Published: 05th November 2019
JNU Provost resigns, students rejoice at first taste of win
The professor wrote that he did not think he thought that he has not been able to discharge his duties properly and has thus decided to resigned
One of the five Provosts of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr Santosh Kumar Shukla, resigned from his post after a long discussion with the students. The agitating students who see this as a win say that discussions had reached a stage where the professor either had to resign or reject the much talked about draft hostel manual the students had been protesting against. A letter that announces his resignation is being circulated by the JNUSU.
"Poorvanchal Provost Santosh Shukla resigned after hours of students discussion with him. He had two choices, either reject the new hostel manuel or resign," said N Sai Balaji, the former president of the JNU Students' Union. The Provosts look after the affairs of their respective Khands or group of hostels and advise Wardens on matters concerning their functions. Dr Shukla, a professor of the Sanskrit department, signed a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor amidst cheering students.
The professor wrote that he did not think he thought that he has not been able to discharge his duties properly and has thus decided to resigned.
The students also went to file a missing person report for JNU VC Mamidala Jagdesh Kumar at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station in Delhi on Monday. In case you're wondering, no, he is not really missing. But the students said that they have not heard from the VC in a long time and they would really like to talk to him.
"We have been trying to talk to him for so long but have not received any answer from him. We think he has gone missing. Thus the silence," said Former JNUSU President N Sai Balaji, one of the leaders at the forefront of the lockdown movement that entered its seventh day today. The students had issued an ultimatum, that expired at 12 pm today, to the university administration to respond to their demands about various issues including a proposed hostel fee hike, electricity charges and mainly demanding the revocation of the 'regressive' draft hostel manual.
Earlier Monday, CRPF jawans were spotted on campus near the Birsa Munda Marg. Balaji put out a tweet followed by several others asking why there were special forces on campus. Is there an imminent cause for violence? "The Delhi Police have been informed and they are looking into it to find out how the personnel got in," said Balaji, who had tweeted photos that showed a handful of the paramilitary personnel at the Birsa Munda Marg. "Why is the CRPF here? To defend the massive fee hike in JNU?" asked Balaji and also threw a challenge at the VC, "Let's see who is stronger Mamidala."
In response to the students' ultimatum, the registrar, on Sunday night, had sent across a note of "caution" to students, warning them against protesting at the Administration Block as it had been prohibited by a Delhi High Court order. "Several pamphlets have come to the notice of the administration calling for Satyagraha and Marches and calling for students to assemble or pass through legally prohibited areas of the campus. This is to caution those who are planning to take part that this will be clear contempt of the decision of the Delhi High Court," read the Registrar's notice. He also added that "peaceful protests" could be conducted at the Sabarmati Lawn as per JNU's rules.
Explaining why this wasn't cutting any ice with the students, Apeksha Priyadarshini, BASO member said, "In the last week, ever since the IHA meeting was arbitrarily convened, students have been outraged and mobilising consistently. The numbers don't seem to be dwindling and this has really scared the admin. They've already started sending enquiry notices to some of us, but nothing is deterring the students anymore."
She added that perhaps dialogue would be a much simpler solution, "That's why this need to "control" the situation. They're directing their energies in the wrong place. Instead of calling CRPF, if they would just call and sit down with the student representatives to talk about what students want, there wouldn't be so much discontent in the first place. This is plain authoritarian."
The administration could not be reached to comment on the issue.