Over 1,000 ad hoc teachers from Delhi University, who marched from Mandi House to Sansad Marg Monday demanding their appointment to permanent posts, were stopped at the Parliament Street police station as they attempted to cross over the barricades set up by Delhi Police. While the DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA) said several of their members were detained, police denied the charge.
The ad hoc teaching community has been on a strike demanding absorption of 4,500 ad hoc teachers into permanent posts since the DUTA directed them to boycott their duties during the semester examinations on November 25.
“As an ad hoc, there is a fear that you may lose your job anytime. I am a PHD student as well, and our research also suffers due to this. As an ad hoc, you cannot do research, present papers overseas or participate in conferences,” said Aman Nawaz, who has been an English literature ad hoc teacher at Sri Venkateswara College for the past two years.
Ashwini Shankar (52), chairman of the Delhi State Indian National Teachers’ Congress and a permanent professor from the history department at Deshbandhu College, who was among those allegedly detained, said, “By attacking the higher education institutions, the government is not allowing colleges to perform their basic duties of imparting critical thinking.”
Meanwhile, around 1,000 teachers continue to protest at the vice-chancellor’s office at North Campus. Pooja Thakur, a History teacher for the past six years at Ramjas College, said, “What we are asking for is hard. But we believe that is possible because that’s social justice. We will continue to strike, and abide by what DUTA directs.”
Ved Prakash, an inspector from Parliament House police station, said: “We didn’t detain them; we only stopped them from going towards Parliament area.”
(Shaardhool Shreenath is an intern with The Indian Express)