Taking the VCs hostage

Recently, Presidency University students took to gherao the esteemed university's vice chancellor, Dr. Anuradha Lohia. As appropriately...

Recently, Presidency University students took to gherao the esteemed university's vice chancellor, Dr. Anuradha Lohia. As appropriately pointed out by Mr. Swapan Chakbraborty, a professor of the university, there was allegedly no valid basis for the agitation. The University Chancellor, the Honorable Governor of Bengal, Keshari Nath Tripathi was justified in his remark that students attend the university to study, and not to "stage a protest". However, this word of caution has fallen upon the deaf ears of many students who feel their demand for the resignation of Dr. Lohia must be met at the moment. If there is a constitutional right to protest, then there is also a constitutional obligation to observe it peacefully.

This trend of taking hostage university officials to enforce their biased demands by students of today is downright wrong. This is detrimental to the already tensed-up educational atmosphere of the state. Do the students not realize that defacing the institute's walls soils the heritage of the varsity? This is as infectious as a wild fire: last year, we experienced the Jadavpur University crisis; now another has sprang up at Presidency.

One of the main reasons why Saint Xavier's College still thrives in this otherwise politically-coloured educational scenario is that it has disallowed any student union by any legally registered party. Its student council has an insignificant role to play in the administrative matters usually taken by top-level officials. In short, that is the key to their maintaining high standards. The need of the hour is simple: Reforms should be enacted that emulate the practice of such colleges like St. Xavier's.

In a nutshell, investors look for a place with political stability and potential for growth. If the very atmosphere for education is disturbed, the entire balance hinges on one leg. And that is a solid deterrent: if hostage-taking practices can play a strong role in these colleges, these very agitating students might resolve to stage demonstrations against their employers tomorrow. No smart business would dare put a step here.

It is true that radical reforms do not take place overnight; and it is not as simple to abide by in reality. However, we can all make an effort towards the revival of the spirit of learning in this industrially-drained state. After all, education unlocks the key to development. 

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