Thousands of Delhi University teachers on Thursday, January 17, marched in the national capital and raised slogans against the Government. The march to Parliament was stopped by the police at Jantar Mantar, where the teachers courted arrest. At Jantar Mantar police used batons and the cane when teachers tried to break through the barricades.
Several slogans were raised, the more popular ones being “University humari-aapki , Nahi kisi ke Baap ki” “and Gali Gali Main shor hai Chowkidar Chor hai” . The Government and the Prime Minister were at the receiving end of slogans as marching teachers shouted, “Narendra Modi sharam karo”.
The protest march was organised by Delhi University’s Teachers association (DUTA) against arbitrary rules and regulations of the Union government and MHRD. They demanded absorption of ad-hoc teachers. Delhi University has 4,500 ad-hoc teachers who have been working for years without any security of tenure and without any social security.
DUTA and FEDCUTA president Rajib Ray said the teachers came in huge numbers to protest for the absorption of 4500 ad-hoc teachers and the policy aimed at weeding out SC,ST and OBC teachers and1and13 fill the posts with general category of 13 .
Dr Richa Raj, a member of the Academic Council and Academic s For Action and Development (AAD) told NH that talks with the DU Vice-chancellor Yogesh K Tyagi had failed. She said, “the government and the MHRD forcefully wants to contractualise the system, their agenda is to re-employ retired teachers who have already attained the age of 65 for five more years, and also those who share the ideology of the ruling party and the RSS, who will be pliable and support the government. They are least interested in the future of ad-hoc teachers, and is actually highly insensitive.”
The DU teacher’s march was from Ramlila Maidan (outside Zakir Hussain) to Parliament Street. At Maharaja Ranjit Singh Marg however they faced barricading and police. Teachers were able to break the barrier and reach Jantar Mantar, where police reinforcement caned the teachers.
The cane-charge ( lathi charge) provoked teachers to raise slogans like “Narendra Modi Darta hai, Police ko aage karta hai”( a scared Narendra Modi uses police as a shield). Finally the teachers had to use the Gandhian technique of Jail Bharo and they offered to court arrest. Police did not have sufficient number of buses to take away the protesting teachers. The protest ended outside Parliament Street Police station.
Teachers will hold another protest march outside the VC office in North Campus on Friday, January 18