they say they are getting only verbal assurance from the administration. "The students are still unhappy that none of the demands put forth in the charter was adequately responded to. The administration declined the demand of students to have a meeting with the larger students body to hear the grievances regarding hostels," the Students Action Committee statement said.
The students said they would take legal action against the service provider too. "We are going to take legal action due to the abrupt withdrawal from providing facilities despite having an agreement signed by the students at the time of admission to the hostel," the students said.
The students have also accused the administration of threatening them and are allegedly asking questions and making comments like — "TISS women students are smoking publicly'. "They are asking questions like 'Will you be able to pay Rs 84,000? GOI students have bikes, girlfriend. One administrator allegedly said upper castes students are using the oppressed class students," the statement from the students read.
The service provider allegedly ordered the guard to close down the gates of the girl's hostel gates by 9.30, "They said if something like an incident like rape occurs, they are not willing to take up responsibility," the students said in their statement. "Most of the SC, ST, OBC students are complaining that the SC, ST cell is not approachable and is intimidating to them," the students added.
A Google link allegedly shared by the administration is taking a poll of the students who are in favour of attending classes. The document states — This is a google form to get a count of the number of TISS-Hyderabad students who are in favour of classes resuming on campus. It goes on to ask students their enrollment number, their departments and if they are in favour of attending classes.
To this, the students responded by saying, "It is in our classrooms that we learn about issues so it is apparent that the interest of the general student body is to be able to attend these classes. However, a protest of any form is a result of the breakdown of institutional mechanism." They go on to say that it is the same institution that is curtailing this access by making hostels unaffordable to the students. "It is the vulnerability of the students which directly brings into question the continuation of their academic discourse, that makes us question our attendance," the TISS students said.
The students have been inviting various speakers to address the protesters and are currently having a General Body meeting to decide their next course of action.