Institutes of higher education becoming platforms of politics: WB Governor
Freedom of speech by students is welcome but it has to be ensured that the freedom is in accordance with the Indian Constitution, said Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
He was speaking at an education summit on “Restructuring Education to Generate Employment and Higher Economic Growth” organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the city on Wednesday. Without mentioning name of any institutions Tripathi said: “We are also witnessing political strangeness in the governance of educational institutions. This is being particularly done in the name of freedom to form association and freedom of speech sometimes forgetting that these freedoms are subjected to reasonable restrictions as provided to the Constitution of India itself. Autonomy of university is not unlimited but controlled by its status.” There can be differences in opinion as to whether academic environment is being vitiated by students engaging in politics. The practical aspect is that in the present circumstances politics plays an important role in the life of a large section of students. Representatives of students union and endeavour of political parties for students’ power is the reason, he stated adding that: “Higher education institutions are becoming platform of politics.” He added: “Generation of unhealthy politics need to be avoided.”
He further said that there is a need to inculcate discipline in educational institutes. Apart from textual knowledge, teaching selflessness and morality should be the objective of every educational institution.
It may be mentioned that there was uproar in the city after anti-national slogans were allegedly being shouted in Jadavpur University campus in a rally protesting against the incident of JNU. Despite being criticised the Vice Chancellor of the university Suranjan Das remained strict against filing FIR with the police in this connection. He had stated that there was an environment in the varsity to settle any issue through discussions instead of involving the police.
On Tuesday, there was an incident in Burdwan University where the police had to resort to lathicharge on some students when they had initiated ransacking valuables in the university. Vice Chancellors of both the universities have submitted their reports in connection with the incidents to the Governor. Meanwhile, in connection with the incident of Burdwan University the state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that educational institutions are not places of any conflict. Deterioration of law and order is not expected in an institution. He also raised question on involving the police to settle the matter in the university and said that he has also asked the secretary of his department to take a note of the incident.