Tingled by the movement of Jadavpur University students, Mamata Banerjee made peace in a bid to save her government from further embarrassment and end the battle by choosing to remove the Vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakraborti. Mamata Banerjee sprung a surprise by visiting the JU campus amidst slogans “hok hok hok kolorob” by hundreds of students. Chief Minister called the vice-chancellor over phone and wanted him to consider his resignation as the academic activities have taken a beating which should not continue for long and wanted him to shift elsewhere if he so desires. After sometime as the CM announced the exit of the VC the JU campus erupted in joy.
Abhijit Chakraborti would be second VC after Souvik Bhattacharya to quit before completing a full term at JU. But unlike Souvik Bhattacharya, who cited personal grounds for his resignation in October 2013, Abhijit Chakraborti called a press conference to give his version of JU stalemate. VC’s willingness to step down comes two days after he got a warning from Raj Bhavan asking him to take action on the molestation of the JU girl that lies at the root of the movement.
The crux of the matter is that the 4 months long movement demanding the ouster of the VC fuelled due to TMC jibes. It started from the calling of the police inside JU campus by VC, the fall-out of which saw students being beaten by the police at midnight while freeing VC from gherao. Incidentally, Mamata dubbed it as a small incident and her nephew mocked the JU protest as an outburst against the university’s drive against consumption of liquor and drugs on campus.
The movement gathered momentum with support from teachers, parents and other members of the civil society. Even the chancellor got a feel of their resolve when the JU best graduate declined the gold medal and the degree that are a dream award for students. Others followed suit.
The jubilation after the victory of the epic struggle was enormous. It is a victory for all those who have been demanding the VC’s removal and unnecessary intervention of the government in the education. While the debate over the victor and the vanquished continued beyond university circles, the silent majority in JU wanted peace to return.
It won’t be wrong to say that the lack of discipline has been a concern in JU for long. There have been occasions where teachers were beaten up by students when they came to the rescue of VCs. At times, non-teaching employees beat up students and there have been at least two police crackdowns on students.
The JU students have won the battle of nerves and now have to prepare for the next battle of hunts for jobs. But as the condition will ease out and when things will become normal people will talk about the agitation of JU students which caught the headlines in the country, the root cause of agitation will sleep under the heap of ashes and no complete police report will unveil the culprit and the little girl will think over for the rest of her life.