Published: 21st November 2019
Have 113 teachers quit the JNUTA for not condemning violence during protests?
The disassociated teachers said that the current office-bearers have "in the most brazen manner" refused to condemn the attack
A total of 113 teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University have, reportedly, decided to disassociate themselves from the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) owing to their "indifference" towards the attack on teachers by protesters. Teachers accused the JNUTA of "being hand in glove" with protesters. Their statement comes in the wake of the protest by JNU students against the fee hike during which protesters have been accused of "holding a professor hostage" for over 24 hours.
But the JNUTA members have said that they have no such confirmation officially. "No such decision by a 'section' of teachers has been communicated to us as far as I am aware. The JNUTA is a collective body of all teachers — it has and will continue to address appropriately all concerns of teachers as per the framework decided collectively," said Dr Surajit Mazumdar, Secretary of the JNUTA. Dr Ranjani Mazumdar, a professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics and also a member of the JNUTA said that the majority of the teachers are in favour of the rollback. "It's just a small section of teachers. This is the section that identifies with the administration," she added.
The disassociated teachers said that the current office-bearers have "in the most brazen manner refused to condemn the attack, confinement and intimidation of teachers and their family members by a group of miscreants among the students since October 28". "This conspiratorial silence on the part of JNUTA has only abetted further violent and aggressive targeting of the teachers," said a statement from the teachers which was also apparently signed by 113 of them. The university now has over 560 teachers. "Wardens have been attacked in the night, their houses invaded, their children lifted momentarily as a coercive tactic, they and their family members were abused in order to create panic and fear in them," it added.
"The Dean was heckled and attacked and the ambulance in which he was being taken to the hospital forced to move towards the Health Centre even as his health had deteriorated alarmingly. And all these officials are teachers of the University that JNUTA claims to represent. When urged by the teachers, the JNUTA office-bearers told them that they would mediate with the students to free the woman colleague from illegal and violent confinement in her classroom in the SIS-II building. Instead. they instigated the miscreants and promised them support for their unlawful and inhuman act at the very scene of her confinement," accused the teachers in their statement.
"The indifference of the office bearers of JNUTA to a series of such dastardly attack on teachers is shocking and deplorable. Even more deplorable is their sly justification Of these incidents on flimsy grounds. Evidently, they are hand in glove with the miscreants in attacking, abusing, confining and intimidating their own colleagues,' said the teachers dissociating themselves from JNUTA from November 20 and also dissociated from all the resolutions/statements of JNUTA made since November 1.