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India: ’March for Education’ by University Teachers, Workers and Students in Delhi of 28 March 2018 - leaflets, poems, photos, posters and links to reports

29 March 2018

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DUTA Press Statement: 28 March 2018

DUTA People’s March draws Historic Participation from Teachers and Students; Government Asked to See the Writing on the Wall

The People’s March against the Government’s policy onslaught of Financial Autonomy, Self-financing of courses, Negative Pay and Service Conditions of teachers, attack on Reservation and Loan-funding through HEFA, saw an ocean of people descend on Mandi House. Over 15000 teachers and students constituted the unprecedented gathering that marched with the DUTA banner through Barakhamba Road, Tolstoy Marg, Janpath and Jantar Mantar to finally culminate in a huge public meeting on Parliament Street. Students were seen waving colourful and witty posters, singing, playing musical instruments and shouting slogans against Privatisation and Commercialisation of public-funded higher education.

Teachers and students from JNU, AUD, AMU, IGNOU, and Jamia also joined the People’s March. Leaders of teachers’ associations (DUTA President, Rajib Ray, JNUTA President Sonajharia Minz, Former DUTA Presidents Ms Nandita Narain and Dr Aditya Narayan Misra), and students’ union leaders from various universities (AMUSU President Maskoor Ahmed Usmani, JNUSU President Geeta Kumari and DUSU President Rocky Tuseed) also participated in the March. Several MPs and other representatives from political parties addressed the gathering including Amarjit Kaur (CPI), Asha Sharma (AIDWA), Brinda Karat (CPI(M)), Girwar Singh, AISEC, Krishna Tirath (BJP), Mohammad Salim CPI(M), Manish Sisodia, Dy Chief Minister, Delhi, Pankaj Pushkar, AAP, Sushmita Dev, Cong., Sanjay Singh AAP, Sanjeev Jha AAP, Sharad Yadav (JDU S), Sucharita, Lok Raj Sangathan. Students Organisation that participated in the March included AIDSO, AISA, AISF, BAPSA, CYSS, DSU, KYS, NSUI, PACHHAS, Pinjra Tod and SFI.

The Government has lately been pussy-footing around the question of public funding in higher education. However, as the UGC regulation on Autonomy and the Finance Minister’s budget announcements on HEFA have shown, the Government is keen to withdraw public-funding, impose Self-financing models on public-sector universities and colleges and force them to take loans for infrastructure by mortgaging public resources like buildings and land as collaterals. This puts a question-mark on the affordability of higher education. It also manifests itself in the Government’s unwillingness to appoint adequate teachers on permanent basis, allow fair promotional avenues, and give pensions to retired teachers.

The Government has also angered the teaching community by hastily notifying changes in the Reservation Roster on Appointments. By insisting that departments be considered as units, instead of whole colleges and universities as units, the Government has created a situation which will undermine the Constitutional obligation of reservation for SCs/STs/ OBCs and slow down the process of achieving full reservation.

Delhi University has been hit hard by all these issues in recent times. It has also been forced to start new courses in Journalism, Cyber Security and Strategic Diplomacy on Self-financing mode with teachers appointed on short-term contracts. This has severely affected the quality of teachers and the student-teacher ratio in the university. More than 50% of its faculty across colleges and departments are forced to work on ad-hoc and guest basis, without any job security or service benefits.

Hence, DU teachers and students are able to understand the grave implications of the Government’s Privatisation Agenda. The DUTA has also succeeded in rallying other universities on these issues. It demands 100% assured funding of all Central and State universities and Central Assistance to cover the 7th Pay Revision for all teachers across the nation.

The DUTA also demands immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Autonomy Regulation, plus the immediate suspension of loan-funding initiatives through HEFA. If the Government is unable to read the writing on the wall, then the DUTA and FEDCUTA will spearhead a nation-wide movement of teachers and students, in coordination with AIFUCTO. It will educate the public against the destructive policies of the Government, in higher education.

Rajib Ray (President, DUTA) Vivek Chaudhary (Secretary, DUTA)

Defend Public-Funded Higher Education - Leaflet by DUTA, DUCKU, DUSU for protest call of 28 March 2018 in New Delhi

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A Poem by Kamal Mita Chenoy

March for Knowledge and Public Education

The game of diminishing education,
Has been a political vocation,
For politicians, land mafia, saffronisation,
Their interests are power and pelf, not the nation.

Teachers already underpaid will take a hit,
The powers that be don’t care a bit.
Degrees are sold, so is many an intellectual
Resistance is there, but still ineffectual.

The enlightened and progressive academia,
Is ignored or taunted by the Modi media.
The succession of marches are a good sign,
We’ll fight for public education, let others whine.

Education needs money, tools and deep knowledge,
Found not only in universities, but also in college.
Knowledge builds a proud people and their learning,
But the power elite is more interested in their earning.

