Raise your voice - Protest the harassment on Prof Bhaskar Das, Calcutta Univ, Chem Engg

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In the recent past an incident of harassment and physical assault on our alumnus and teacher, Prof Bhaskar Das, Chemical Engineering Department, Calcutta University, drew our attention through printed and social media. We got a chance to see the video recording of a part of the harassment that Prof Das had to undergo. After going through all media reports, we felt the need to protest this heinous incident as alumnus of Chemical Engineering Department. Calcutta University has a rich heritage of education, research and culture. The Chemical Engineering department of Calcutta University is one of the oldest of its kind in India. This department produced successful engineers, scientists, researchers and teachers who are spread across continents holding responsible and honourable positions. The department showcased the ability to create a long-lasting impression through the significant contributions made for the betterment of industry, research, education, culture and society. It is unfortunate that this prestigious and reputed department’s name appeared in the media for the shameful act done by a few students. Please note that our references are the news appeared in printed media published from the renowned media houses of India. We understood that a dispute erupted as more than 50% of students in a class were unable to obtain the pass mark in one of the subjects. We absolutely do not have any idea about the underlying reasons of such disastrous performance. We are sure the associated committee will investigate and take corrective action for the improvement of the performance. Students can and should approach to a teacher to have a discussion for better understanding of the teacher’s point of view about the performance. Healthy debates and counter arguments are welcome as well. Even a peaceful protest in this situation adds a lot of value in the process thanks to the rich history of revolution of Calcutta University since its foundation days. However, the sanctimonious line of ethics should never be crossed whatsoever may be the underlying reason of the abysmal performance. India’s cultural heritage taught us to place the teacher next to our parents in the echelon of respect. The system should thus allow to maintain zero tolerance when the respect of a teacher is at stake. In the current situation Prof Das was mentally harassed and physically assaulted; we are falling short of words to condemn this heinous act of harassment that goes against all moral and social values. This should never be tolerated in a civilised society. The protesters should have leveraged alternative, civilised and official channels to draw attention of the authority on the performance issue instead. This incident sent a wrong message about the culture and environment of the university to the industry, academia, engineering fraternity, and above all, to the society. This incident is good enough to tarnish the age-old rich heritage of the university in the outside world. To salvage the pride, we demand a thorough investigation of the incident and an exceptional action against those who were involved in the act of harassment, such that one will think hard before crossing the boundary of love, respect and humanity. We are sure that the authority will leave no stone unturned to protect the respect of a teacher and uphold the sense of rectitude. This statement is to express our solidarity for protecting the honour of the university and pride of our department. 

We request all alumni, well wishers, teachers, students to come forward and sign the petition so that our voice can be heard at the highest level of management and governance of Calcutta University for the betterment of current situation and bring the justice in favour of the right.



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