I stand in solidarity with Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) in their fight against the delay in grants to 12 Delhi government-sponsored colleges. Many teachers assembled to mark the black day, but before they could proceed further with their protest, they were detained near the Arts Faculty and taken to the Maurice Nagar Police Station, as alleged by DUTA. Later, many teachers also courted arrest in support; Delhi Police officials said that they did not have the permission to protest. Out of 28 colleges of Delhi University, 12 are fully funded by the Delhi Government.
The teaching and non-teaching staff of these colleges have alleged that for the last many months, they have struggled to come to terms with the reality of the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncalled delays in their pay and salaries have severely impacted their sustenance and livelihood as they have been forced to fend for themselves, if not for the ineptness and inaction of the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi.
DUTA, over the months, has been successfully organising sit-ins and dharnas (strike), but to no avail and guarantee, as the high-ranking functionaries of the Delhi Government turned a blind eye to the issue. This has caused immense disgrace and disrepute to DUTAs pleas for an urgent audience with those who represent the Delhi Government.
Can’t they spare a few minutes to engage in a dialogue with these aggrieving teachers? Otherwise, they should come clear and clean on the unexplained delay in the sanctioning of funds to these colleges. Rather than being dismissive, show a little bit of humility and compassion to resolve this matter at the earliest for it make a clear sense.
I believe Kejriwal, being an activist and administrator himself, should better acknowledge and understand their plight and trauma, and display an urgency on this front as his prolific leadership excites and inspires our generation. How can we forget his first stint as CM that lasted for around 49 days, witnessing great sectoral reforms in the city-state Delhi? His stint significantly ameliorated the living standard of the ordinary as they have a reason to value their faith in his abilities and potentials as Delhi’s Chief Minister.
I am made to understand that he will sincerely take this up and offer a possible road ahead. What else can they expect from him trying in their capacities on meeting their ends? I take upon this occasion of Teacher’s Day to write this letter in good spirit on behalf of these teachers who have been a guiding light for us.