We, the undersigned, are gravely concerned that the teachers of Delhi University have felt compelled to sit on an indefinite relay hunger strike since 10 October 2012. The teachers have been on hunger strike for well over a month now.
We find it shocking and incomprehensible that the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor has refused to even meet with them. Neither has he met with the students and non-teaching staff who have joined their protests.
We are equally disturbed to hear that decisions seeking to fundamentally alter and restructure academic programmes continue to be taken thoughtlessly, arbitrarily and hastily. Such changes will have, as has already happened, far-reaching consequences for teaching, learning and research as well as for the idea of the public university as an institution that draws students from diverse backgrounds and helps them develop the ability to reflect and think critically. The absence of even a semblance of substantive and widespread discussion and debate on as serious a matter as academic reforms is, to say the least, worrying.
The Delhi University is one of the oldest and largest universities of standing in the country. It has produced generations of the finest students, scholars, teachers and intellectuals. We suspect that it is being pushed into an irrevocable crisis, threatening to destroy this 90-year-old institution, by a University Administration oblivious of Delhi University's rich academic traditions and uncaring of the consequences of ruling by diktat and through intimidation.
This crisis needs to be urgently resolved and the morale of Delhi University's many committed teachers, non-teaching employees and students restored.