Students and faculty of the Manipur University are set to take part in a hunger strike from July 9 till July 21 demanding the removal of the vice-chancellor. Separate departments of the University would be participating in the 13-day strike with the Mathematics and Statistics department kick-starting the hunger strike, said the general secretary of the teacher’s union, Profesor L. Shanjukumar.
Jointly organised by the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA) and the Manipur University Teachers’ Union (MUTA), the MUSU has been protesting against VC Adya Prasad Pandey since May 30, leading to a shutdown of the administrative block.
With the protest entering its 36th day, the number of people demanding his removal has surged.
The All India Students Federation (AISF) on Friday announced that it would organise a protest in New Delhi in support of MUSU’s demand.
Vishwajeet Kumar, general secretary of AISF, condemned the Modi-led BJP government for diluting and politicising the education system of the nation. He urged every citizen to fight against this type of government to save the future of the nation.
The agitation launched by MUSU demanding the removal of VC Pandey is appropriate, Kumar said, adding that the AISF will extend its solidarity till the demand is fulfilled.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) in a statement expressed its dissent over the prevailing in Manipur University terming it “erosion of critical cultures on their university’s campus by an obdurate administration”.
Asserting that protesting is a basic right of citizens alive to the social injustice, it said Manipur University students and teachers have shown with their inspiring struggle that institutional impropriety must not be borne in silence. They have shown that it cannot be business as usual in the face of rules and norms being flouted by those in power, it added.
The hunger strike and protests find their basis in the VC’s alleged lengthy absences from the varsity.