Shimla: The State Committee of Students Federation of India that had appealed to all student organisations to jointly fight the undemocratic decision of Himachal Pradesh University Executive Council and Vice Chancellor to ban annual student elections in the university and its affiliated colleges today observed a complete education bandh.
SFI State Secretary Munish Sharma disclosed that the thousands of students participated in this complete education strike and reversal of the steep fee hike and restoration of student union elections in the university and allied colleges. The students have now planned to protest outside the State Secretariat on September 2 and on all district headquarters from September 9 to 12 to push for their demand of direct elections in the Himachal University.
The student organisations including SFI, ABVP and NSUI are blaming the university Vice Chancellor A.D.N. Vajpayee for playing in the hands of State government and influencing the EC’s decision. The students are also opposing the University’s decision of implementing RUSA and a multiple increase in the fee structure for all post graduate classes.
In the absence of any democratic right to choose their representatives the university authorities would take anti-student and autocratic decisions, blamed the student leaders. Demanding the removal of Vice Chancellor they appealed to all teaching and non-teaching communities in the campus and all political parties, NGOs, intellectuals and social activists to come forward and support the democratic agitation of students who are opposing the denial of right to choose their representatives.
The Himachal University which is always dominated by the left student politics is blamed for student violence amongst the organisations and vitiating academic atmosphere. But the organisations have claimed that the university always had a good UGC ranking and academic atmosphere and the elections make students more ideological and aware for their future lives. They say instead, the constant intervention by the incumbent governments politicise the university atmosphere when the teachers and administrators are chosen on political considerations instead of merit.
The SFI has also demanded the arrest of some people who are responsible for forcing a student to commit a suicide in a Poly Technical college in Hamirpur. It has also expressed concern on the manner in which a second year student of Mechanical Engineering was suspended in a private university in Baddi and the increasing incidents of eve teasing in the Himachal University Regional Centre in Dharamsala. Had there been regular democratic elections in these institutes such anti-student happenings could be avoided, maintained the SFI, the leading student organisation of Himachal.