This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Rishabh Jain. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Student Recounts How Prof. Saibaba Was Harassed On Campus, Even As Admin. Did Nothing

By Rishabh Jain

gn saibabaThe harassment of Dr. G.N. Saibaba allegedly by some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists, who are acting more like goons, continues. For the past several days, certain sections in the administration who appear to be in cahoots with the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union have been gheraoing and harassing professor Saibaba on campus and making allegations about him being a ‘terrorist’ and an ‘anti-national’. Saibaba, an English teacher with 90% disability, began visiting the college (Ram Lal Anand) after the Supreme Court granted him bail recently. His suspension is yet to be revoked but the college’s governing body has constituted a one-member committee to consider his reinstatement.

On April 22, professor Saibaba visited the college premises, not to take a class but just to have a conversation with 2nd and 3rd-year students of the English department. The joint secretary of DUSU, Chhattarpal Yadav with some other ABVP activists, entered the college premises and intervened between the professor and his students. He started misbehaving with him and abused him. When a senior female teacher tried to interrupt, they misbehaved with her too and after disrupting many other classes and disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the college, they wrote an application to the principal demanding the removal of G.N. Saibaba from the college. On this day, the whole administration of the college behaved as a mute spectator and it was the students who came out in defense of the professor. They wrote an application and gave it to Delhi University Teachers’ Association. The principal, however, refused even to acknowledge the application when it reached him.

Photo credit:
Photo credit: Shivam Verma

 

Photo credit: Shivam Verma

On April 23, on the occasion of the Annual Day of the college, when the students were being awarded for excellence in different fields, Chhattarpal Yadav turned up again with other ABVP activists even when there was huge police presence and tried to terrorise professor Saibaba. They asked the professor to get out of the college. He asked them the reason behind their demand. They also demanded that Saibaba should be removed from the college. This entire incident took place in front of the college principal, chairman and the police, but no one came to his defense and it was the college students and a few teachers again who formed a human chain around him to protect him. No action was taken by the college administration that day as well. An important question that arises here is that since the college administration was very well aware of what had happened on April 22, how did Yadav and fellow activists enter the college the very next day? This shows how insensitive the college principal and the whole administration were towards the case of Prof. Saibaba.

 

On April 25, again, when professor Saibaba visited the college to submit his application regarding the revocation of his suspension, the DUSU joint secretary along with about 30 to 40 ABVP activists gathered outside the staffroom, tried to gherao (surround) the professor and shouted abusive slogans, calling him an ‘anti-national’ and ‘terrorist’. Chhattarpal Yadav even slapped one boy who was distributing pamphlets regarding what was happening in the college for the last two days. The ABVP ‘goons’ terrorised the students so much that many of them fled the college. In response to this, certain students started a peaceful protest against this fascist onslaught of the ABVP. The police and the college authorities again retained their roles as mute spectators. Finally, seeing the large number of students turn up, the ABVP was forced out of campus by the police.

It seems that the ABVP, in cahoots with the college authorities, is trying to intimidate and harass not just professor Saibaba, but also students and teachers who strive to build a democratic atmosphere in the campus where ideas can be debated and discussed. Saibaba was arrested by the Maharashtra police for alleged Maoist links in 2014. After the arrest, he was suspended from the college. He was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court and the RLA College’s governing body constituted a one-member committee to reinstate him. The Staff Association of RLA college has also issued two resolutions in this matter. Firstly, they have ‘strongly condemned’ the failure of the college principal and administration to stop Yadav and his fellow activists from entering the college, as this has made the students and staff members insecure. Secondly, they have set a time limit for the one-member committee to submit its report on the revocation of the suspension. The role of police in this whole episode is also questionable.

Moreover, we need to understand the role of the administration and college authorities who have remained mute spectators in the whole incident so that ABVP can create a ruckus and foist their brand of right-wing opportunistic politics through means like intimidation. It should be noted that neither the students nor the teachers are against the return of professor Saibaba on campus and in fact, they are delighted to have such a brilliant professor back. We firmly demand the revocation of professor Saibaba’s suspension.

The facts of this article could not be independently verified.

Take campus conversations to the next level. Become a YKA Campus Correspondent today! Sign up here.

You can also subscribe to the Campus Watch Newsletter, here.

You must be to comment.

More from Rishabh Jain

Similar Posts

By Sahil Basu

By Author Anonymous

By BigChange

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below