Chandigarh,19 Apr:Holiday or not, teachers, students and technical staff of Panjab University today have completed 13 days of continuous chain fast while thousands of teachers and students have participated in the agitation by putting their signatures in the visitors’ register, besides taking out rallies and candle march. However it does not seem to be enough for the politicians to awake them up from the deep slumber.
It is noticed with utter disgust that when PUTA leadership quizzed some of the politicians from Punjab and asked them that what do they mean by loss of control over P.U. after declaring it a central university they said clearly that they couldn’t ask for favours from P.U. When asked that how far can they ask for such favours in the present arrangement, they admitted that they have but a little say at present, and even this will be lost once the University becomes fully funded by the Centre, they fear. Do public institutions of the stature and nature of Panjab University stand for universal brotherhood, knowledge, truth worthiness and open seat of learning or are they means to make political capital at the cost of public good, quipped Prof. Manjit Singh, Coordinator, Joint Action Committee (JAC). Many politicians think public institutions their private fiefdom and take pride in using them for personal political promotion, lamented Prof. Singh, and thus all the hue and cry for the control over Panjab University.
It should be a matter of shame for the politicians that even Chairpersons of the departments are forced to sacrifice their weekend and, instead of spending weekend with the family, are made to sit on fast by the roadside, said Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman, JAC. Universities are obliged to cater to regional needs but they are not supposed to become arenas of parochial provincialism, argued Prof. Rajan Gaur, Vice President PUTA. Today those who sat on the fast were Prof. Shankerji Jha, department of Sanskrit, Dr Veena Sachdeva, and Dr Raj Kumari Gupta, both Chairperson of the department of History and Education, respectively. Those among the research scholars were Sandeep Thind, Kuljeet Thind and Summitter Singh Walia from the department of Geography, Sanskrit and English, respectively.