Ghost of AP Pandey at MU Four teachers suspended

It is not at all likely to subside the situation. On the contrary the suspension of four senior teachers of Manipur University at this juncture has all the potential to derail the attempts made by the State Government to defuse the situation and bring back normalcy to the embattled varsity. And so even as Chief Minister N Biren is poised to meet representatives of Manipur University Teachers’ Association at his office chamber in the evening of October 1, came the news that four teachers of MU have been placed under suspension. No explicit reasons have been spelt out for placing them under suspension but it has got to do something with the ongoing agitation at the varsity. Clearly the hands of suspended AP Pandey is long and as observed here in an earlier commentary, it will take time to exorcise the ghost the man from Varanasi has left behind. What is the way forward ? Tough to say but for starters, Pro-VC Prof Yugindro may seriously study the possibility of withdrawing the FIR lodged against some teachers and students of MU. Or if MUTA is serious about its stand on the appointment process of the Pro-VC it may approach the law Court. What is stopping MUTA from approaching the Court ? This is a point which many well meaning individuals have raised earlier and given the situation at MU this is perhaps the best way forward. Much as one may not like, the distinct feeling that the suspension of the four teachers may have something more to do with settling personal scores rather than keeping the interest of the varsity in mind cannot be brushed aside. This is what is deeply disturbing to note.
A look at the trajectory of the protest at MU should underline this point. It started off as a wave of protest against AP Pandey and it went on for quite a long time. After Pandey was suspended by none other than the President of India, the stand off morphed into one between the university community and the State Government best exemplified by the midnight raid at MU on September 20. Now it is about pitching one camp within MU against another camp. Or it may be said that it is the clash between two camps at MU which led to the midnight raid at MU. Whichever one looks at it, it is more than clear that in all the action and counter action taken up no one has kept the interests of the varsity in mind. It has been more a case of one upmanship and this is what is deeply disturbing. As things are, already students stand to lose one academic year and if things don’t improve then there is no telling what may happen to the next batch of students. Even if the lost time is made up (routinely), can that make up for the loss of precious time for the young students ? This is already October and other universities have already started their academic year more than two months back. Students already in other universities are in the midst of their academic pursuit. How will the students of MU compete with students from the other universities then ? Why have the ‘teachers’ in the teaching faculty of MU failed to emerge and recognise that the stand off will only lead to more losses for the young students ? No wonder so many young students make a beeline for other parts of the country once they finish their Class XII.

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