March fellow teachers, do not flag,
We won’t let education policy become a rag.
So many crave an education,
We will build an enlightened nation.

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दर्सगाहें (Universities)

दर्सगाहों पे हमले नए तो नहीं
इन किताबों पे हमले नए तो नहीं
इन सवालों पे हमले नए तो नहीं
इन ख़यालों पे हमले नए तो नहीं

गर, नया है कहीं कुछ, तो इतना ही है
तुम नए भेस में लौट कर आए हो
तुम मेरे देस में लौट कर आए हो
पर है सूरत वही, और सीरत वही

सारी वहशत वही, सारी नफ़रत वही
किस तरह से छुपाओगे पहचान को
गेरुए रंग में छुप नहीं पाओगे

दर्सगाहों पे हमले नए तो नहीं

हम को तारीख़ का हर सफ़ा याद है
तक्शिला हो के नालंदा तुम ही तो थे
मिस्र में तुम ही थे, तुम ही यूनान में
रोम में चीन में, तुम ही ग़ज़ना में थे
अलाबामा पे हमला हमें याद है
बेल्जियम में तुम्हीं, तुम ही पोलैंड में
दर्सगाहों को मिस्मार करते रहे

जर्मनी में तुम्हारे क़दम जब पड़े
तब किताबों की होली जलाई गई
वो चिली में क़यामत के दिन याद हैं
दर्सगाहों पे तीरों की बौछार थी
तुम ही हो तालिबान, तुम ही बोकोहराम
तुम ने रौंदा है सदियों से इल्म-ओ-हुनर
हम को तारीख़ का हर सफ़ा याद है

तुम तो अक्सर ही मज़हब के जमे में थे
फिर ये क्यों है गुमाँ, आज के दिन तुम्हें
धर्म की आड़ में, छुप के रह पाओ गे
रौंद पाओगे सदियों की तहज़ीब को
हम को तारीख़ का हर सफ़ा याद है
दरगाहों पे हमले हैं जब जब हुए
फिर से उट्ठी हैं ये राख के ढेर से
जब जलायी हैं तुम ने किताबें कहीं
हर कलाम बन गया, परचम-ए-इंक़लाब

आज की नस्ल उठ्ठी है परचम लिए
हैं ये वाक़िफ़ तुम्हारे हर एक रूप से
तुम को पहचानती है हर एक रंग में
इस नई नस्ल को
सारे ख़ंजर परखने की तौफ़ीक़ है
इस नई नस्ल को
दस्त-ए-क़ातिल झटकने की तौफ़ीक़ है

— प्रोफेसर गौहर रज़ा, 28.03.2018

(Prof. Gauhar Raza’s new poem dedicated to the struggle of university teachers and students)
Darsagāhēṁ (universities)

The attacks on darsagāhōṁ are not new.
The attacks on these books are not new
These questions are not new.
Attack on these thoughts is not new.

If it’s something new, it’s so much.
You have come back in new disguise
You have come back to my country
The face is the same, and it is the same.

All fear is same, all the hatred is same
How will you hide the identity?
You will not be able to hide in a gēru’ē color

The attacks on darsagāhōṁ are not new.

We remember every page of the date
Takśilā ho nalanda you were the same
You were in Egypt, you are in Greece
In China in Rome, you were in gazals
We remember the attack on Alzheimer’s.
You in Belgium, you are in Poland.
Doing mismāra to the darsagāhōṁ

When your feet fall in Germany
Then the books of the books were lit.
They remember the day of resurrection in chile
There was a shower of arrows on the darsagāhōṁ
You are the Taliban, you are the ruckus.
You are a barrier for centuries. Knowledge-O-talent.
We remember every page of the date

Indeed, you were of the steadfast.
Then why are you missing, this day you are on the day
In the guise of religion, you will get hidden.
You will get the manners of centuries.
We remember every page of the date
When there is attack on the rowers.
Once again there is a lot of ashes.
When you are jealous you have books somewhere
Every column has become, the flag-E-Revolution.

Today’s breed is raised for the flag.
Are you aware of every one of you?
Recognize you in every color
This new breed
This is the strength of testing all dagger.
This new breed
Diarrhoea-E-murderer is the strength of jhaṭakanē

— Professor Gohar Raza, 28.03.2018

(Prof. Gauhar Raza’s new poem dedicated to the struggle of university teachers and students)

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via Twitter


Photo Credit: V. Sudershan / The Hindu, 29 March 2018
NEW DELHI, 28/03/2018: Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and the Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA) along with students and leaders of various political parties participated in a "Peoples March" to protest against replacement of grants by loans through HEFA, tripartite MOUs, graded autonomy to universities and grant of financial “autonomy” to educational institutions of repute to turn them into “teaching shops”., in New Delhi on Wednesday .

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