Chandigarh,18 Apr:As slowly the message is percolating down to the public about the discriminatory attitude of the politicians in power, who are busy in head counting for the forthcoming elections, more and more teachers, students, employees and people from the general public has started rallying around the demand for central university status to Panjab University, disclosed Prof. Manjit Singh, Coordinator, Joint Action Committee (JAC). Panjab University Teachers Association started demanding central university status for P.U almost two years back from now, to which students and technical staff too has jointed this year. How come that one of the four oldest universities of India, namely Panjab University, has been left out while the entire country has been gifted with 30 central universities and many more centrally funded science institutes and IITs, asked Prof. Singh. Even the universities with the total faculty strength of not more than couple of scores have be elevated to the status to central university whereas P.U. has become victim to the feudalistic egos of the political bosses. It was a reaction to such apathetic attitude of the ruling elites that today almost the entire faculty of 35 teachers of the department of Evening Studies sat till midday along with the batch of six fasting teachers and students. Those among the teachers who sat on the chain fast were Dr. Md Khalid, Dr N.K. Sehgal, and Dr Chander Mohan, all from the Department of Evening Studies, Dr Ashu Pasricha, Department of Gandhian Studies, and Dr Manmohan Chauhan, Department of German, and from among the students was Sh Anil Arora, department of Gandhian Studies.
A consensus is building up that in case governments refuse to relent on the demand for 100 per cent funding of the University by the Central Government only to safeguard narrow political interest, the entire community of P.U. shall continue to struggle till the most legitimate demand of central university status is accepted, said Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman JAC. Revealing the strategy of prolonged battle, Prof. Ahluwalia said, the University has more than 50 departments and if the faculty and students of each department sit on the fast for a day, we can give a fight for next 50 days as a part of first round and which can be repeated all over again.
In the meanwhile Mr. Preet, President, P.U. Laboratory Technical Staff Association has communicated that a batch of two persons from technical staff shall sit on the chain fast every day along with the other fasting teachers and students. Sh Sunny Bharadwaj, Co-Coordinator of JAC, has announced that once the examinations of the students are over a large number of the students will also plunge into the struggle for saving Panjab University from the ongoing financial crisis.