No end in sight to MU crisis Seeking Centre’s attention

Examination results not declared. Manipur University under siege for more than 40 days now. No climb down in the demand that the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University should step down-Now no longer a demand raised by the Manipur University Students’ Union alone with the Manipur University Teachers’ Association and Manipur University Staff Association also backing the demand raised by the student body. On the other hand are some hill based student organisations which have raised the demand that the issue be resolved quickly with some even incorporating it as one of the demands in imposing the indefinite bandh in the hill districts. The hill districts bandh has been called off but that does not dilute the issue central to this commentary here and that is the impasse at Manipur University. Not the first time that MU has been paralysed for days on end, but perhaps this is the first time that such a strong voice has been raised against a sitting Vice Chancellor and this is a point which must have registered in the consciousness of the Union HRD Ministry. With the Centre not taking the issue with the urgency that is demanded, no one knows how things will develop in the days to come but it is good to remember the days when Professor Adya Prasad Pandey was appointed as the VC of Manipur University. All will remember the stormy days at Manipur University over the reservation of ST and SC students to the varsity and three VCs who were appointed on in-charge basis resigned one after the other and it was during this phase that Professor Adya Prasad Pandey was sent here. In a short a man hand picked by the Centre and sent here-a sort of a trouble shooter and it is here that all need to sit down and think why a man who has not been associated with MU earlier was sent here as the VC.
A Central university, but this should not be reason enough for the BJP led State Government to mutely look on, for what one is talking about here is the future of thousands of students. True an officer of the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Union HRD Ministry did come here to take stock of the situation at MU, but it has been days since he went back and surely he must have submitted a report of his findings to the Ministry and the obvious question that follows is, what action has been taken up as per the report of the Joint Secretary ? Paralysed for over 40 days and is this how a university should be allowed to run and function ? What would have been the response of the Centre if such a situation had besieged a Central university, say Delhi University or Benares Hindu University ? At the moment there is a stand off between students and the VC of Jadavpur University over the question of cancelling the entrance tests for admission to UG courses at the said varsity. The question is, will the stand off be allowed to fester for more than 40 days there ? Not likely. A comparison drawn to highlight the fact that while response to any stand off at a place of learning may be swift in other parts of the country, it is not the same here. All also need to come to the point that in such a stand off, the loser will be the young students and hence Manipur.

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