Education Parliament Held in Delhi

Students and teachers gathered on 5 August 2015 in hundreds from all over the country at the Education Parliament hosted by the JNU Students’ Union, to make the parliamentarians hear their voice of protest against commercialisation and saffronization of education by the Modi Government.

The JNUSU President Ashutosh Kumar, welcoming close over 1000 participants, said that Parliament is in session and is not addressing our concerns about the Modi Government’s assaults on quality and autonomy of institutions and democratic rights on campuses. He highlighted the issues of saffron and substandard appointments at FTII, NCERT, ICHR, ICCR, DU and various Universities, the humiliation of noted intellectuals and scientists such as Amartya Sen and heads of IITs and IIMs, the attempt to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar group, the assault on protesting students at Pondicherry University, and violent attacks by ABVP to curb freedom of expression on many campuses from Lucknow to Delhi to Pune and Hyderabad.

Addressing the Education Parliament, the DUTA President Nandita Narain said that the CBCS is being imposed in spite of the opposition by students and teachers. This proves that CBCS has nothing to do with providing ‘choices’, and everything to do with opening up space for private profit by restructuring and destroying the quality of public-funded universities. JNUTA President Sachidanand Sinha said that we have five months in hands to resist surrender to WTO, and we must all pool our strength and unite to resist the binding commitments to the WTO.

Vikash, a student of Magadh University, said, “Authorities threaten us if we talk about politics, and tell us that as students our task is only to study. We ask, how do we study, where are the teachers to teach us? Mukhtar from Patna University said that only 30 percent faculty posts are filled in Patna University. Nachi Mutthu, President of the FTII Students’ Union spoke about the ongoing agitation at FTII, saying that the support from all sides gives them hope and strength. Shahzeb Ahmad Aashu, Secretary, AMUSU spoke about the denial of democratic rights at the AMU. Vitthal from Savitri Bai Phule Pune University said that the Govt is slashing scholarships for SC/ST students and self-financed courses and education loans are the order of the day in Maharashtra.

Students from Allahabad University, Andhra University, Assam University (Diphu Campus), Adikavi Nannaya University, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University (Muzaffarpur), Bhagalpur University, BHU, Bundelkhand University (Jhansi), Calcutta University, Davangere Univrsity, Diphu Government College, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University (Agra), Delhi University, Eastern Karbi Anglong College, FTII, J P Univ (Chhapra), Jadavpur University, Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU, Kannada Univ, Lalit Narayan Mithila University (Darbhanga), Lucknow University, Magadh Univ, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Mumbai Univ, Osmania Univ, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Univ (Gorakhpur), Patna University, Punjab Univ, Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh University, Rohilkhand Univ (Bareilly), Thong Nokbe College, Uttar Pradesh Pravidhik University, Veer Kunwar Singh Univ (Ara), West Bengal State Univ. etc. shared their experiences.

Among the teachers and educationists who spoke about the massive policy attacks on education by the present Government were Prof. Anil Sadgopal, AIFRTE, Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, former VC, Lucknow University, Prof. Harbans Mukhia, noted historian, Prof. Satish Deshpande, DU, Prof. Anup Dhar, AUD, Prof. Vinod Singh, President, LUTA, Prof. Prasenjit Biswas, NEHUTA, Prof. Manoj Pandey, LUACTA, Prof. M.S. Bhatt, Jamia TA, Prof. Mustafa Zaidi, Secretary, AMUTA, Prof. Saraswat, President. IGNOU TA, Prof. Shiv Mohan, Gen. Secretary, AUTA.

Rain pouring down towards the end of the programme could not put a dampener on the enthusiasm, with participants raising slogans under a tent for a full hour. The Education Parliament also adopted resolutions to intensify the struggle against WTO dictated educational policies, imposition of CBCS, attempts to centralize higher education and dilute the autonomy of educational institutes under the garb of the Central University Act and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), attempts to saffronize education by way of tampering with content of education and through partisan appointments in various institutes and also against all attempts to curb campus democracy by encouraging the culture of bans and suspensions and through implementation of provisions such as the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. The Education Parliament also resolved to support ongoing student agitations in Pondicherry University, FTII, as well as several other campuses.

Liberation Archive