By Sahil Balotra
Education starts from mother’s womb and continues till the last breath of a person. Every phase of life brings new learning. Higher education is one such critical area of learning, where the young minds are filled with intellectualism and life skills apart from academics. Universities have found a top notch position in the field of higher education. Past decade has seen a rise in confrontations among students and administration of the universities throughout the country and this trend is now reflected clearly in the epicentre of Duggar culture i.e. ‘University of Jammu’.
Like other universities, ours too is a dynamic and volatile one with diverse thoughts and ideas spread across the perimeter of the university. From past two weeks we have seen bandh, strikes , dharnas and even boycott of classes by the students. On one side is the administration who are finding it hard to overcome or even suppress the student’s rising voice and on the other side is the blunt voice of students, who are committed to get their basic rights in the university.
To a number of lots it is still unclear about the cause of these strikes and dissent. These lots even include the students and to my surprise the scholars of the university. On 24th of March there was a set of demand s put forth to the Vice Chancellor Prof. R. D. Sharma in the presence of large crowd consisting not only the students of this university but also the guests from other state universities, who witnessed the unpopular demands on the eve of inter-State Universities Sports Meet. Students were given the verbal affirmation by Vice Chancellor but nothing has been done on ground or even on paper.
Many intellectuals of our society will argue about the gravity of demands put forward to the administration and least they care of reading and knowing them. With whole of nation aspiring for Digital India, we have our University with no Wi-Fi facility (exclusively present for scholars) for PG students. Students are asking for a 24X7 canteen in the university campus in whose absence they have to travel all the way to the darker places outside the university to satisfy their hunger with the most hygienic food. But the administration is busy in giving lessons to students by using the ‘Lathi’ not of Mahatma Gandhi but of Deng Xiaoping.
Universities are hubs of knowledge and education and the epicentre of ideas. A well strategized path is required to spread these ideas into the masses and not the paths of curbing their voices. University of Jammu has produced great personalities in various disciplines, let’s not finish this practice. Strikes and Bandhs are no one’s choice. A plan to move forward strategically is needed to ahead in increasing our country’s resources. I know, no one will agree that students are the most important and valuable resource a country can ever have. If any person is heading a responsibility and that too of dealing directly with the students of university is exercising the methods of dictatorship that too in the language of violence, the student’s outrage is inevitable.
The onus is back on the University administration to think about these facilities. The acceptance of demands within a specified time period is all students demand. In addition the replacement of current Dean Students Welfare must be considered for the welfare of not only students but of whole university, because University if from the students and not from the administration. The most important resources are to be protected as well as empowered so that they can propagate their ideas to the masses and can lead this great nation to the unachieved heights.